Editorial for 25 June: Position on ‘one man, one vote’

 Our readers often ask us when or if the
Caymanian Compass will take a position on the issue of “one man, one vote” and
single-member constituencies.

The newspaper has long since taken a
position on the concept. From our 27 April editorial: “We would simply say that
something is indeed inherently wrong with allowing one person who lives in
George Town to vote six times while another person who lives in East End may
vote but once. In short, the proponents of the “one man, one vote” system have
won this side of the argument, in our humble view. What they haven’t done, and
what should be determined (hopefully) prior to the 18 July referendum, is
whether the new proposed system of 18 (or 17?) constituencies will be an
improvement over the current multimember system. Of this, we are not
convinced.”

We do not believe that enough consideration
has been given to the practical issues raised by what voters are going to
decide. The below questions are just a small percentage of the issues we
believe should be decided before any vote is taken on the single-member
constituencies proposal: Should all 18 voting districts contain roughly the
same number of electors? Is the system fair if they do not, or are we simply
moving from one unfair system to another? Should candidates have to live in the
district in which they are running? The constitution does not currently require
this. Will there be a recall measure for candidates who don’t do their jobs?
Will term limits be set on the single-member district MLAs? Will there be any
at-large constituencies? If not, who will be looking out for the good of the
territory as a whole? Should the premier be elected by the entire territory,
rather than on the basis of a few hundred votes in his/her district and then by
selection of their fellow legislators? Will an even number of legislators cause
difficulties? Should there be 17 or 19 instead?

As the reader will quickly observe, there are
massive issues raised by this proposal for change. It is our concern that few,
if any, have been thought through by supporters of the 18 July proposition.

If their answer is “we’ll just leave these
matters for the next government to decide”, well, sorry folks, but that is
unacceptable for so crucial a national matter as changing the nature of our
democracy.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. THE HIDDEN TRUTH CAYMANIANS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ONE MAN ONE VOTE

    I am supporting the one man one vote but from afar off and I’ll explain my reasons why.

    The one man one vote serves well as a secret weapon to curtail the coat tail effect of what for decades has occurred particularly in the district of West Bay.

    The one man one vote will serve well to a certain degree to allow candidates to be elected as the true choice of the people and not someone else. This is the positive side.

    But here’s the negative side and a reality check;

    In my opinion the negative effect I think the one man one vote can have on Cayman’s grassroots society and can threaten Caymanians from making their political decisions, which could very well wind up in the power of expatriates.

    We cannot talk one man one vote without talking about immigration. We’re talking numbers here, the 100,000 surge in population planned by the present government is not to be taken lightly and synthetic rapid growth should not be encouraged. Caymanians are already being disenfranchised, and outnumbered. We must face reality; our work permit and immigration boards are continually coming under fire from expats who keep demanding more and more citizen or resident rights and each and every request is heard. Consequently, immigration policies are drafted and put in place to meet their every demand.

    The expats; a demographic that keeps winning their wars while Caymanians seem to lose every battle. My fear is that an initiative serving non Caymanians and Corporate Cayman led by the Chamber of Commerce who keeps butting into our political affairs; will sooner begin to lobby in a European court or forum despite what the constitution says now, to benefit expats and empower them politically.

    The advocates of this one man one vote petition is not telling the whole truth.

    Caymanians could sooner than later be forced to change our constitution to suit foreigners seeking political power in the Cayman Islands; making them candidates, despite the criteria already outlined in our constitution with the one Caymanian parent by birth. The one man one vote will encourage non Caymanians to segregate and build their own communities WITHL FULL OCCUPANCY of various electoral boundaries! And expat leaders and politicians will emerge from within those communities and the entire face of our legislature will change possibly within a 4 to 8 year period. Where will that put us, on a reservation or in political control? This is definitely a Dudas effect.

    Will we run right into what we fear the most? Since we are outnumbered Caymanians won’t even be elected anymore. Foreigners will run the country, we’ll have a foreign legislature and a foreign born premier that will look out for his own people? The one man one vote can come back to bite us.

    Everything that glitters is not gold.

    Caymanians cannot allow the Chamber of Commerce to talk for them nor represent us politically.

    Florida is a prime example of the chaos that takes place with a one man one vote system where there is a strong presence of expats that outnumber the citizens or grassroots natives.

    Miami, Florida is a city in the state of Florida of the United States of America.

    Cubans have in great numbers influx US immigration on the shores of the state of Florida and particularly the city of Miami Florida next door to Cuba. As a result other Latino and Hispanic nationals have followed suit from many countries and have taken up residence in Florida. The grassroots Americans black and white have had to run out of Miami Florida and they are now a minority.

    The worst case scenario. If you do not speak Spanish, you are not guaranteed a job there is much racial and national discrimination.

    And the most dangerous and ridiculous case scenario is that the CUBANS NOW CONTROL POLITICS and could possibly become Vice President as Mitt Romney’s running mate should he succeed in his run for the presidency.

    This is what Caymanians will be facing as if their plight is not bad enough already.

    EDUCATED CAYMANIANS SHOULD NOT CONVINCE THE LESS EDUCATED THAT CAYMANIANS WILL NOT GIVE UP POLITICAL POWER IF THE ONE MAN ONE VOTE SYSTEM SHOULD SUCCEED.

    TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH, BUT DO NOT TRY TO HOOD WINK THEM , SOME OF US KNOW BETTER.

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  2. @Liverpool:

    Where are yourr facts to back up the following:

    -Caymanians are already being disenfranchised. — How?

    -Our work permit and immigration boards are continually coming under fire from expats who keep demanding more and more citizen or resident rights and each and every request is heard – How?

    -a demographic that keeps winning their wars while Caymanians seem to lose every battle… Which battles are these?

    -Since we are outnumbered Caymanians won’t even be elected anymore — How is that possible when non-Caymanians do not have the right to vote.

    -The grassroots Americans black and white have had to run out of Miami Florida and they are now a minority. — Racist much?

    And finally, just curious how you can say we when you are commenting from afar off? How’s life treating you in another country — do you have the right to vote there being an obvious expat?

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