(CMR) Bodden Town West MLA, Chris Saunders, responds to the Premier Alden McLaughlin’s recent comments to another media house earlier in the week on constitutional matters.
Saunders recently raised the alarm about how constitutional changes were being proposed and corresponded with Lord Tariq Ahmad on the matter. The representatives have said that he has a fundamental issue with the changing of the constitution without putting those changes to a referendum vote.
In response to these criticisms, Premier Alden McLaughlin stated that he agreed with the previous Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller that the changes were not controversial. He did admit, however, that changes are at the same time not minor. Alden further went on to share with the Compass that:
“It’s never been an issue for anyone except Chris,” the premier said. “He’s concerned with politics and being an obstructionist.”
In response to this statement Saunders has shared the following on his social media account page:
In this article…the Premier accuses me of being concerned with politics…and he is completely right.
However, it is clear that the Premier does not understand the definition of politics. Simply put..it is the “activities associated with the governance of a country or other area”.
So am I concerned with the activities of the Premier and others in this regard? Absolutely!!
So am I concerned about the governance of our country by the Premier and others in this regard? Absolutely!!
The Premier went on to say that I agreed to all the proposed changes. While I will not stoop to the level of calling the Premier a liar, I am now concerned about his mental state. If he took away from our one meeting where I made it clear that I wasn’t supporting many of the changes because after almost 10 years there were no District Councils or Standards in Public Life…he is clearly confused. My question then is the same as it is today…what does adding one more Minister have to do with UK overreach?
Additionally..the Executive is currently made up of 7 Ministers and 4 councillors. Why do we need to move it to 8 Ministers and 3 councillors? Don’t we have more serious issues to deal with than having another Minister?
Based on what was also raised by both Arden McLean and Anthony Eden..it is next to impossible for the Premier to even think that there was consensus much less agreement amongst members of the Opposition on this issue.
The irony of this is that the Premier…when he was in Opposition… also agreed that a referendum should be held for any changes to the Constitution. Why the hypocrisy? Was he just playing politics then? Was he being an Obstructionist then?
The other irony in all of this is that the reason he claimed why my motion wasn’t accepted is completely different than what the Speaker told me. As a matter of fact, I have it in writing from the Speaker that my motion will be set down for the October meeting.
The article also stated that I provided screenshots of a WhatsApp conversation between myself and Alva Suckoo. That is not entirely accurate. The Screenshot was actually a Group chat conversation of ALL the members of the Official Opposition at that time. The only Opposition member that wasn’t on that chat was Kenneth Bryan. I am happy that I took the time out to put it in writing as quite frankly…I saw this coming.
The Premier also referred to me being an obstructionist. Well…let us look at the definition….It is the practice of deliberately delaying or preventing a process or change, especially in politics.
Based on the above definition…and considering the tactics being used by the Premier and his team against the CPR Group in exercising their Constitutional rights;
Based on the above definition…and considering the approach being taken to make changes to OUR constitution without public input;
Based on the above definition…and the continued failed policies that have continued to marginalized Caymanians and exploit cheap foreign labor;
Based on the above definition…and the continued failed policies that have resulted in Cayman having one of the highest cost of living in the world where many people are living paycheck to paycheck;
Am I an Obstructionist? You damn right I am!!
I agree with the Premier on that one.
I, like 10 other current MLAs campaigned against…and was elected…to oppose those failed policies.
The Premier may have convinced some of them to join him in supporting what they campaigned against…but not me.
I am not for rent!
I am not for sale!
What I am for is all of us coming together…working together..finding solutions together….to move our Islands…