One man, one vote takes centre stage

Debate brings out all sides of the issue

Both sides of the ‘one man, one vote’ debate were vigorously aired Thursday less than a week before a scheduled national vote on the issue.

The debate hosted by Generation Now was held at the Harquail Theatre Thursday night. 

The discussion, which was paid for by the Cayman Islands Government, featured proponents of the one man, one vote referendum;  North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, People’s Progressive Movement candidate Wayne Panton and David Kirkaldy, president of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce. 

United Democratic Party MLAs Ellio Solomon and Rolston Anglin comprised the representation for opponents of the One Man One Vote referendum. 

This was the second debate on the issue, which will be the subject of a referendum held on 18 July.

During the debate, a bevy of questions were directed at the panel, including whether it was accurate to say the current voting system had proven itself to work in the best interest of the people for over 180 years.

Mr. Panton said it was inaccurate to say that the current system had been in place for 180 years, when in fact the current system had only been in place since the 1959. He said prior to this there was a system of magistrates and vestries and women and people of colour could not vote. “This is not comparing apples with apples,” said Mr. Panton.

Mr. Solomon told the audience that he felt the system that the Cayman Islands has today is one that serves the people best, despite what is now on the table as a referendum. “We should not be looking to divide the Cayman Islands into 18 pieces,” as the Territory was too small to practice that kind of politics, he said.

Mr. Kirkaldy said the Chamber of Commerce felt that ‘one man, one vote’ would force members of the Legislative Assembly to state their positions on all issues and lead to greater accountability, as opposed to members simply towing a party line.

A question directed to Ellio Solomon about the feasibility of a national vote for members and the Premier was met with agreement by the member from George Town. However, the topic was opposed by Mr. Kirkaldy, who said adding such an argument to the discussion would only “muddy the waters,” as it is not a part of the referendum.

All panellists agreed that single member voting districts would further entrench the two party system of government, but would fragment the parties to begin with.

With regard to the use of public funds by the government to campaign against its own referendum, the members of the UDP government said this was necessary to educate the public on the issues regarding the referendum.

The debate took an unexpected turn when a member of the audience went into a rage after he felt his country of Jordan had been disrespected by one of the panellists. The man warned the panellists to not disrespect his country, at which time Mr. Ezzard Miller called for his removal from the theatre. The matter was dissolved after several tense moments and the gentleman was allowed to remain for the balance of the discussion. 

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone that has lived overseas should honestly make every effort protect Caymanians from this dangerous OMOV. Dr. McField a Sociologist should lead the way, and explain why.
    Its time politicians tell the truth and lets see how many of them are willing to sign a sworn affidavit to the truth in detail, about what really happens where the one man one vote is the system of voting is concerned and exactly where it will really take Caymanians.

    Does anyone have any idea why we now have Little Haiti and Little Havana in Miami, Florida?
    It is a direct result of the electoral boundary system that pushed these national demographics to the very top of the political power once held by Americans!

    They have elected themselves into government and they are in charge,changed the local people’s history and now there is; A Haitian Mayor in N. Miami, and dozens of Cuban Legislators looking out for Cubans who rule Miami Florida with an iron hand.
    These people are immigrants from Communist Cuba IN CHARGE OF US local and state GOVERNMENT! I say this without bias or prejudice in hope of showing Caymanians the true picture of what they are facing with this rushed OMOV petition that should be replaced by a NATIONAL VOTE that has no restrictions on voters or where they live and who they can vote for.

    Americans are now the Indians on a reservations and almost a dirty word, because of electoral boundary division, they can’t even get a job! These new national demographics people have full control of the local and state commerce and they have the jobs tied up!
    Because they are now the GOVERNMENT!

    THAT IS WHAT ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES WILL DO FOR CAYMAN if you follow Mr. Ezzard Miller and Arden Mclean. You cannot listen to people who have their own interest in mind! They have never lived in a fully operational single member constituency where the entire country is governed by, only in their little district. That is not enough experience, to push this OMOV down the people’s throats.

    Is getting rid of the premier and 3 West Bayers more important than keeping political control in the hands of Caymanians?

    I hope I don’t have to come back with I TOLD YOU SO!

    ON JULY 18TH, VOTE NO!

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  2. Sorry, but I can’t help but not notice- How in the world did we ended up with a Jordanian, an Arab speaking on Cayman’s behalf at a panal discussion?

    I mean the presumptiousness of being from another country, and speak down to leaders. If I was in his country, do you think I would be around to tell the tale?

    Thank You, Ezzard for putting this man in his place. I believe he is the same man that likes to blog on sites, praising UDP for all the socalled good works they have done.

    He is not from here. More than a thousand miles away. He should sit down and keep quiet!

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  3. Tiger, I can also say the same negative things about the National Voting system. Which countries you see using that system that is better off than the countries not using it?

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  4. A National Vote is the way to go! People who have lived or live where one man one vote system is implemented have horror stories to tell Caymanians about how Foreigners have taken over their electoral boundaries because they outnumber the locals and push them out of the state or even their own city where they were born or raised. Ezzard, nor Arden are in a position to push this dangerous OMOV down their throats. Neither is Austin nor Gilbert qualified to push it down your throat. The foreign journalists and the Chamber are on board because this is the non-Caymanians dream come through. Gordon Barlow that is famous for name calling Caymanians Stupid Idiots may indeed become the first Expat Premier if Caymanians are blindsided by Ezzard Arden and Wayne Panton on this dangerous voting system. You will regret it as you lose political power to Expats!

    July 18, 2012 VOTE NO

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  5. Liverpool, under a National Vote system, the majority will rule the day. What happens to the sister islands and smaller districts? What happens when all the MLAs come from West Bay and George Town, then what?

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  6. At the heart of the problem is the two party system. I ask, Where are the statesmen of the past? They have been replaced with politicians who pander to their core constituencies, spending the public treasury into the red. Everyone’s third cousin is a Minister of this, that, and the other thing. Talk about a bloated government deep in red ink. Today’s problems are a direct result of the two party system.

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  7. We simply need a National Vote.

    It allows me to vote for whom I desire to represent me and I can live where I want to live.

    On Wed. July 18, 2012
    VOTE ‘NO!

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