October 19, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Wily Bush’s ‘One Man, One Vote’ statement. Ezzard and Arden reply

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You have to hand it to our premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush – he is one wily politician. With signatures on the petition for a people initiated referendum on ‘One Man, One Vote’ steadily mounting, the premier cleverly announced on Friday (24) government would hold a national ballot at the same time as the 2013 May General Election.

Mr Bush said in his release to iNews Cayman that “the United Democratic Party government will hold a referendum on ‘One Man, One Vote’ at the May 2013
 general election.”

He added that this was a previously stated position of the UDP and the benefits of holding the referendum as part of the general election next year would avoid duplicating “costs at a time when there is tremendous pressure on public finances.” The premier stated that if the one man, one vote passed at what would be a 2013 referendum, this allows for an orderly implementation of the system. “Furthermore the call to have such a referendum this year obviously does not have the support of the leader of the opposition given his comments,” referring to an article published in another
news media.

However, both North Side and East End MLA’s, Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean are sticking to their position that the national ballot on ‘One Man, One Vote’ must take place in November BEFORE the May 2013 general election. They said it was: “nothing but a naked attempt to stymie the current petition process.

“We remind Caymanians that the premier has made this promise before and has not delivered. In 2003 as leader of government business, he expended considerable public funds to have the Electoral Boundaries Commission draft up the 18 single member constituencies in preparation for the 2004 elections, only to abort the implementation for his own political expediency, in spite of his party’s support for 
its introduction.

“The premier then offered to placate the PPM who supported the introduction of ‘One Man, One Vote’ by introducing it for George Town as a test case, again only for his own political purposes. This never happened and the premier is now merely offering up yet another empty promise on this matter.”

Although conceding there would be a cost to the country in holding the referendum they said, “The benefits achieved by winning the referendum are certainly worth the money spent. How much is too much to allow Caymanians to express their democratic rights
 and freedoms?”

The organisers of the petition have said they are already past the half way mark to collect the 3,800 signatures they need to trigger the constitutionally enshrined people-initiated referendum.

No one can say politics in Cayman is dull. I came in this morning wondering what I was going to write about in my editorial?

Thank you McKeeva.

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