New elections map goes to governor, assembly

The redrawn electoral boundaries map for the Cayman Islands was presented to Governor Helen Kilpatrick Thursday, formally marking the end of the British territory’s third effort to change its voting districts since 2003. 

The report of the 2015 Electoral Boundary Commission was presented to the clerk of the Legislative Assembly Thursday afternoon as well, leaving the approval of the new voting maps in the hands of the Legislative Assembly. 

Commission chairperson Lisa Handley, an American political scientist, said the earliest local lawmakers could take up the question of approving or rejecting the commission’s report would be at the next sitting of the House – tentatively set for late September. 

Earlier draft maps of the new voting boundaries, which seek to change Cayman’s elections system to single member voting districts, depicted 19 separate districts, creating one more MLA seat than currently exists. 

Ms. Handley was asked whether the final version of the boundary commission’s report made any significant departures from the ones released for public review in late June. 

“You have a pretty good idea what to expect,” she said. 

The draft maps contained seven single member districts in what is now the multi-member voting district of George Town, four single member districts apiece in what are now Bodden Town and West Bay districts, two single member districts representing Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and retained the boundaries of current single member districts East End and North Side. 

Governor Kilpatrick said she was “very happy” with the public review process for the voting maps used by the Electoral Boundary Commission, although she did manage to get a paper cut handling the large rolled up district maps after they were presented to her by Ms. Handley Thursday afternoon. 

“It all went very smoothly, and for an extensive consultation, that takes a lot of work in organizing,” Ms. Kilpatrick said. 

Premier Alden McLaughlin has said he intends to put the change to single member districts in place ahead of the territory’s 2017 general election.  

The change proposed will implement the principle of “one person, one vote,” taking away the ability of voters in the larger multi-member districts of West Bay, George Town, Bodden Town and the Sister Islands to elect more than one representative to the assembly. 

Governor Helen Kilpatrick, second from right, receives the report of the 2015 Electoral Boundary Commission from members Steve McField, chairperson Lisa Handley and Adriannie Webb. - Photo: Jewel Levy
Governor Helen Kilpatrick, second from right, receives the report of the 2015 Electoral Boundary Commission from members Steve McField, chairperson Lisa Handley and Adriannie Webb. – Photo: Jewel Levy
0
0

NO COMMENTS

  1. All this will do is further divide the country into even smaller groups that will appear to be mostly based on perceived social class because of where people are living. I am also not convinced that we can say that this approach has achieved the objective of equal representation unless every single member district has roughly the same number of voters.
    What we should be doing is trying to reduce the size of the political arm of government; but instead what this proposal does is unnecessarily increase the salary expenditure for government at a time when the country is actually trying to reduce that expenditure. How can we talk about reducing the head count in government at the same time that we are adding numbers to what is arguably the most unproductive arm of government?

    0
    0