Editorial for 25 July: Let’s have a real election debate

Politics has often been called the art of compromise.

Democratic debate is difficult, often painful. It can lead
to hurt feelings on all sides; sometimes it creates enemies.

All of that is acceptable, as long as it leads to
statesmanship and a decision that the majority believes is right for the
country.

Statesmanship is needed now in the Cayman Islands, perhaps
more than it ever has been.

It is obvious the issue of what Cayman’s electoral system
should be is a major point of political debate for the upcoming May 2013
elections.

Premier McKeeva Bush has started the ball rolling with what
might be described as a compromise proposal, dividing Grand Cayman up into
eight multi-member voting districts, each returning two members to the
Legislative Assembly.

At this early stage, we’re not sure if this proposal is the
right thing for the country.

There are many other options to be considered, of course,
and what Mr. Bush proposes certainly would not lead to the adoption of
single-member constituencies – although it is still possible the concept of one
man, one vote could be worked in to a multi-member constituency scenario.

What we would like to see – not necessarily to be completed
before the next election day – is a full review of all potential voting systems
the Cayman Islands might use.

We would like to open our editorial page and website comment
sections to anyone who has an idea they want to share.

It’s obvious to the Caymanian Compass at least that voters
want some change from the current electoral system.

To get where we need to be let’s put all heads together,
stop the long-accepted practice of personal attacks on people who dare question
something someone else believes in and have a real live policy debate about the
future of this country.

We are a small country under the thumb of the Mother
Country. Now, more than ever, we need to be pulling together.

 

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Editor, don’t you find it just a tad bit strange that on 20th July you reported the premier as saying:

    This was not an advisory referendum. We have acted in accordance with our constitution and so the result is binding

    They said ‘stay the course, don’t dismantle the system,
    and yet less than 48 hours later he announces a proposal that ignores the BINDING referendum which said don’t dismantle the system to offer a proposal which would completely dismantle the system and replace it with one which is entirely novel?

    If as he claims the people resoundingly rejected any change to the electoral system and he is bound by the referendum result(which he says was not advisory) which he says resoundingly rejected any change what possible authority does he have to propose such a change? Is he defying the wishes of the people? Or did he change his mind about how the referendum result should be interpreted so that it is indeed advisory and a substantial majority who voted wanted single member constituencies? Or did he realise that he is in political trouble and is trying to repair the damage? Is it a way to eliminate his two harshest critics in the L.A. by combining their districts with Bodden Town?

    We deserve answers to these questions. Until he can answer them candidly it strains the credulity that this proposal is a reflection of statemanship rather than political cunning.

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