We set out some of the points for the public to consider and we will expand on these in later releases.
First the political parties’ lust for more power is one of the main reasons why the Cayman Islands is now in political turmoil. The UK has said that if the politicians want a new constitution with more political power then the UK insists on a bill of rights (as one of the checks and balances on the massive powers to politicians) and rightly so. So it is the political parties not the UK who have brought on this upheaval.
With one of the worst economic recessions in international history and Cayman’s massive debt borrowed by both political party governments, they should be trying to help people get jobs and put food on the table for their families rather than going into controversial constitutional changes, which are tearing the country apart rather than uniting our people in these difficult times. We have constantly said that political parties will divide our Caymanian people and create hardship on them.
A good example of a failed project, which failed mainly because it was not introduced in stages, is government’s new accounting system. This government has no published audited accounts as required by law for the four years it has been in government. We recommended that the first stage be accrual accounting by central government. Once this was working, then introduce separate ministry accounting centres slowly and in several stages.
If you vote for this new constitution all at one time Cayman will have another disaster on our hands.
The new draft constitution takes Cayman one step away from independence. That is too close for comfort and will worry investors. The only next major advance is independence. It is always safer to advance one step at a time and not take one big leap.
Remember that there is no going back if the new constitution does not work. Once it comes into effect the trapdoor closes and we are stuck with it and for the worse.
PPM and UDP promised that there would be a clause in the new constitution for a mandatory referendum before independence. No such clause is in the new constitution, which leaves a referendum up to the Legislature to call it or the people to initiate one but there is no time limit within which the Legislature must call a people initiated referendum (clauses 69 & 70) eg, it could be one year after the request. This is dangerous and totally unacceptable.
Worse still PPM and UDP have passed a referendum law that was published with a clause for a majority of registered voters to approve the new draft constitution. However the UDP and PPM ministers and MLAs in the Legislature recently changed the bill to one half of the persons who vote which will allow a minority of less than one half of the registered voters to approve it. In a democracy you cannot have a minority binding the majority.
However, Section 70 of the new draft constitution provides for a people initiated referendum, which must have a majority of registered voters not a minority. How can UDP and PPM have a referendum by minority approve a draft constitution in which the referendum clause in it calls for a majority referendum on major issues?
It shows what political parties will do when desperate for more power.
Look at the political disaster in Turks and Caicos, which has a 2006 constitution that is the same in nearly all clauses (including the near absolute powers of the premier) as the new constitution UDP and PPM LA members voted for Cayman to get.
Is UDP following PPM on supporting the new constitution as it now appears?
Speaking generally, there is a saying that absolute power can corrupt absolutely
The constitution must be advanced in stages one step at a time and not by one big jump especially if the majority of people will have a new constitution forced on them by a minority.
The new constitution has not been properly explained to the public and many do not fully understand this complex document. If so then vote no and let the politicians do stage advancements.
Do not let PPM and UDP damage our democracy and our Islands. Vote for sensible independent candidates who owe no allegiance to a political party and are not subject to political party votes and party whips and who can more ably work for the betterment of the Cayman Islands.