Last chance for input on voting boundaries

| 07/07/2015 | 15 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): The general public has just two more days left to offer input on the controversial recommendations made by the Electoral Boundary Commission to carve the local political landscape into nineteen seats. Although not unexpected, the recommendations appear to fly in the face of the general sentiment at the public meetings. If there was any common ground at all during the series of district meetings held earlier this year, local voters made it clear the country did not need any more politicians.

The commissioners will be hosting just two more evening public meetings, one in George Town and the other in Bodden Town, before they pass their final report to Cabinet to make a decision on whether or not it will accept the recommendations. It is not clear whether or not the commissioners have drawn an alternative boundary map with 18 constituencies. If government rejects the idea of growing the parliament, this will delay the possible introduction of ‘one man, one vote’ (OMOV), once again shaking public confidence in the government’s support for the introduction of single member constituencies and electoral reform.

On the popular CNS interactive comments board, readers were also firmly against increasing the number of members in the Legislative Assembly. While the majority of voters are still broadly behind the concept on OMOV, the idea of a larger legislating body, adding $130,000 plus to the annual parliamentary bill with the extra annual salary and benefits, is not a popular one.

The commissioners have yet to justify or explain the reasons for their decision to divide Grand Cayman into 17 rather than 16 seats. The additional seat is within the former constituency boundaries of George Town, where seven seats would be created. A number of changes have also been made to West Bay boundaries and in Bodden Town.

See the proposed constituency maps here. They have also been posted in all district libraries.

The public is invited to two final meetings starting at 5.30pm this evening (Tuesday 7 July) at the George Town Town Hall and on Wednesday 8 July at the Savannah United Church Hall, also at 5.30pm.

Final written submissions to the commission must be received by 8 July. 

Check CNS for a full report from both meetings this week.

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Because I own a home in west bay but live in Manchester I think I will run for office I will just say I live in south sound in the other house I own I will say my heart is in west bay
    That should do it. I have a CI passport and a CI drivers license and I get the a seaman check sent to my box in west bay. I should qualify to run for a seat in west bay if they say I live in the UK I will tell them I just work there part time
    I just figured it out my wife can run for office in south sound thus a have twice as much of a chance of winning a seat

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear. What are they going to do with the 7 mile beach districts when hundreds of PR holders living there now get status in the next year or so, register to vote, and totally mess with the statistics. Anyone think of that?

    And what happened to good old South Sound? Why has that historic community been split?

  3. Anonymous says:

    After having attended the meeting tonight, I am now more concerned. So what if I can only vote for one person in a new single member constituency who also happens to be or could become out of favour with the majority of other MLAs and they choose not to favour my district? Say there are road works to be completed but but because that person is not liked by the others then they can vote to not give that constituency anything. That is scary people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Having attended the meeting also, since that issue never came up, you were either very quiet or didn’t actually attend. – Anyone attending actually speak up and ask your question. Its no good coming on here afterwards and moaning.

      PS> To answer your question: the same thing that happens now when an individual/group is out of favour.

      • Anonymous says:

        I was indeed there and you don’t have to ask questions to make reasonable deductions. And the issue is that if I can only vote for one person then I’m basically stuck. I think that is a very valid point.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a complete waste of time this has been. The very purpose of OMOV was said to be to achieve equality of voting, but this nonsense fails to achieve that at all.

    And adding an extra seat is simply a joke – we should be reducing the number of MLAs, not increasing it

  5. WaYaSay says:

    The clear general consensus from the population are:
    – One person one vote in place for the 2017 Elections.
    – Membership in the LA should remain at no more than 18 MLAs.
    -Parity within all Electoral Districts of approximately 1,000 voters.
    -The above be instituted without a Constitutional change which would delay implementation beyond 2017.

    East End and North Side are protected as separate traditional electoral districts by the constitution, just like Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, therefore, none of these can can be combined without a change to the constitution which will result in NO one person one vote for the 2017 elections, if it is ever fair and successful, will result in Cayman Brac/Little Cayman also being combined and returning one member.

    The solution to retaining 18 electoral districts is so simple, one is left to wonder why it is being completely ignored by the electoral boundaries commission.

    The solution to maintaining 18 politicians in the Legislative Assembly, while addressing the valid argument of parity of voters in 18 electoral districts is simply to extend the boundaries of East End, along the South Coast, into Breakers and Midland Acres until a voter count of 1000 is achieved. Similarly, North Side needs to be extended along the North Coast of the North Sound to encompass as much of voting population as necessary to achieve a voter count of 1000.

    Consequent to this Bodden Town West electoral boundary should be moved Westward to encompass as much of the Spotts and Prospect area as necessary, in order to achieve the 4,000 vote count to get the 1,000 voters per electoral district required.

    These areas can be adjusted back in the future as necessary, as populations in the Eastern Districts increase, due to planned development continue in order to maintain voter parity.

    The remainder of George Town and West Bay would remain as now drawn which achieves 1,000 votes per MLA.

    This achieves both objectives of maintaining 18 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly as well as parity of voters within each electoral district and allows OPOV to be in place for the 2017 elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      I beg to differ East End and North Side are not protected under the constitution as the Sister Islands.

    • So Say I says:

      Come to the meeting and speak up, because unfortunately the Boundary Commission feel that your consensus break down at point 4 – that the current constitution gives primacy to the ‘traditional boundaries’ so point 3 (equality of numbers) is secondary. This is an issue that Cayman needs to discuss over the next few years and get sorted before the next Boundary Commission in 8 years time, regardless of the current outcome.

      BTW, as part of the majority, I deny your assumed consensus on your first points.

      So Say I

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am greatly saddened that the boundary commission failed to act responsibly on the North Side and East End districts being roughly 50% the size of other non Sister Islands districts. In effect a vote for the North and East district is worth 2 votes everywhere else.
    The irony that the two MLAs representing both districts like to espouse fairness in their OMOV rhetoric seem to ignore this unfair reality.

    • Rp says:

      …and consider this: in the last election (if I am not mistaking) some 100+ people in NS voted for the guy that was under investigation for theft and now resides in Northward.

      In a district of 300 peeps, get your family and friends together, throw a nice big party, and then you earn 130k per year.

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