Suggested election improvements

| 26/05/2017 | 8 Comments

Cayman News ServiceKnot S Smart writes: This has been a vicious election cycle which has brought way too much division in our small islands. We used to be a peaceful society looking out for each other in a world filled with the many challenges of global competition and political turmoil. I believe that our current election system can be improved.

This is our first test of the newly implemented OMOV, and while it apparently worked well in selecting the candidates at the district levels, most of us will agree that a potential disaster is lurking around the corner, depending on who is selected to fill the crucial ministerial positions.

In the grab for ‘who is the best person to represent my own personal interests’ at the district level, we have lost two of the most qualified ministers, whose ability and foresight were important assets in leading the country against the trials and threats posed by the external world. What I am saying is that we got district representation but lost a few experienced and skilled representatives who have already proven that they have the financial knowledge and diplomatic ability to benefit the entire country.

My first concern is the problem caused by voters thinking and voting from the ‘my own district level only’ is that it can result in less qualified candidates filling the seats of more experienced and qualified candidates, as has obviously been the result in this election. As we have seen, more boisterous and character smearing candidates succeeded in discrediting the character of their experienced opponents to the detriment of our three islands.

Secondly, I am also concerned that we have elected several candidates who made all sorts of promises from their platforms without providing a written plan as to exactly what they were guaranteeing to do, or how they planned to find the financial resources to fulfill those promises.

My third concern is that several ‘Independent candidates’, as they called themselves, were officially and unofficially backed by one individual, and that is worrisome because we all know that no one person can serve two masters at the same time. I believe that any candidate that was ‘backed financially’ and concealed that very important fact from his voters should be investigated and removed from office. Deception of any kind should not be rewarded by a fat salary from our public coffers.

Another issue: with one person backing so many candidates is that it opens the door for future influence of our elections in this fashion by wealthy and our foreign individuals who want leverage or control over our political system.

Finally, my fourth concern is that our current system creates ‘small-town thinking’, and this has the potential for future corruption when the successful candidate might find ways to reward his or her supporters through actions or public funds.

Since I expressed my concerns above, I feel it necessary to offer solutions that would nullify those issues. Four improvements that could be incorporated in our elections are suggested below:

  1. Aside from selection of District Representatives, all electors should have a second vote where they chose any one Candidate from the other 18 Districts. The real winner at the District level should be chosen as follows:
  • Candidate ‘X’ receives 10 votes from voters in his District
  • Candidate ‘X’ receives 36 votes from voters in the other 18 Districts (36/18) = 2
  • Candidate has a total of 10+2 = 12 votes
  • Candidate with the most of the combined votes is successful.
  • The result of this is that the candidate has been chosen by the people in his own district plus the other 18 Districts.
  • Six ministers and the premier should then be chosen from the top 7 candidates in the 19 districts.
  1. All candidates or their party, should provide a written and published manifesto of their goals at the time of the filing of their candidacy.
  1. All candidates or their party should publish who their financial backers are at the time of filing their manifesto and no single entity can be the backer of more than one individual or party.
  1. It should be made illegal for any candidate to use public funds or direct public policy to directly benefit any of their constituents, unless of course it is social aid through the proper government channels which are established for that purpose.


Category: 2017 General Elections, Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You made it more complicated than it needs to be…..

    The Country needs a national voting system. If you have 6 voting constituencies then each registered voter gets his/her 6 votes across the board; one in each constituency.

    Now, you have 18 or 19 constituencies; crazy as crazy gets.

    You all should not have changed the old system which you previously had. More segregation of your people will mean more of a divide in the social fabric….but hey, maybe that’s what all your leaders want, secretly.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Well said Knot S Smart. They’ve cut off the nose to spite the face – as usual, politricking is not just practiced by the politicians, but also by the entitled voter population pressuring the politicians for (many times) self-serving and short-sited outcomes.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Pros and cons on your comment changed after the newly “elected” government. One person backing some independents did less harm than “old enemies” did to the country (talking about jumping the gun there) but, national elections? That sounds good.


    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how many people knows what this ‘one person who backed some independents’ is really up to?


  4. aintworse says:

    It is time to move from a single government to a local and executive government form.

    Elect local district government councils to manage local district affairs based on budgets derived from the executive.

    The executive government, reduced from 19 to 11 ministers acts on the world stage, enacts laws and sets budgets that are then allocated to the district councils.

    debate on.


  5. Anonymous says:

    “Another issue: with one person backing so many candidates is that it opens the door for future influence of our elections in this fashion by wealthy and our foreign individuals who want leverage or control over our political system”

    Nothing new there KnS. I remember when certain politicians knocked on the doors of all the businesses in Galleria Plaza suggesting that they could have a say in the upcoming election even if they could not vote, by providing financial support.


    • Anonymous says:

      Smart …you were doing so well with your elections predictions …now you back to you old illogical self.


  6. frangipani says:

    this ‘one man one vote’ was the most foolish thing that could have happened to Cayman politics.
    the Financial industry is crucial to our success and our voting public seems to be concerned only with what they can get from Government ‘free’ . I hope this new lot will instill some pride and work ethic instead of more and more handouts.

    Wednesday was a dark day in Cayman, in my opinion.



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