Referendum group: ‘A strong victory’

The grassroots group that began the petition drive for a referendum on the ’one man, one vote’-single member constituencies issue said Friday that public debate on the matter is far from over.

“As we have witnessed with this government, when the results do not accord with their agenda they resort to spin and confusion of the facts,” the group wrote in a statement issued on 20 July. “That is not democracy and therefore, of necessity, the public debate will continue.”

The group did not state whether it would consider any legal challenges to the referendum or what might happen with the voter petition which – according to some accounts – had received more than 5,000 signatures; nearly as many as the number of people who voted in the 18 July referendum.

The ‘one man, one vote’ group indicated that, in its view, simply assuming those who did not turn out for the referendum vote would have been against the concept was erroneous.

“[This is] not supported by any factual evidence,” the statement released by the group read.

“The people can claim a strong victory,” the group stated.

Despite not reaching the set figure of 50 per cent plus one vote or 7,582 registered voters, in either direction, ‘one man, one vote’ supporters may be justified in feeling that they actually carried the day on 18 July.

In George Town, 2,360 “yes” votes were recorded compared to 993 “no” votes: 70 per cent in favour of the referendum question.

In East End, 257 voters said “yes” and 79 said “no”; a 76 per cent majority in favour of the referendum.

In North Side, 335 voters said “yes” and 56 said “no” to the referendum; nearly an 86 per 
cent majority in favour.

In Cayman Brac, the vote was closer; 256 voters said “yes” and 203 voted “no”; a 56 per cent majority in favour of ‘one 
man, one vote’.

Results for West Bay had voters there narrowly rejecting the referendum question with 1,027 “yes” votes to 1,053 “no” votes. The ‘yes’ votes only got 49 per 
cent in West Bay.

In Bodden Town, there were 1,396 “yes” votes and 617 “no” votes; a 69 per cent majority for the ‘one man’ supporters.



  1. A victory? I don’t think so. Let’s do the math:-

    15191 registered and eligible voters in total

    8632 registered and eligible voters decided that the issue was important enough, so they voted

    5631 registered and eligible voters voted YES

    3001 registered and eligible voters voted NO

    Now in a democracy, you must count the entire registered voters of 15191, because they make up the whole Electorate.

    The fact that about 6500 of them stayed home or didn’t choose to vote, is significant. It raises the question as to WHY they didn’t come out to vote.

    In any event, the grassroot group for the OMOV would have to base their victory in that there were more YES votes than No votes. However, in reality, the 6500 that didn’t show up plus the 3001 of No voters, is a clear message that from the entire electorate, the Yes voters lost the referendum.

    That is a clear fact and really shows to all that the victory crown really goes to 67% of the electorate that didn’t show up and voted NO, resulting in the solemn fact that the 67% didn’t feel that it was time for such a change.

  2. In a democracy you count the actual number of people who vote, not the number of potential people who can vote…

    When you register to vote you are given the right to vote, not the obligation.

    If the non voters did not care to vote, they could easily be added to the tally of either side because you don’t know what they would have voted. This why you only count the number of people who actually vote.

  3. watersedge, there are advantages and disadvantages in what you are saying. If you really want to know the will of the people, you have to include the ENTIRE electorate. That is the only way you know the people’s will. On the other hand, if we were to follow the majority of voters, would we be able to know the will of the people? No. It would be the will of the majority, which is different from knowing the will of the entire electorate.

    This is how it is in our Constitution and other Constitutions in the world. It is how you interpret democracy to a voting process. I tend to prefer including everyone in the equation. Why?

    Because let’s say that all 14500 people stayed home and only 500 turned up and voted – 300 voted yes and 200 voted no… You don’t expect to pass a law for an entire country off of what 300 people want. Of course not.

  4. If we were to follow the majority of voters, would we be able to know the will of the people? My answer is I believe we would.

    As I said, you are given the right to vote. To use your example, those 300 voters chose to vote ‘yes.’ Those 200 voters chose to vote ‘no.’ The rest chose not to vote. You are grouping the non voters with the ‘no’ votes when in reality, their ‘vote’ was to not be counted because they were given the same right to vote as the rest of the voting population. They chose to be silent on the issue and hence not be counted in the tally.

  5. hmmm… I see where you are coming from, but remember a referendum is different than voting for a person you like. A referendum comes as a yes/no closed question, which lets government know if legislating a law would be supported by more than 50% of the entire electorate. That is very important, because it is to serve in directing the government on what/how they should legislate.

    Note that the bar was set at 7582, because that is one more of 50% of the the electorate population. The rule is to ensure that government makes a law that is supported by a substantially amount of people – not any majority below the bar, because that could mean less support from the people.

    In sum, the referendum result is to serve the politician so they will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a considerable amount of people behind them in their legislations.

  6. And I see you are coming from but my question is, what difference does it make if we are voting for people to put into office or a referendum?

    The exact situation could have happened in a normal election so why are there different requirements. That’s my only problem because there shouldn’t be.

  7. Elections are decided on the basis of who got the most votes out of those who ran in the election. Those who do not vote are ignored.

    The winners of elections – many of whom get far less than 30% of the total eligible votes in their districts are able to pass laws in Cayman that affect all of us, including laws that set the basis for referendums.

    It is ludicrous to suggest that a politician elected with 20% of the votes in his or her district should be able to impose a rule that more than 50% of eligible voters must vote in favour of a referendum proposal for it to pass.

