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Commission refuses to reassure North Siders

| 01/05/2015 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

MLA Ezzard Miller at the boundary meeting in North Side

(CNS): North Side voters pleaded with the Electoral Boundary Commission on Thursday night not to recommend joining their constituency with East End. Despite a show of hands revealing that no one in the audience of over 40 people supporting the idea and impassioned pleas, the commissioners refused to make a commitment about any recommendations. Steve McField came the closest to offering some comfort to North Siders when he said the commission had seen “no compelling reasons” to join the two.

But despite the clear message from the constituency, which has one of the largest land masses but the second smallest number of voters, that the district and the neighbouring district of East End were very different, which had also been the view of voters in East End in the meeting last week, Commission chair Dr Lisa Handley would not offer the reassurances that the people of the district were clearly desperate to seek.

The chair of the EBC, which includes Steve McField and Adriannie Webb, said that West Bay had been the district where comments about the merger were the most vehement but she said one or two other people had mentioned it at other meetings. Although they refused to offer any commitment, the commissioners spoke frequently about the need to preserve the historical existing district boundaries and try to create the new 18 member constituencies within those borders.

Jerris Miller, who pressed and pressed in vain for a commitment, asked why the commissioners were not considering other possibilities for extending the district boundaries of both constituencies if they were not convinced that the number of voters was not the main issue. He suggested that East End could be extended down into the Breakers area and North Side along the coast of the North Sound towards the growing communities around Newlands. However, Miller like all of those present in the audience was passionate about keeping the North Side constituency within the existing district boundaries.

The debate over lower voter numbers in East End and North Side, which unlike the Sister Islands are not constitutionally protected is entirely political, Ezzard Miller, the local representative stated. The audience also worried about hidden agendas of the government and the fact that the residents were concerned that they have no protection and were dependent on the recommendations of the commission to preserve their constituency.

He accused not only the opposition leader but also the premier of threatening to merge North Side with the neighboring district of East End during recent debates on the matter of OMOV but he pointed out that nowhere in the world were constituencies completely even.

Miller said in the US, where Hadley is from, constituency boundaries remain within state lines, Thee are also massive differences in the UK, where the original attempt to keep constituencies within 25% of each other was abandoned because of the remote Scottish area of Orkney and the Shetland Islands, with just 33,000 voters, while the average constituency in England is over 72,000.

Miller pressed on the point that the equity in voting comes from each of the voters in each constituency having the same power, with their one vote and their ability to return one member and the equal influence on the formation of government not having a boundary map with exact numbers.

Echoing the pleas of his constituents, Miller urged the commissioners not to join the districts.

“It is unfortunate that the issue of combination is on the agenda because of poli-tricks,” he said, pointing to the desire by some in the community who do not vote in the constituencies held by Miller and Arden McLean wanting to boot them from office. “I beg you, do not recommend the combination of North Side and East End. We are troublesome members.”

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If buzzard miller finds a way to eek himself into power, this country will look like the Bahamas over night.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Be done with the rotten borough of North Side.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The only positive thing the commission should do is to remove MIller…with his blabbering, it can only bode ill for the people of the cayman islands. Have we all forgotten already his remark last week or was it two weeks ago??? That rug is getting bigger and bigger just like the GT Landfill, the garbage is mounting higher and higher….




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Politicians of Cayman. Please leave us alone. We neither need you nor want you.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Less seats are needed, not more.
    More accountability. Half of them are doing nothing anyway. Jokers, the lot of them.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyplace where a member of parliament can be elected with 250 votes is a joke. That is the voting for a parish council not a parliament. But then 19 members for an active voting population of about 11,000 is a joke too.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    The two who pushed OMOV the hardest based on “equality” now don’t like the outcome. You can’t have your cake and eat it too!
    The larger districts are getting screwed, and everyone in GT, WB and BT should protest. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman already get 2 MLA’s, and EE and NS get to keep one MLA each, they will have major over representation compared to the larger population. How is that equal? Either divide the constituencies equally based on population, or not at all!




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Replace it All with a National Vote for all the MLAs and Cabinet.
    First past the post…winner takes all!!




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    • OverGoverned says:

      And while you are at it, reduce the number of MLAs to 7 or 9.

      Let them do the strategic work for the country and leave the tactical stuff to the chief officers.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a compelling reason for the man of sacred vessels: the whole purpose of moving to SMCs and OMOV is to achieve equality of votes – with 18 MLAs and roughly 18,000 voters the maths is simple. EE and NS must be combined.

