Editorial for January 12: Councils bill is disappointing

The long awaited district councils in the Cayman Islands have now been
approved by Members of the Legislative Assembly.

And while the new Cayman Islands Constitution allows for the councils,
we don’t believe the makeup of those councils is exactly what everyone
expected.

A majority of those who voted in May 2009 approved the Constitution, of
which a section titled Institutions Supporting Democracy, makes provision for
the establishment of advisory councils in each electoral district.

What the new Constitution didn’t do was set out the rules and
regulations of how those councils should be formatted.

So, under the bill that was passed in the Legislative Assembly on
Monday, the council members will be appointed by Cabinet. Each council will
consist of a chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer and not more than
six other members, two of whom will be recommended by the Opposition.

Opposition members, as well as the Independent member from North Side, believe
the bill politicises the district councils. We agree. The bill gives the
sitting Government another tool to ensure that its policies, desires and wishes
are taken on board at a district level. It does absolutely nothing politically
positive for the Opposition of Independents; now or in the future.

We would prefer to see district councils formed and conducted like the
one in North Side where MLA Ezzard Miller has had success in forming a good
team and getting constituents interested in gathering for healthy discussion
and debate. But you really can’t blame the governing members for forming the
district councils in the manner they did. For them, it makes perfect political
sense. What we must remember that the PPM was the party that pushed – and pushed
hard – for the adoption of the Constitution, which came into effect in
November.

It is possible that they didn’t anticipate a UDP win in the May 2009
elections and had their own ideas about how the district councils should be set
up.

Would they have used the councils to their own political
advantage? Probably so, politics being what it is.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Duh !

    That Mac would have been the politician to be able and quite willing to manipulate the new system to his and his partys advantage, for me was a no-brainer…

    Once hed won the last election and become Premiere under the new constitution.

    The leopard does not change his spots.

    I dont believe that a PPM government would have been as manipulative with the implementation of the new constitutional powers and institutions as Mac has been or will be in the future but that is just my subjective opinion.

    Lets wait and see just how these district councils will be selected but Ill go out on a limb and say…

    My money is on that they will be overloaded with UDP members and supporters.

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