He continued: “That nah happen.”
… Beg pardon?
As a seasoned veteran of Cayman’s Legislative Assembly, Mr. Miller surely realizes that a man in his position — that is, neither in the Progressives majority nor the Cayman Islands Democratic Party minority — is in reality in no position at all, when it comes to issuing edicts about the elected government’s possible actions, including changing election laws to reshape the boundaries of the district one has grown accustomed to representing.
“There is something afoot,” Mr. McLean said. “[Opposition Leader] McKeeva [Bush] talking about conspiracies; this is the conspiracy he needs to talk about.”
In fact, Mr. Bush did talk about said “conspiracy” on Tuesday evening during a public meeting in West Bay. More to the point, he singled out North Side and East End as patent violations of the concept underlying “one man, one vote” that each of our country’s lawmakers should represent, and be voted in by, roughly the same amount of people.
The position that Mr. Miller and Mr. McLean have staked out, that their diminutive constituencies ought to be as off-limits to redistricting as Bodden Town is to the dump, is one most accurately described in terms of entitlement. For when Mr. Miller and Mr. McLean argue for the preservation of their districts’ boundaries, they are actually arguing for protection of their political livelihoods.
Neither of those motivations — historical nor personal — is germane to the issue at hand, which is whether Cayman should change its long-standing system of multi-member electoral districts, and, if so, what the new system should be. The government’s Electoral Boundary Commission is pursuing the option of splitting Grand Cayman into 16 small, single-member districts (with the Sister Islands retaining their two representatives, as prescribed by the Cayman Islands Constitution).
Something that is of practical immediacy, however, is identifying precisely who is in charge of this operation. Here’s a hint: It’s not Mr. Miller or Mr. McLean, nor is it Mr. Bush. It’s not the Electoral Boundary Commission, either. The issue of what to do about “one man, one vote” is in the hands of Premier Alden McLaughlin and his government. To borrow a phrase from former U.S. President George W. Bush, they are “the deciders.”
The utterances of any other legislator, consultant, committee member or newspaper Editorial Board constitute, ultimately, nothing more than public input that Mr. McLaughlin and his government may or may not choose to consider as they make their decision.
With that in mind, we’ll continue to offer our thoughts on this important topic as it continues to be discussed within Cayman’s halls of power. We won’t, at this time, present our single “ideal” system of voting for Cayman — if such a thing even exists. We also aren’t sure that a definitive argument has been made that would compel Cayman to take leave of its current multi-member system at all.
If a change is to be made, we would argue that any new system should adhere to a few basic principles: equality (in terms of individual voter’s “bang for their ballot”), inclusiveness (as opposed to divisiveness) and efficiency (which could very well mean having fewer districts, not more).
Although much talk will be devoted to where and how to divvy up Cayman according to invisible lines, the overall vision for Cayman must be of one, united country, made up of one, united people — not of three separate islands, or six disparate districts, or 18 members of the Legislative Assembly.