The Premier took to the airwaves to address Caymanians on the results of the referendum vote on Wednesday and then proposed the most juvenile, half-baked and self-serving changes to the election law.
Let me deal first with his interpretation of the referendum results in which he takes the quantum leap of faith and makes the unintelligent and irrational assumption that all those registered voters who did not come to the poles would have voted NO.
In North Side, I have been given several reasons by registered voters as to why they did not turn up to the polls. These include sick at home, sick in hospital, off island, never votes for personal or religious reasons, too drunk at the party to vote, could not decide how to vote. Not a single person gave the reason that their not voting would count as a NO vote.
Unlike the Premier, I also have some difficulty in knowing that the dead would vote NO as the dead don’t speak to me.
Mr. Premier here are the facts:
Total votes cast in referendum – 57 per cent
YES votes of those cast – 65 per cent
No votes of those cast- 35 per cent
YES votes against registered voters – 37 per cent
NO votes against registered voters – 19 per cent
Electoral districts voting yes – 5
Electoral districts voting no – 1
However, I now understand that you and your advisers, using the same “green coloured glasses” applied to Government’s financial position that gives a surplus where none exists, could easily interpret the above results as a resounding NO victory for you.
Is there any wonder why you and your Government cannot produce a budget that can get approval from the UK, who no doubt uses real math.
The only time or reason that persons not voting are included is when calculating the percentage of those who voted against the total registered and eligible to vote.
There is no legal, ethical, moral or sensible method that allows those who did not vote to be added to the totals of either the YES or the NO vote to determine the winner.
Nor can the 43 per cent per cent of the registered voters who did not take part in the process be declared the winners. It is not normal or rational to declare non-participants winners, in an election, even when your analytical process includes the pagan deduction that dead persons voted NO.
Mac surprise, surprise, reality check, anyway you slice, doctor or manipulate the results you cannot declare a win and a rejection of the single member constituencies and one man one vote. To make the referendum a binding rejection, you needed to achieve 50 per cent plus 1 of the registered voters actually voting NO at the polls.
I concede the yes vote did not get 50 per cent plus 1 of the registered voters. What the results clearly show is that two to one in 5 out of 6 electoral districts, people voted for the introduction of SMC and one man one vote.
The best you or I can claim is that no binding decision was achieved by either group.
Now let me turn to your proposal to change the electoral system to 8 electoral districts, each returning two representatives.
Mac, you have just spent a lot of the people’s money on a campaign in which you claimed that system does not need to be changed, it’s not broken don’t fix it, the system work well.
You have gerrymandered the results of Wednesday’s referendum in a most extreme way to support your spurious argument that the people do not want a change to the system.
Then through some strange “in the body experience” you have now concluded that in spite of your Government’s interpretation of the results and your declaration that the people have spoken for no change, you now propose a change.
Your proposal to change to 8 electoral districts with equal numbers of voters – about 1,900 voters per electoral district – would lead to the following division of Grand Cayman using the latest Electoral Boundary Commission report.
West Bay – 2 districts
George Town – 3 districts
Prospect/Red Bay – 1 district
Savannah/Pedro – 1 district
Bodden Town/North Side/East End – 1 district
This may be your ingenious way to eliminate Arden and myself, the only two sitting members of the Legislative Assembly that you cannot intimidate, scare or who are not afraid to challenge your declarations, actions and proclamations.
However, knowing the people of North Side, East End and Bodden Town I would bet my dollars against your donuts that you will encounter some difficulties and resistance, even more that you did with the dock, on such a proposal.
These three districts are uniquely different in many ways and very proud of their heritage and I doubt it would be very difficult for Arden and myself to mount a substantial campaign against such a self-serving, ignoramus proposal.
This half-baked proposal does not address the principle of one man, one vote.
Fellow Caymanians, this is typical UDP style, claim to respect and love you, do whatever their self-interest determines and dictates, tell you it is best for Cayman and Caymanians, then change it before the sun rises on a new day, to accomplish only one thing — the deliberate, systematic erosion of our democratic process and destruction of our democratic institutions, all in the interest of them staying in power and ruling over us.
Take note, Mac, that the voice and democratic rights of the people will not be trampled by you, so that you can maintain power to their detriment and to the detriment of this country.
North Side MLA