    Can anyone explain why the Constitution protects 2 seats for the Brac and Little? They should only have one MLA too.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    There is no doubt that the just decision would be to merge the North Side with the East End. How could it be considered fair to have districts with 50% or less of the population of other districts? Only 40 people showed up so if that number decides the issue then the tail continues to wag the dog.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Again, NS and EE are like night and day with their own unique characteristics and idiosyncrasies and while it seems logical to combine the two because of the numbers; years of customs, traditions and bloodlines will cause more problems than it will solve. Moreover, each district or constituency has only one vote i.e. MLA.
    To be clear, I’m not advocating for either men because as a driftwood I know that at least one of them couldn’t give a damn about me and wish I wasn’t part of this community that I love just as he does.
    Anyway, it seems like this is a done deal and we will get single-member constituency and history will prove if it was a good thing or not but one thing I know there’s an axiom in Politics that, all Politics is local. Translation, each representative will be more concerned about his or her little village because come Election it is not what you did for the other village(s) but what you did for the little village that you were elected to represent.
    Another unintended consequences might be that this will open up the opportunity for Driftwoods to get elected, especially when certain villages don’t look like they were fifty years ago (e.g. South Sound, Windsor Park); this is the case in several districts/counties in the US and England, which reflects their diversity.
    Be careful what you wish for. If it’s not broken don’t fix it! Love my adopted country, so I pray that it will be for the best.




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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Driftwood may be able to vote but they cannot be elected, no matter how much they love their adopted country or community.




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      • Anonymous says:

        That maybe so, (for the immediate future) but they can almost certainly influence the nomination and election of a candidate that is willing to include all of those who live in their community and not just a select few.
        Immigration over the past 300 years has made these islands a multi racial, multi cultural and ethnically diverse country. Every Caymanian family has multi generational immigrant blood because that is the way settlement immigration works. There were no ‘indigenous’ Caymanians, only settlers and descendants.
        Whilst the law may only allow these particular descendants of immigrants to stand for election at this present time, it cannot stop the continuing integration of those who have come to these islands, gained status or married ‘Caymanians’ and produce the future generations who will eventually run this place.
        For those who believe that they can slam the door shut now, it’s far too late. Diversity is already here and it will only take a generation or two for it to reflect in societies representatives. Descendants of immigrants have reached public or high office in most of the worlds democracies, it’s no different here.
        Hopefully, one day, local representation will include the huge numbers of people who contribute massive funding through work permit and local employment, property ownership, duty payments, local patronage etc… and not just those 11,000 who have voting rights. Representation isn’t just about if or who you vote for, it is about ensuring that all of those that live in a constituency are valued and whose views and needs are treated equally across the board.
        That is a mature and confident democracy at work, not the nationalist dictatorship of Ezzard and Arden.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous @2:25 I have heard how different the East End is from the North Side and you have spoken of this huge difference but just exactly what is that difference? The isolated conflict between districts has been a problem for the country to move forward for generations. Joining the 2 districts would break down this petty bickering and remind people that they are Caymanians.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Having listened to Ezzard, Arden and O.C. on talk back radio last week & their discussion about comparing Cayman voting districts to those in the U.S. it became obviously clear they know nothing about how U.S. electoral districts are chosen and managed. Yet here again we hear him trying to compare districts in Scotland to those of Cayman, with absolutely no reference whatsoever to the discussion of merging of Caymans low voter districts.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard and Arden, stupid is and stupid does. For heavens sake Cayman, rid yourselves of these clowns and bring some sanity back.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Sanity as i. The party whose leader uses a government credit card at slot machines, as in a party that pays for security in Miami for its leader….just don’t get me started. The cayman Islands has no credible party to vote for as they are all self serving and care not a jot for its poor.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Conspiracy afoot to oust them both! May have a quiet bottle of bubbly myself. Without anything in from of me… If you added the people that did not vote for Mr. Miller in Northside with the people who did not vote for Mr. McLean in East End…




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  13. Anonymous says:

    If McLean and Miller pleaded for people’s rights as much as they are pleading for their jobs can you imagine what Cayman would be like




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard doesn’t want expansion into Newlands because he will be made redundant as well as being irrelevant. Anything that puts a stop to his reign, (and of his bully boy pal in EE) must be a good thing. Neither of them are worth the ballot paper their irritating names are written on.




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  15. Just Sayin' says:

    Ezzard is right, they shouldn’t be joined, they should both be merged in to Bodden Town and the two seats eliminated, along with one in West Bay. This is the only way to bring voter equity and correct the artificially large current number of MLA’s.




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