2011 Constitution Day Address
Premier The Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP
My fellow Caymanians and all residents in these Islands…
It is my pleasure to bring you greetings on this Constitution Day holiday. The Constitution Secretariat has chosen Embracing our Constitution as the theme for this year – and it is surely a most appropriate one!
The direct and indirect ramifications of our constitution range from human rights concerns, particularly for the young and for the vulnerable, to the effects of global economic variances. But however diverse the implications, the sage advice holds true: continue to embrace the pillars of democracy as enshrined in our constitution.
The rationale for such advice should be readily evident, but nevertheless bear repeating: As the highest law of any country, a constitution enshrines the rights of a people and sets the parameters of government. This is why countries seeking to ensure democratic governance commemorate their constitutions with special holidays, as we do today.
Yet I also emphasise that we should always hold fast to the foundational values which grounded our forebears, for they have served us well thus far in Cayman. But, like anything else, our new document will best function only if we continue to monitor and nurture it – and yes – even revise it when necessary.
We know that change is inevitable, not just in our personal lives, but for governments and economies everywhere. In fact, things today seem to be moving at an ever-accelerating pace, and, as has been often-repeated, individuals and countries alike must embrace modernization, or risk being left behind.
Whether it is the application of the latest computer technology, or keeping up with global developments, we are all on a fast track. So, Cayman, like elsewhere, requires all hands on deck in order to keep pace with the currents of change.
Accordingly, the Caymanian people will continue to have opportunities to provide input into the workings of the new constitution. This especially applies to the expanding opportunities for civic involvement in government, for instance, on the Constitutional Commissions, Ministerial Councils, and District Councils, all of which allow wide public participation in government.
So, even as you enjoy the holiday, please take time today – and during this week – to refresh your understanding of our vitally important national document. Contact the Constitution Secretariat, visit the website, talk to a neighbour; whatever it takes, stay in touch with your governing document.
I trust that this weekend, you will all embrace and appreciate the safety, peace and comfort we enjoy, and not take them for granted. Instead, recommit yourselves to kindling your sense of national pride…the best protection for any constitution.
May God bless you and our beloved Cayman Islands.