No single-member constituencies in Cayman

 

In the next election, voters in George
Town will get two extra legislative representatives and those in Bodden Town
will get one more, Premier McKeeva Bush said Friday.

Mr. Bush confirmed in the Legislative Assembly that Cayman
would not be adopting single-member constituencies, despite an Electoral
Boundary Commission report showing that the majority of people who attended
public meetings of the commission favoured single-member voting districts, with
a one person, one vote system.

Under a proposed Electoral District Boundaries Order, Cayman
will retain its existing six constituencies, with six representatives in George Town, four in Bodden
Town, four in West
Bay, two in the Sister
Islands and one each in East End
and North Side.

Mr. Bush said the government had “no intention of changing
the way elections are done or boundaries are set from the last election. The
only change being accepted by government [is] we would add three more members –
two for George Town and one for Bodden Town.
Outside of that, this government is not making any other change.”

The new constitution stipulates that the government should
have 18 elected legislators – three more than there are currently.

The Electoral Boundary Commission was established to review
the voting districts and submitted its report to the Governor and the
Legislative Assembly last June, recommending the expansion of the number of
elected members for George Town and Bodden Town.

That report also outlined other alternatives, including
creating an additional electoral district in Prospect-Spotts, with three
elected members and creating 18 single-member constituencies.

The premier tabled the Electoral District Boundaries Order
in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, but the order was not debated as planned
after North Side MLA Ezzard Miller pointed out that the language used in its
accompanying schedule suggested that 17 single-member constituencies were being
established. The schedule was referring to
polling stations, but that was not clear from the title of the schedule,
legislators were told.

Attorney General Samuel
Bulgin said the language would be amended and the order would be brought before
the House again this week.

Although the debate was
postponed until Monday, there were some exchanges between Mr. Bush and Leader
of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin over the process of bringing the draft
order. Mr. McLaughlin also complained that Opposition members had not seen the
motion being brought by the government despite the report being available for
nine months.

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1 COMMENT

  1. If the Boundary Commission reported that a majority of people who attended public meetings favoured single-member constituencies, what was/were the stage(s) in between which permit the Government (the majority party, that is) to proceed without further investigation of the views of Caymanians as a whole?
    I may have missed something, but is it not said to be the case that single-member constituencies would weaken the of hold of the present majority party on for example West Bay seats?

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