Today’s Editorial for September 24: Better late than never

Finally, most – if not all – the cards are on the table when it comes to proposals for constitutional modernisation.

While we’ve known the proposals of the People’s Progressive Movement for quite some time, the United Democratic Party finally came forth with its desires Monday.

We’ve also gotten the stance from the Cayman Ministers Association and the Human Rights Commission.

We still haven’t heard from the Seventh Day Adventists and a Chamber on-line poll about constitutional modernisation is expcted to conclude today.

So on the face of it, it appears that everyone’s views will be known when talks begin Monday with the United Kingdom.

To help readers take a quick glance at the stance of both parties on some of the major constitutional modernisation issues, the Caymanian Compass has crafted an at-a-glance chart on page 8 of today’s paper.

We have only included the proposals from the two parties because we aren’t privy to all of those from the other groups.

As you can see there are a handful of issues that both parties agree on. They both agree there should be no move toward independence for the Cayman Islands and that there should be no change in the current rules concerning who can stand for elections.

Then there are a handful of issues the parties could come to agreement on, such as voter initiated referendums although they may have differing views on whether the referendums should be binding and how many voters would be required to participate. The could also come to an agreement on the establishment of a judicial services commission with the only sticking points being whether ex-political appointees should be allowed.

Then there are issues on which we believe the two parties will never come to an agreement.

We don’t think they’ll ever agree on single member voting districts or whether there should be a senate. And they’ll probably never agree on the powers of a governor.

Of course miracles can happen.

The talks that begin Monday with the UK are negotiations.

Prior to that the PPM has agreed to sit down with the UDP and NGOs at the Bodden Town Civic Centre to discuss differences in their plans. The meeting starts at 10am Thursday and is open to the public. We urge those who can to attend.

The men and women who gather at the public meeting on Thursday and with the UK next week are setting out the road map for the future of the Cayman Islands.

We’ve been at this exercise for many years.

Hopefully this time headway can be made in the modernisation of Cayman’s constitution.

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