Online Poll: Daylight Savings unwelcome

The question was about Daylight Savings Time: The answers were resounding; people either hated it or embraced it, and for various reasons.

Like the entire hundred-year international controversy about “DST,” clear answers have never emerged, splitting along lines of energy use, public safety, health, economic effects and inconvenience.

The most recent Cayman Compass online poll asked about support for government’s decision to move Cayman clocks forward one hour in mid-March next year, then back one hour in early November. The query drew 639 votes and 58 comments, and probably reasonably reflect wider public sentiment.

Precisely 43 percent of voters, 276, said “absolutely not” to the proposition.

Reasons offered ranged from: “a complete waste of time – the reasons given simply do not justify the hassle or the inevitable increase in power bills” to “Jamaica tried and abandoned it. It is unnecessary. I will NOT be changing my watch,” to “It will serve no useful purpose in Cayman. Even all the states in the USA don’t use it,” to “[I]t no longer fulfils any meaningful purpose except to match New York’s time for finance. Cayman finance has done very well thank you – on Cayman time.”

Another poll respondent said: “Don’t mention Australia. Their’s is a very confusing system. Some states use it, some don’t.”

A solid 35 percent of respondents – 224 votes – supported adoption of DST, calling it, for example: “A simple, easy ‘win’ for everyone. [It] makes good business sense for business – local, international and hybrid e.g. cruise tourism. Separate and apart from ‘mighty mammon,’ I, for one, will enjoy that extra hour of daylight in the evenings with my family for quality downtime …”

One voter observed that the closer to the equator, the less daylight is actually preserved: “Tropical locations sub-20 degrees latitude do not benefit by any daylight time adjustment.”

Another, however, saw good business sense in the move: “[L]onger daylight after work enables businesses [to] deal overseas in the same US East Coast time zone.”

And finally, while calling into question any energy savings, one voter said it would boost the economy for a variety of indigenous reasons: “Because it is logical and makes sense to be on the same time as the eastern US.

“While it is unclear if it saves energy, especially in regions with heavy air-conditioning usage, more daylight hours at the end of the day boost the economy by increasing outdoor activities like sporting events, entertainment, recreational activities, etc. One study also suggests that traffic fatalities are reduced when there are more daylight hours at the end of the day to drive home in.”

The response marked “I don’t care one way or the other” garnered 53 votes, 8 percent of the total.

“Leaning towards agreement” attracted 49 votes, a statistical tie, at 8 percent, with those who didn’t care, while 37 voters, or 6 percent, declared themselves “leaning toward disagreeing.”

Next week’s poll question:

Will last week’s resignation of FIFA’s Sepp Blatter finally clean up the organization? Explain why in comments:

Yes, it will help immensely

No, it’s a deeply rooted network that cannot be easily untangled

Maybe. The US Attorney-General is probing the corruption.

Not likely. Blatter’s departure is only symbolic

I don’t really care.