Your recent editorials criticising one man one vote and advocating a change to islandwide elections are in my view to be commended. To divide such a small electorate into historical districts is bound to throw up anomalies and result in some good candidates with island-wide support losing out by thin margins in some districts. Unless the current system is altered, this will happen again and the Cayman Islands will be the ultimate loser.
Small constituencies focussed on historical districts also serve to perpetuate regional competition and divisions in a small community which should be avoided. What passes for democracy in the U.K. or the U.S. is irrelevant to what is best for the Cayman Islands and we should seek to put in place a democratic system to reflect our circumstances which results in good and stable government for everyone at national and district level.
I would suggest two matters for consideration: Firstly national islandwide elections with one islandwide constituency be held every four years. Each registered voter can cast up to 10 votes for any candidate standing for election. But only one per candidate. You do not need to use all 10 votes, of course. But what this should ensure is that the 19 candidates with the widest appeal islandwide get elected. The persons elected are likely to get elected based on merit and experience rather than only on popularity in their home district, although this factor will still play an important role. This will mean 10 times as many votes could be cast by the electorate but the extra time counting these votes will be outweighed by the benefits.
If this is deemed too complicated, then give each elector one vote to cast for any candidate islandwide. This would have the same effect, but I suggest on balance the more votes cast, the more likely a trend will be seen through the votes cast in favor of the 19 candidates with the widest appeal. If the Sister Islands need two representatives separate from Grand Cayman, let them vote as they do currently and increase representation to 21 over all three islands.
Secondly, every two years, district elections should be held to appoint people resident in a district to district councils. These councils can elect a leader with a specific mandate to raise matters with central government and a central government portfolio can be created to make this an effective link between central government and local communities similar to a Minister for Local Government in the U.K. This will ensure district issues are taken into account by central government, but one district will not be able to have a de facto veto on an issue of islandwide importance as some elected representatives in the central government will not be entirely dependent for re-election on the voters in that district.
Democracy is not a one-size-fits-all concept. I would hope your editorials will encourage a thoughtful debate on this important issue so a better democratic system can be found to fit the needs of the Cayman Islands.