More than 61 per cent of the respondents to last week’s cayCompass.com online poll, excluding those who said they couldn’t vote, said they do not support the government’s recent suggestion of changing Cayman’s electoral system to nine, two-member constituencies.
Although 467 people took the poll, 97 people – 20.8 of the total – said they could not vote in the Cayman Islands. Of the remaining 370 people, 171 people – 46.21 per cent – said they didn’t support the suggestion because they wanted single-member constituencies, something that failed to get the necessary number of votes for passage in the 18 July referendum.
“This proposal is simply a ploy by [Premier McKeeva Bush] to retain as much of the current system as he can,” said one person.
“No, because the Cayman Islands districts are small, therefore one constituency is enough for each district,” said someone else. “The Cayman Islands does not need a big government.”
“UDP … we are not blind any longer,” said another person. “It is one man, one vote and single-member constituencies sooner or later.”
Another 57 people – 15.4 per cent of the total excluding those who said they couldn’t vote – said they didn’t support the suggestion because they like the election system the way it is now.
“We definitely need to get rid of the party system as it is causing too much hatred and unrest between the other party and the people,” said one person. “Teams or independents are much better than parties, because they are more free to express their own personal feelings and can vote their conscience. We need better statesmen who are honest.
We need dedicated men and women who will listen and take sensible sound advice and have the country and the people at heart.”
“Government does have any funds now,” noted someone else. “This would only mean more funds are to be paid out to members of the Legislative Assembly and their salaries are already to high.”
Ninety-three people – 25.1 per cent of potential voters taking the poll – said they might support the suggestion, but they needed more information.
“Typical government ‘let’s have two where one will do’,” said one person. “If it achieves equality, I’ll accept the silliness of the proposal just to placate our puerile, fragile premier.”
Only 36 people – 9.7 per cent of potential voters participating in the poll – said they supported the idea.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s a step forward,” said one person.
“I think it solves the problem of people having different amounts of votes and also makes each voting district large enough to avoid the ‘garrison’ politics that some people are worried about,” said someone else.
Thirteen people – 2.8 per cent of the total number of respondents – responded ‘other’ to the question.
One person suggested keeping the districts with the same number of representatives there is now, but not with single member constituencies.
“We can not afford this and it does nothing to enhance democracy except to ensure that the prospects of getting elected will be more better for some,” said one person.
“I live in Bodden Town and do not want to see my district divided up. [Now] I can go to any member to discuss my concerns, but under the proposed arrangements, I am limited to one member.”
“Whichever way reduces the number of MLAs and their bloated wages,” said someone else.
Of the 97 people who said they couldn’t vote, several left comments.
“If I could vote, I would vote for single-member constituencies,” said one person.
“I can’t vote here, but if I could, it certainly wouldn’t be for any idea of McKeeva Bush,” said someone else.
“Who cares? This place is so messed up,” said another person.
“It doesn’t matter,” commented one person. “It won’t change the quality of the candidates.”
Next week’s poll question
What is your opinion of the effect of party politics in the Cayman Islands?
They are great for the country
They are good for the country
They are bad for the country
They are terrible for the country
I don’t know