A parliamentary motion seeking the establishment of a new electoral system in the Cayman Islands has been approved by the Speaker of the House and is available to be heard in the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly – expected sometime in September.
The private members motion, filed by East End MLA Arden McLean and seconded by North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, urges government to bring legislation within three months of the motion’s passage that would change Cayman’s voting system to single-member districts, giving each elector one vote apiece no matter where they live in the Cayman Islands.
The motion, which was discussed last week by Mr. McLean, but which had not received House Speaker Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s final approval, essentially “calls out” local politicians who touted support for “one man, one vote” in the run-up to the 2013 general election.
“Whereas the majority of candidates contesting the general election of 2013 campaigned that they supported single-member constituencies and the first-past-the-post [election] system for the Cayman Islands,” the motion reads.
“A number of new candidates in the general election of 2013 launched their political careers on the ‘one man, one vote’ committee which spearheaded a country-wide signature drive in support of the referendum for ‘one man, one vote.’
“The People’s Progressive Movement, which won the majority of electoral seats and, consequently, formed and now comprises the current government, campaign on and promised single-member constituencies and the first-past-the-post system for the Cayman Islands, if elected.”
A similar motion brought by Mr. McLean to the House earlier this year ended in a draw vote, six legislators for and six against, that had to be broken by the Speaker herself, who cast the deciding vote against. Mr. McLean states in his motion that the resolution of the first vote on the matter did not receive a “definitive resolution.”
Premier Alden Mc-Laughlin indicated after the first Legislative Assembly vote on the motion that there appeared to be no consensus on the issue and that his Progressives-led government might not have enough time to deal with the issue of electoral reform prior to the next general election in May 2017.
Cabinet is expected to discuss the one man, one vote issue on Tuesday.