“For the purpose of elections to the Legislative Assembly, the Cayman Islands shall be divided into 17 electoral constituencies.”
“EACH ELECTORAL CONSTITUENCY SHALL RETURN ONE MEMBER ONLY.”
“The boundaries shall be those set out in the Second Schedule to this constitution”. (Section 70 of the Draft Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2003.)
The same section was in the Cayman Islands (Constitution) (Amendment) Order 2003 section 28B.
Why, when and by which previous Government was the draft one man one vote constitutional requirement changed?
The local Constitutional Commissioners’ 2002 report recommended one man one vote as the peoples wish and recently the Electoral Boundary Commission report also recommended it.
The new 2009 constitution was promoted heavily by the PPM Government (not the UDP) when the PPM members were the majority in the Legislative Assembly at that time. The PPM could have saved or put back in the one man one vote section similar to the 2003 draft constitutions if they wished. Further the PPM Government could have changed the Elections Law to introduce one man one vote before the 2009 elections or immediately after. They did not.
Now that the PPM Opposition elected members are a minority in the LA and cannot change the law, the PPM Leader says that the PPM is for one man one vote and will introduce it (presumably for the 2016 elections) if the electorate votes the PPM into the LA with a majority in the next elections. Why did not the PPM do this when they had the power to do so! The public is tired of political tactics.
The UDP Opposition was not a promoter of the new constitution and was not in a position to change anything in it without the PPM Government’s agreement or vote in the LA.
Generally, political parties do not like EQUALITY of voting because it may weaken the political party stronghold and allow more independents into the LA. Prior to 2001 the voting system was less important on this matter as there were no political parties and no political party Governments and so it was not a real issue of pressing concern.
The PPM got the support of the Cayman Ministers Association and the 27 supporting church congregations for the new constitution without having an equality of electoral voting provision in it, mainly by certain amendments to the Bill of Rights. For the first time many churches openly took a major political position and without whose support the constitution may not have been approved in the referendum. Historically, most churches have kept out of politics.
In our next letter we will show further inequality in political party governments. The people-initiated referendum needs a majority of all registered voters to pass but the political party governments referendum needed only a majority of the voters who actually vote for it to pass.
The PPM promoted the Bill of Rights in which one of the main principles is EQUALITY. One of the most fundamental rights is the right to vote, which is NOT EQUAL in the new constitution. How could the PPM and others support a Bill of Rights and constitution that does not have equality of voting?
We believe that the voters should send a message to the politicians by supporting the people- initiated referendum petition for one man one vote. The people should also initiate another referendum to put in place the constitutional checks and balances that the public needs to protect them and their money.