There was a minority government during the 1988 to 1992 term. At one time the Backbench (now Opposition) had eight (including ourselves) of the 12 members of the Legislative Assembly, which left the government with the four members (ministers) only. At that time there were three official members also who had full voting rights in the LA and Executive Council (Cabinet) who now have had their vote taken away by the new constitution.
We could have removed the government at any time. However in the best interests of the Cayman Islands, we chose to work with the government over three years rather than remove and replace them. This was a mature decision in the best interests of our country. Hopefully a mature approach will be taken by the present Independents and Opposition over the next few months.
We and the government of 1996 to 2000 also faced a similar situation to the recent change of government but we were able to reach agreement with the minister to take leave of absence initially and then to resign later. The premier chose not to follow this procedure this time. In 1997 the country had minimal adverse effects if at all.
However the new 2009 Constitution and the dominance of political parties and the taking away of the vote in LA and Cabinet from the three official members have changed that position to Cayman’s detriment. The premier’s powers are near absolute and the whole government falls if the premier resigns or is removed. Cayman is then without a government. This can be damaging and bad for Cayman. Why should one man’s power or importance be so great that it can destroy a whole government! The previous constitution allowed the leader of government or any minister to be removed without the whole government falling.
This excessive power to one man can be damaging in Cayman and should be changed. We will set out again some of the changes to our constitution to put in the needed checks and balances.
We support the new government. The new premier has about 12 years experience as a minister and is a qualified attorney at law and a qualified teacher who has the ability to lead the new government.
We believe that the governor’s decision to reject the Opposition and premier’s groups request to dissolve the LA was the best decision and definitely in the interests of the public and the Islands and we commend the governor for taking this bold decision to protect good governance.
Now that it has been seen how much unrest, hardship and division the party system has caused in the Cayman Islands, we hope enough Independents are successful in the upcoming election so that we can return to a peoples Government where the good ship Cayman can sail again in calm seas.
The Cayman Islands now needs a period of normality and we pray God’s guidance to the new government and backbenchers to achieve this.