Commission: GT needs more representation

The
2010 Electoral Boundary Commission has recommended that at least two, and
possibly three more seats in the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly be given
to the George Town-Prospect area before the country’s next general election.

The
recommendation comes following a two-month review by the three-member
commission. Cayman is required by its new Constitution to add three more
representatives to the governing body.

However,
the commission did not specifically state one plan for how those new legislative
seats should be created. Rather, it has presented three options that Governor
Duncan Taylor and members of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly can
consider.

The
first option, according to the boundary commission’s report, would be to keep
Cayman’s current electoral districts as they are and simply add two more LA
representatives in George Town and one more in Bodden Town.

That
would give Cayman a total of 18 elected members in the LA: six in George Town,
four in West Bay, four in Bodden Town, two from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman,
and one apiece from East End and North Side.

However,
the commission noted this option “highlights the unevenness of the power of a
George Town voter to influence the government of the day”. In essence, under
the first scheme, a George Town resident could vote six times in one election,
while someone from North Side could vote only once.

To
dilute that influence, the boundary commission suggested that the creation of a
new electoral district – called Prospect-Spotts – be considered.

Under
the proposal set out by the commission, this new Prospect-Spotts voting
district – located between George Town and Bodden Town- would get all three new
seats in the Legislative Assembly. Cayman’s other six voting districts would
then continue to send the exact same number of representatives to the LA as
they do now.

As
a third option, the commission stated that single-member constituencies could
also be considered as an alternate.  

This
third plan would require both West Bay and George Town to be broken into four
separate voting districts, the new Prospect-Spotts district and Bodden Town
would be broken into three districts each, Cayman Brac would be separated into two
districts, and North Side and East End would remain single district
constituencies.

The
commission’s report can be submitted, with or without modification, to the
Legislative Assembly for approval following a review of the report by the
governor. Any modifications to the commission’s recommendations would have to
be explained.

Please
see more on this story in next week’s editions of the Caymanian Compass…

 

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