Editorial for 18 June: Why did you vote for it?

The passage of the Constitution was hailed in May 2009 as a historic step toward the future for the Cayman Islands government and its people.

We at the Caymanian Compass often wonder, then, why no one ever seems to like anything that’s written in it.

Members of the People’s Progressive Movement – the ruling government at the time the Constitution was drafted – have since claimed it didn’t actually end up giving Cayman the territorial autonomy they intended it to in some instances. For this, they blame Britain.  

North Side Member of the Legislative Assembly Ezzard Miller believes the Constitution requires a “one man, one vote” provision to be enacted. Yet he’s having to force a referendum to try and get the issue passed; he blames the current elected government for that.

The casual observer will hear grumblings all along the marl road about “this darn Bill of Rights” that the Constitution is bringing into force [most of it anyway] later this year. Presumably, voters knew the bill was there but they also tend to blame the UK for “forcing it” upon the territory – the results of the May 2009 balloting aside.

And now, according to preliminary results from our newspaper’s most recent online poll, a large majority of people don’t want 18 elected representatives in the Legislative Assembly – as the Constitution requires – they want to keep the number of reps at 15.

We can only deduce that a sizeable number of Cayman voters didn’t really understand what they were supporting in 2009 when they voted for the Constitution Order.

Too late for crying over spilt milk on this issue, we suppose. However, we point out that another referendum regarding “one man, one vote” is coming up next month.

We would like to take this opportunity to urge voters to take their time, research the matter and please, understand what you are supporting. The 18 July vote should not be about a single person or party.

It is the entire future of the territory Caymanians will decide.



  1. Well, well…

    The chickens have indeed come home to roost, as some of us said they would.

    This is a bit of a strange editorial, to say the least but it does ask a very relevant question…

    One that was answered by many a letter to the editor to both Caycompass and Caymannetnews, when this constitution was being negotiated.

    A number of those letters were written by myself, under my own name, repeatedly warning Cayman’s voters to NOT VOTE for the constitution as it was presented and drafted.

    The basic reason being that the PPM Govt of the day, had not conducted an EDUCATIONAL program on the constitution but a PROPAGANDA campaign to promote it…

    And as usual, a majority of Cayman’s voters fell for their bait, hook-line-and-sinker; the wise minority were still fair 4,000 strong number, a credit to themselves and those of us who encouraged them to do the right thing.

    If I remember correctly, Caycompass stood on the fence on this one, and did not take a confirmed position either way, for or against; Caymannetnews was quite the opposite, a vocal advocate for it.

    In any event, what’s done is done and cannot be reversed and hopefully Cayman’s voters/citizens have become a little wiser through this process.

  2. Caymanians get what they always deserve. Everything must drop into their lap. No one wants to read the constitution for themselves, while many are too lazy to attend the meeting that were held explaining the constitution asking for public input. Who is to blame? Caymanians and no one else. Caymanians are now campaign nationwide explaining one man one vote, who will they blame when it is passed? of course the UK again even though Ezzard and Alden are the architects of this petition.

    I conclude that the best thing that could happen to this territory is if the Bible were our constitution and Jesus Christ was the Premier that Caymanians would still blame the UK for passing legislation that would save us all from destruction and eternal hell.
    We can not please this group of people, no need to try, for they are always looking to blame someone else for their problems, if its not the expats, its the churches, if its not the churches, its the Premier, or the PPM or the UDP.

    Its time each and every voter take responsibility for the way they vote and the calibre of people they allow to run this country that does not have the interest of everyone at heart.
    Its all about money, greed and hunger for more power, whether ppm, UDP or Independent, power is what wicked men want.

  3. It was after the fact that many people understood the PPM vague statement in the constitution spoke of territorial autonomy. So vague was this hidden agenda that it had to go back for re-interpretation.. Luckily the answer was no, or we would now be up the creek without a paddle with two blind captains blaming each other for throwing away the compass.

  4. I voted for the 2009 Constitution quite simply because it was better than the 1972 Constitution. It did not contain a Bill of Rights or a voting system (OMOV) that was to my liking, but those same flaws were in the old constitution as well.

    What the new constitution gave us was a clear understanding of who was in charge, and who must be held responsible. Under the old EXCO system of members with equal powers each one could disavow knowledge of, or tacit approval of what the others were doing.

    Whether you like him or dislike him, and I tend towards the latter, McKeeva is ultimately responsible for the paving of private parking lots in Cayman Brac, and Juliana, Mark, Mike, and Rolston must now share collective responsibility for that as well.

    In the same way that the 2009 Constitution was a better choice than the 1972 constitution, One Man One Vote is far superior to our present system of voting. Anyone who disputes that is either ignorant or being mischievous.

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