An email from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts leaves us to believe that the talks between our political parties and NGOs won’t be open to the public next week.
That’s a shame.
We believe all talks about our constitution and the proposals being made should be open to the public, at least the ones being held here.
After all, who is the constitution for?
It is for the people of the Cayman Islands.
The only way we are all going to know what is being proposed and what the various parties actually want included in constitutional modernisation is by being involved in the process – the entire process.
The public should be allowed to attend the meetings with the UK representatives with the understanding that these talks are negotiations only.
Much discussion must take place before our constitution is fully modernised and approved by the UK.
If a deal is struck we, the people, will be further educated about what the modernised constitution will contain and then, those who are registered, will be able to vote on it in a referendum during the General Elections on 20 May.
We are not asking that the public be involved in the negotiations, only that it be allowed in so it can listen.
The People’s Progressive Movement and United Democratic Party have each done an admirable job of helping to educate the public about constitutional modernisation.
As we saw through the district meetings the crowds usually weren’t too large and were certainly civilised.
We believe only those who are truly interested in constitutional modernisation would turn out to any public meetings between the UK, political parties and NGOs.
While we have been privy to hear from the PPM and the UDP on this issue, it would be nice to learn, publicly, what stance the UK has on constitutional modernisation.
Talks begin Monday and should last about four days.
Whilst the UK has said it would not object to meeting with members of the press after the talks are finished, we would hope that media houses would be able to join the public in these meetings and report on exactly what’s being said and the public’s reactions.
The more we all know about constitutional modernisation the better we will be able to make informed decisions on the referendum.