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Bodden and McLean speak out

The PPM’s motion of a lack of confidence (no confidence) in the UDP Government is a political maneuver. All the issues in that motion are normally debated in the throne and budget speech which debate was just two months ago. A vote of no confidence may be very serious and damaging and requires two thirds of the Legislative Assembly Members (MLAs) votes under section 51 of the new constitution, namely ten votes. PPM has only five votes, half those needed. We will have to wait and see how independent the independent candidate is on this motion.

A vote of no confidence, if passed, removes the Premier and ALL Ministers and a new election is usually called and can be damaging and disruptive, especially in Cayman’s debt ridden recessionary economy. The whole Government and all Ministers fall, not just the Premier, (under section 52(2) of the 2009 Constitution).  This is very different from the previous constitution under which the Legislature could remove an individual Minister and other Ministers remain.

In the 1988 to 1992 term of Government we were backbenchers. There were no defined political opposition or parties and all the backbenchers sat together on one side of the Legislative Chamber facing Ministers. Now political party members all sit on their party side which is divisive. The then Government, for nearly 2 years lost all their backbencher’s support and had only the four (4) Executive Council Members (Ministers) and the 3 Official Members out of the total 15 LA Members.

Our 8 MLAs could have removed the Government Ministers or any of them at any time by a no confidence motion passed in the Legislature as the Government had only 4 votes on such a motion. We could have blocked any laws, budgets or motions brought by the Government and we could have passed any laws or motions we wished. We controlled the Legislature and Finance committee.

However we put our COUNTRY BEFORE POLITICS and Power and decided that it was not in the best interests of and would have been damaging and disruptive to the Cayman Islands and the Caymanian people to remove the Government (which may have caused a new election to be called), so we worked with the Government which continued for its full four year term.

Unlike the previous constitution, the new 2009 constitution promoted by the PPM and the Ministers Association makes Political Parties’ Governments very powerful, erodes the Opposition’s and independent Member’s effectiveness (PPM Opposition are now complaining) and can hurt the Cayman people. The more power Governments get the less protection the public has!.

The PPM opposition is talking about abuse of power on the delayed bringing of questions and motions to the Legislature. One complaint in the PPM’s no confidence motion is UDP’s “Failure to get Government accounts up to date” What a joke! PPM Opposition MLAs recently voted to change the law to WAIVE 3 years of PPM Government’s consolidated accounts on about one and a half BILLION dollars of spending and hundreds of millions of dollars of loans and borrowings. That is an abuse of the public’s rights for such audits of the spending of the public’s money to be waived by the politicians who spent their money. When the PPM was the Government they also delayed motions and questions at times.

PPM’s problem is that they thought they would have been the PPM Government and Premier this term but the public’s votes and the UDP stopped them, and hopefully with PPM’s past excessive spending, borrowing and weak leadership they will not be another Government in future.

The new constitution promoted by the PPM has given excessive power to the Premier and the Ministers and now the PPM (and the public) must live with this mistake. UDP Members control the votes in the Legislature and they decide when to answer questions and debate motions. Nothing is new about this!

The PPM should have put POSITIVE motions which set forth SOLUTIONS to the problems which their no confidence motion raises especially those that the PPM Government caused, such as the huge borrowings of the PPM Government, excessively expensive two new schools, administration building and roads the PPM Government built on private land.

The PPM Opposition and the Independent MLA need to stop whining, withdraw the no confidence motion and assist the UDP Government (as they did to waive the 3 years of PPM consolidated annual audits) to solve the many problems of the Cayman Islands including unemployment, increased crime, temporary classrooms in schools (eg. some 7 were at George Town Primary School for several years), roads in need of repair, unaudited consolidated accounts since 2005 and the massive debt and spending that the last PPM Government left for the UDP Government which is burdening our children and future generations.

Truman Bodden                John McLean


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