Boundaries would give more seats to GT, Prospect

The
three-person commission created to add three new elected members to Cayman’s
Legislative Assembly has recommended more representation for the Islands’ most
populous district.

The
2010 Electoral Boundary Commission recommended three possible alternatives
rather than a single, specific plan.

The
commission 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 election is expected to occur
in 2013, but no date has been fixed. 

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

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.

According
to data compiled by the Elections Office, the difference in the number of
eligible voters between West Bay and Bodden Town had shrunk to less than 300 by
April 2010.

The
commission noted that the first 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.

A
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 same number of
representatives to the LA as they do now.

This
option, the commission stated, would help avoid some of the difficulties that
would be caused by single-member voting districts in the Cayman Islands.

“(Single
member districts) tend to over-represent the majority party and under-represent
other part(ies),” the commission said.

However,
it was noted that most Caymanians who gave testimony to the commission
supported the creation of single-member constituencies.

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

This
third plan would require both West Bay and George Town to be divided 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-member
constituencies.

The
advantage here, the commission stated, was that voters could easily identify
their chosen representative – and directly hold that person accountable. 

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

1 COMMENT

  1. They hired a commission to come up with "ideas" that we are going to have to hire another commission to implement. I am used to this. What I cant figure out is whose idea it was to add another 3 members to the legislature. I know, I know it is in the Constitution and becasue it was voted into "action" I am supposed to accept whatever comes my way. Okay so it is in the Constitution, but do we need to implement it right away. To add three more members will add $500,000.00 per year in salary not to mention perks. We cannot sustain this.

    As far as I am concerned this island is too small for such large representation in the house per capita. I also believe that it is this "district against district" voting that has created this mess that we are in now. If I am not mistaken we now have 1 member of the house for every 1000 voters, and this surely has got to be the only place in the world that this is the case. I know that as long as we put it to the voters that I will never have the right to vote for whichever politician I feel will best lead the country. Is that "one man one vote"? Just call it what it is, "Election" and dont run a "Popularity Vote"!! This is what is happening.

Comments are closed.