Editorial 18th July: The winds of change blowing

 To those who chose to leave the comfort of their homes and go out to the polls to vote in the One Man One Vote Referendum, your country thanks you.

For those who chose to stay home and refrain from voting – for whatever reason – shame on you.

The percentage wasn’t there for the one man one vote issue to become the law of the land. However, the number of people voting yes is a clear indication that now is the time for real, practical discussions to begin about how we elect those who make the laws that rule the Cayman Islands.

The vote on this issue was pushed and premature, but there is enough support there to at least warrant further discussion.

We totally understand why government decided to have the vote in July instead of November – as had been first declared – or even during the general election next May.

This was not a people-led referendum; it was a government-led initiative.

The Caymanian Compass has said all along that while we agree with the concept of one man one vote, more education should have been done, along with less rhetorical debate.

All registered voters should have been thoroughly educated on the pros and cons of both sides of the coin before going into the voting booth on Wednesday. That would have taken longer than calling a vote in July when families are away on holiday and, frankly, too many registered voters didn’t have it clear in their minds exactly what they were voting on.

Those who were against one man one vote can call Wednesday’s vote a victory, but it is hollow. By the same token, the vote on Wednesday can’t be called a clear mandate for those who support ‘one man’ simply because enough people didn’t bother to cast their ballots.

We believe that the numbers – while not outright approving one man one vote – are a clear mandate that there needs to be clear and concise debate about the electoral system in the Cayman Islands.

The winds of change are beginning to blow in our country. Let us all work together to ensure that change is the best for all.

 

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