Poll shows little optimism for referendum

If the results of the most recent caycompass.com online poll are any indication, the constitution agreed to by the governments of the Cayman Islands and UK last week may face an uphill battle for approval in a referendum.

Only 43 of 260 respondents (16.5 per cent) to the two-week poll that ended Wednesday said they thought the ongoing constitution modernisation process would lead to passage in the referendum schedules for 20 May.

Another 28 people (10.8 per cent) thought the People’s Progressive Movement government would simply approve the constitution without a referendum.

Neither of the segments of respondents who thought the constitution would be adopted one way or the other made any comments about their response.

The largest segment of respondents – 111 people or 42.7 per cent – thought the constitution process was heading to the scrapheap without a referendum even taking place.

‘When the PPM realises most voters are going to vote no, they’ll cancel the referendum and cite technical problems,’ said one person.

Another 44 respondents (16.9 per cent) said they thought the new constitution was heading for rejection in a referendum.

‘I don’t think the people are ready for this yet,’ said one person.

‘I think the people are going to reject the PPM’s constitution, just as they are going to reject the PPM in the election,’ said someone else.

‘It will probably be too detailed for most of us to understand, and our fear of the unknown will vote for the status quo,’ said another person.

Interestingly, of the 87 respondents who said they thought there would be a referendum on the constitution, 43 thought it would be approved and 44 thought it would be rejected. Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has said in the past that approval of the constitution in a referendum would require ratification of at least a simple majority of 50 per cent plus one for approval.

Another 34 people (13.1 per cent) responded ‘I don’t know’ to the poll question, one of the highest numbers responding in such a way since the caycompass.com online polls started in 2005.

‘It depends on all aspects in the constitution… and if indeed the draft represents and reflects the views, the culture, the morals and the Christian values of the people,’ said one respondent.