Three members of the People’s Progressive Movement and
Ezzard Miller gathered the press together last week for a two-hour complaint
session. They say the government is not allowing the Legislative Assembly to
hear their private members motions or answering their parliamentary questions,
thus threatening the democratic system in the Cayman Islands.
Let’s examine how much time it would take to hear only the
seven outstanding motions. If only five of the 15 Legislative Assembly members
spent their allotted two hours to debate the motions, it would take 70 hours of
the House’s time. With the inevitable
late starts and longer than allotted lunches, the House – unless it suspends Standing
Orders and goes late – conducts at most five hours of business a day. Since it
only sits four days a week, it would then take more than three weeks just to
hear all of those motions.
And for what? The
opposition doesn’t have the votes to carry any motion the government doesn’t
like, especially motions of no confidence.
Every government – and this includes the previous PPM
administration – has ignored some parliamentary questions and private members’
motions. The opposition saying it is a threat to democracy in the Cayman
Islands if their motions are dealt with is a wild exaggeration. It’s also hard
to believe their ability to speak is being infringed upon when their complaints
get headlines in the newspaper, which is ultimately what this exercise was all