September 25, 2020

One Man One Vote is virtually impossible to receive a “yes” vote says Alden

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Alden McLaughlin, PPM Leader

The referendum bill was passed on Thursday (10) in the Legislative Assembly without the change proposed by the People Progressive Movement’s (PPM) to lower the threshold for the question to carry. The referendum bill was ‘high jacked’ by the United Democratic Party (UDP) government away from a people’s initiated poll to become a government initiated one but they still made the threshold (50 per cent of the electorate plus one vote) a people’s initiated poll requirement. Under a government initiated poll the requirement for passing is a majority of the voters who turn out. This means 7,550 persons will need to vote “yes” on Referendum Day, Wednesday 18th July.

Mr. Bush, however, denied the accusations that he has deliberately rigged the referendum vote against it being a “yes” vote. Even when he said government had made it as fair as possible he then pointed out with much force and verbiage his reasons against the principle of single member constituencies.

PPM Leader of the Opposition, Alden McLaughlin, was not impressed and said, “The government has now completely hi-jacked this process and will be placing its full weight and resources against the question to make sure it fails. Government has emphatically stated its position against one man, one vote (OMOV) and have polarised the environment. Things have now turned out very differently from what should have been a people’s poll. The Premier has made it virtually impossible for the yes vote to carry.”

Despite this, McLaughlin, said he was not giving up on the campaign and neither was anybody else. He then warned about the problems civil servants would have in voting. Only people going to the polls would need to vote if they wanted to vote “yes”. They had a very real fear they would “suffer consequences of doing so.”

“Some 1,900 more people would need to come out and vote in this national poll than in Cayman’s very first referendum for the constitution,” McLaughlin added. “It is important to recognise exactly what Mckeeva Bush has done with this process. He has done all he can to ensure its failure.”

Ezzard Miller, Independent MLA

Independent MLA, Ezzard Miller, a huge supporter of the OMOV, was more optimistic because the day had been called a national holiday. He also agreed with Mr. McLaughlin, saying, “By having a majority of electors needed to past the vote and not a majority of turn out, the ‘no’ voters can stay home as their vote was now irrelevant. The only thing that will count now is the 8,000 ‘yes’ voters. I urge the people to make history by carrying the vote regardless of government’s efforts to prevent the introduction of one man, one vote. Be proud to brag to your children and grandchildren that you were one of the 8,000.”

 

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