Letters to the Editor: Checks and balances needed

The new constitution is already
being considered for amendment. We repeat several of the checks and balances to
protect the public’s interest, which we set out in our press release of 14 May,
2009, which are not in the new constitution.

We recommended that the following
three numbered paragraphs should be subject to a compulsory and mandatory
referendum of at least one half of the registered voters before changing the
constitution (hereinafter referred to as a democratic referendum).

1. Repayments of principal and
interest of all Government, statutory authority and subsidiary companies
borrowings (hereinafter called total Government borrowings) and not just those
for which the core Government is legally responsible shall not exceed 10 per
cent of the previous years’ recurrent revenue. Further the total Government
borrowings shall not exceed in aggregate 80 per cent of the previous years
annual recurrent revenue (emergency short term temporary borrowings with a
limit above this to be approved by the UK Government). The 10 per cent restriction
was in an early draft of the constitution but removed by the politicians. We
believe that similar limits in the public management and finance law were
breached by the last Government and thus the present Government.

The excessive borrowings are not
from the world economic recession but a decision of the last PPM Government to
build the very expensive two new schools, new administration building and the expensive
highways (apparently the land under some of these has not been paid for by
Government yet).

The core government estimated
interest on borrowings for the year 2010/2011 will be $32.8 million and
repayments of borrowings are $32 million totalling $64.8 million! This will
increase considerably in future years! The estimated revenue is $507.7 million.

The new constitution leaves it to
the Legislative Assembly at the politician’s discretion by a law to set the
percentage, which has no upper limit and which is agreed by a secretary of
state within generally accepted accounting principles.

2. No change to the constitution
without a democratic referendum. The 51 per cent registered voters for passing
the new constitution was removed by the LA from the proposed law and a majority
of voters who voted substituted. It is stupid and probably unprecedented to
give power to the Premier and Leader of the Opposition to decide which
constitutional changes are minor or uncontroversial for the Legislative
Assembly to recommend to the UK for change without a referendum. They cannot
even agree on the amendment for the extra minister!

3. No direct (income) or land tax
and no gambling legalization and no power by Cabinet or any politician to grant
Caymanian status or permanent residence or similar rights without a democratic
referendum. Why did not the Cayman Ministers Association require this for
gambling?.

We will cover public disclosure of
contributors’ names and amounts to political parties and MLAs, the new
constitutions failure to make mandatory democratic referenda for matters of
public importance and other checks and balances in the public’s interest in a
subsequent letter.

The PPM Government rushed through
the new constitution at the time of the general election and failed to put in
the necessary checks and balances to protect the public from the new extensive
political power given to the Cabinet and Premier. As in other Caribbean
islands, unfortunately the public will pay a high price for being led by the
PPM to pass the new constitution without these and other checks and balances,
which we advised were necessary to further protect the public and future
generations.

 

John McLean

Truman Bodden

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Truman and John you both are still mad at Kurt and Alden for ousting you two terms ago. You are talking out of two sides of your mouth.

    One side is saying you blame the PPM for our financial ails. then the other side you are saying that the Premier is indeed a dictator. That we agree.
    When you had your chance as an attorney to oversee the constitution you just sat in a corner and pouted, pointing fingers at Kurt.
    If you are indeed a leader then why as an attorney did you not file a document to delay or ask for more time as you are saying now.
    At least we have something we can build on. the US constitution was amended l3 times we’re just getting started, use comon sense, we know you’re smarter than that.

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  2. Tiger

    I like this.

    I’ve read Mssrs Bodden and McLean’s letters over the last 3 or so years and they’ve had some important things to say but when the chips were down, they stood on the fence on the really important issue.

    Some of us could figure it out for ourselves but they could have provided a neutral voice with all the advice they’re offering now that people would have listened and paid attention to and been more informed when making their decision.

    The truth is; they’re still not calling a spade a spade.

    Its time influential people like themselves quit repeating what the problems are and start offering some solutions !

    Good post.

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  3. I would like to say that as a concerned citizen the first draft constitution in 2001 DID NOT ALLOW MORE THAN TWO OR THREE TERMS leader of Govt. Business.
    reason being:
    To deter or prevent A dictatorship government and premier! It is the millions of hands including the Ministers Assosciation that interfered with the original draft by the concerned citizens in 2001. The constitution was just fine in 2001 when the Concerned Citizens delivered it to Mr. Arthur Hunter the Comissioner of the Constitutional Committee for reveiw by the UK. This constitution just enacted is unrecognizable! They chipped it away to almost nothing. That’s just how dumb they are.Where these NGO’s came from I do not understand. For it was a hand full of concerned citizens about 5 to 6 people that amdnded the l972 constitution in 2000 enacted in 2009.
    IT IS ALL THE EXTRA HANDS WHO hardly even knew what a constitution was THAT SPOILED THE POT! At least we have something to work with and amend as needed.

    Editor’s note: This comment had to be edited for legal reasons.

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  4. If there’s anyone that can run the country in a conservative manner wherein we feel the public purse is safe it is Mr. Truman Bodden indeed.Why is he publishing articles now, he should have run for office.

    Between he and Mr. Ezzard Miller there is some hope.
    However if any one should be premier right now as you read this comment it is Mr. Truman Bodden and I am sure he can put the country back on its feet financially. All we have is Ezzard right now already elected.
    If Mr. Bodden is not willing to run in next election,then I hope the voters are smart enough and get Ezzard Miller elected again and into the seat of the Premier.
    Right now there’s no one else on that island as a projected candidate for such a post but these two gentlemen.
    The problem is are the voters smart enough to see this.

    I have a word of advice for Mr. Truman Bodden. DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE TO DECLARE YOUR CANDIDACY.
    START CAMPAIGNING IN 2012 AT LEAST A YEAR AHEAD. LAST MINUTE DECLARATIONS FROM CANDIDATES ARE FRUITLESS. ITS NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR NEW VOTERS TO GET TO KNOW YOU.
    SO DON’T BLOW IT YOU GOT SOMETHING GOOD GOING FOR YOU.
    And Oh! don’t bring back all that bad baggage you had last time. Leave them at home. We need you not them.

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  5. That is true. The group that did the first amendment to the constitution in 1999-2001 ALSO included protection for the people from a dictatorship government. TWO OR THREE TERMS ONLY WAS ALLOWED the Leader of Govt. Businessor the premier.The legal language in the constitution would PREVENT A DICTATORSHIP GOVERNMENT. That is a fact I saw the draft. Somehow Kurt Tibitts or McKeeva Bush himself and a lot of NGO’s who came out of the wood works what for I do not understand as it turned out it was purely for selfish reasons since a lot of needs for individuals were overlooked. The concerned citizens included everyone. When the group were successful with the constitution the UDP took control of the group and its leader all except one lady in George town who would not be controlled or dictated by him. I guess you all know who dat is?
    But they did not intend for the constitution to be eroded as all these NGO’s including the Ministers Association to exclude the rights of some. That is not even the nature of the group.
    The constitution was perfect when handed over from the Cayman concerned Citizens to Mr. Arthur hunter Comissioner of the Constitutional Committee.

    We need to thank them for their hard work, but we need to give others a piece of our mind for messing with their original amended draft which we would all have been very happy with.
    Thank god for a half a loaf if not all, we’ll just go back to the oven and bake more bread by amending the constitution as needed to ensure the protection of the people from its government and at the same time ensure civil liberties.

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