    It is even more ludicrous when the politician with 20% support gets to set impossible thresholds for a referendum with the clear intent of continuing to stay in power with 20% support.

  8. Here is the difference, A normal election such as what happening next year is when the Premiers term has or is about to expire and he will no longer be the Premier. So people will vote for the next premier so the one with the most votes will win. Ina referendum like this it’s a question to the entire voting populous of whether they want a change to an existing law or process. They are two completely different situations and cannot be compared.

  9. Only in Cayman’s flawed and cockeyed democracy can the votes NOT cast be used as indicating no!
    Only in Cayman’s flawed and cockeyed society can they have a referendum on the rights of the individual to vote and NOT mention WOMEN!
    You lot should have a serious look at yourselves……….

  10. No one can say that the 6500 non-voters were against this referendum. Their opinion simply cannot be derived from this vote. An unknown is an unknown and cannot be tallied on either side. How many voters were off island? How many voters were too intimidated to vote? How many voters hadn’t made up their minds? No one knows why these people chose not to vote and to count them on one side or the other is disingenuous and unfair. A referendum is supposed to be a poll of the public opinion and we must look to the solid figures we already have – the official vote.

    Imagine taking a survey of public opinion where 1% of people are sampled. Would it truly make sense to arbitrarily assign the 99% nonparticipants to a certain opinion?

    Any referendum that has to meet the requirement of 50% of the electorate will be extremely difficult to pass unless it is a very passionate issue with near universal support. In that case, I would argue that the issue should have been remedied by responsible legislators a long time ago if they are truly in office to represent us.

    In addition, the cabinet has too much control over the referendum process with power to determine the date and wording. The cabinet could potentially manipulate the wording so the ‘no’ vote is always in their favour. They could delay a referendum for an extended period of time or hold the referendum at an awkward time for voters. There are many other areas that the elected cabinet holds too much power and we are in serious need of a balance of power in this nation. The only remedy is some serious constitutional revisions, but it will take a heroic administration to limit its own power. It should be obvious by now that the current administration isn’t up to the task. Many of them proudly opposed the constitution but haven’t done a thing to amend it.

    The cabinet, nonvoters and the premier currently have an absurd amount of influence over a people-initiated referendum. If this is the way that referendums are held in the Cayman Islands, then it needs to change. Apathy and autocracy shall not rule this country.

  11. The other day I heard a couple of people laughing/bragging over coffee about how easy it was to rig the thumbs up versus thumbs down tallies on here, and how hard it was on a competing online journal. Something about cookies.

    I paid no attention until I happened to notice this morning that whereas over the period of all of yesterday there was a small numbers of votes with the majority being supportive of OMOV on this story. Then suddenly this morning dozens and dozens of votes as many as 70, suddenly appeared over the space of just an hour all adopting the anti-OMOV position.

    I am beginning to believe that somebody’s supporters are doing on this site what was done in the referendum. Some seem to believe that if the actual views of the people don’t support your party’s position then you rig the system to make it appear that your views are winning.

    I suggest that your IT department looks at how people may be gaming your website otherwise at least part of your credibility is at stake.

  12. LOL Jose, What about Cayman News Service? They are just as bad. Practically everyday they have rating manipulations. So what you are saying is nothing new. The referendum results just showed to the world that CNS, praised as Cayman’s opinion base, is really support by less than 1% of the electorate. But one may ask, why so many thumbs down and thumbs up against whatever is named McKeeva Bush? Answer – It is a few people doing it. I study CNS and I can tell you, I see all like 20 comments coming from one person, making it appear that the status quo opposes it. Another thing, I notice the commenters on their site are antiCaymanian. If you ever talk about Caymanians without jobs and see the comments referring to Caymanians as this or that, you will know that these commenters all think alike. They are not an array of commenters.

    At least on this site, you have more pro-government comments, and that brings a balance, doesn’t it, which probably you don’t like. But if you don’t like that balance, you can always visit your people on CNS. Nothing is stopping you. 🙂

  13. Even though I voted yes in favor of OMOV, and even though I’m not a supporter of the Premier and disagree with him on most issues, I really wished the OMOV drive had simply waited like the Premier had originally suggested and combined the General Elections and Referedum in one next year, I think it would have passed easily as people would have had more time to educate themselves better on the issue better, like it or not the Premier outwitted the OMOV drive this time, but he should not be celebrating because in a democracy you have to be participate to be counted, not voting does not mean a vote no or yes! It’s simply means you didn’t participate in the democratic process!

  14. Apprentice – thank you for your reply and for the confirmation. As an older Caymanian I think that it is a sad comment on the decline of our society that any political group feels it necessary or even acceptable for them to manipulate this or any other news site to give the appearance of partisan support. We don’t need to have our news and their news do we? Isn’t that just another step on the road to garrison politics? Wouldn’t it be better for all readers and our community as a whole if people provided reasoned opinions backed by fact rather than spent time creating false impressions of support for any politician?

    I hope that the Compass puts a stop to the manipulation. If they know about any manipulation of thumbs up and thumbs down ratings by any political group and do nothing to stop it then the credibility of everything they do comes into question.

  15. Jose, I share your sentiments, but by the way your talking, it is like you were relying on this rating to show a true reflection of how Caymanians think or see an issue. My point is, we cant rely on these ratings to tell us anything. When I post I don’t care about my ratings because I already know truth always triumph over human design. Take care

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