Bernie Bush quits government

West Bay legislator Bernie Bush said he would be switching sides of the house and joining the opposition benches after speaking out against the port project Tuesday night.

Bush, the last legislator to speak, during a lengthy debate on the port Referendum Bill, said he had polled his constituents and could not find more than two that supported the project.

He said he was not willing to back the development.

“I must follow my conscience,” he said, adding that he did not want to be involved in a project that he believes risks causing significant environmental damage.

He said he would be switching to the opposition bench as a result.

“When I sit down I will be moving across to sit by the member from Savannah (opposition legislator Anthony Eden)… I guess if I go across there I will probably lose the post on the Public Accounts Committee, but if that is so, that is so,” he said

“I cannot with a clear conscience take a chance that I could be part of the destruction of the environment. The father and grandfather in me does not allow me to compromise my principles. So I will end as I began 19 years ago by saying I am not for sale and I am not for rent.”

Bush ran with McKeeva Bush’s Cayman Democratic Party at the last election. It was not clear Tuesday night if he intended to stay with the party or become an independent.

Premier Alden McLaughlin responded briefly saying he was “unsurprised” by the move.

He told the Cayman Compass later Tuesday evening that the only surprise was that it had taken so long for Bernie Bush to “formalise” his separation from government. He said Bush had never attended government caucus despite being urged to do so.

“On the contrary he has consistently spoken publicly against government policies and voted with the Opposition. His physical departure from the government benches has been expected for some time. I hope he finds his place on the Opposition benches more comfortable and productive and I wish him well.”


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  1. And the first domino falls…

    This Unicorn government was always a table wobbling precariously on two legs, those legs being political convenience and a lust for power at all costs

    I can’t say that I agree with many of Mr Bush’s politics, in general I could probably count the number of members of the LA that are even remotely palatable on one hand ( and I would’t be scared to lose a few fingers) , but I will give credit where it is due, leaving this government and likely the CDP displays political courage and maturity the likes of which is rarely seen in these islands
    This departure is a stunning indictment of the process we have seen playing out over the past 6 years of Alden Mclaughlin’s tenure as Premier. His leadership is feeble and reminiscent of a house of cards, waiting for even the slightest wind to collapse the entire structure,

    Mr Bush to his credit seems to have maintained his autonomy rather than falling into the comfort and wholesale backpedaling that other members of the government backbenches have taken too. I wish they all shared his convictions

  2. After watching the bravery, composure and truth to power spoken with conviction by each member of the Opposition, I am literally proud to tears of Deputy Speaker Bernie Bush who showed heroic bravery while eloquently justifying his move to leave the Government side and join the Opposition! I do pray for more to join him soon. I am enormously grateful for his boldness of confession: that he recognized the potential for massive wreckage this plan is likely to cause and acted selflessly for the better future of his grand children and all of Cayman. This is how all Statesmen (who serve the people before self) should respond to such epiphanies. The Opposition in general and Bernie specifically are absolute heroes in my book! I still hold our Government in the highest regard and expect that they mean well, but I must say that on this particularly destructive port plan of still-massive dredging, these six men Opposed have risen to the challenge and performed magnificently. They did their homework and it showed. It has been hugely inspiring to watch. The CIGTV’s coverage in the Legislative Assembly is one aspect of our Government’s transparency that I very much appreciate. Hats off to our Government as well as the Opposition for our front row seat at the debate. May it be God’s will that is done in this very first people’s initiated referendum. Be it NO or YES, take pride in using your democratic right to make your mark on Referendum Day, {the date of which might yet change).