To borrow a phrase from Lewis Carroll,
matters with regard to Cayman and the United Kingdom’s relations are getting
“curiouser and curiouser”.
We heard on Thursday from Premier Juliana
O’Connor-Connolly that the UK wishes to have observers here during the May
general election; a proposition to which the premier is not necessarily opposed
as long as the observing is done by a diverse array of individuals and is done
in conjunction with the local Elections Law.
We find this request from the UK quite
curious indeed, given the fact that at least a couple of instances where
problems had been alleged with the voting process in 2009 were reported to the
authorities and basically nothing was done.
One instance involved allegations of
interference at a George Town polling station by representatives of a
particular candidate. This incident was not kept silent, but was reported to
the local police and covered by the local media. Presumably an investigation
proceeded, but nothing came of it as far we are aware.
A second instance involved a very public
legal challenge to the election of Bodden Town representatives Mark Scotland
and Dwayne Seymour. This challenge involved whether the candidates had properly
filed their interests by the required deadline prior to the May 2009 vote.
It ended up being revealed that the two men
hadn’t done so on time, but the court challenge was squelched because it wasn’t
filed timely either.
All of this is just to say that it appears,
at least to us, that the proper processes in place for dealing with alleged
election irregularities were utilised during and after the 2009 elections. How
those processes were carried out by the police and the court system – both
under the complete purview and oversight of the governor and thereby the UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office under the 1972 Constitution that was in effect
at the time – is not a matter Cayman’s local officials have much control over.
We have to wonder, then, who it is that
needs the observing in this case?