Referendum delay offers chance for Christmas truce

Silent night: Calm waters in Hog Sty Bay on a recent evening. - Photo: Stephen Clarke

On the eve of the first Christmas of World War I, so the story goes, German and British soldiers laid down their weapons and for a few brief hours came together to celebrate, share food, sing carols and play football.

While we are not about to suggest a CPR vs. CIG soccer match-up, we offer our full support for a Christmas truce on the increasingly rancorous port debate.

The delay to the referendum, which stems from a court decision last week, has been met with mixed reaction.

Some celebrated a chance for changes to a referendum they perceive to be unfair. Some were disappointed to lose the chance to vote sooner rather than later. Some simply want it all to be over.

Whatever camp you are in, the delay offers an opportunity for the temporary laying down of arms.

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Over the past months as the debate has heated up, so have the levels of animosity.

The port vote risks becoming Cayman’s Brexit or its Donald Trump moment – a poll that divides families and ends friendships.

The question of whether or not to build a cruise port in George Town is an important one which involves significant value judgements and it is right that people are exercised over it.

But reasonable minds can differ and it is possible to disagree passionately without the level of hostility we have seen in some of the discourse on this issue.

Over the past six weeks, we have dedicated the Compass Issues section to covering every aspect of the debate in the build-up to the poll. With the referendum now delayed to a date yet to be determined, we are putting our coverage on hold.

The postponement of the referendum may not be what everyone wanted, but it offers the chance for the community to pause for breath and, at least for the Christmas season, to remember that there is more that unites us than divides us.

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