MLAs petition for one vote

| 14/02/2012

ballot box hand.jpg(CNS): The two MLAs who are elected tothe Legislative Assembly through the democratic process of one man, one vote are hoping to spread that democratic principle to the rest of the country before the next general election. Arden McLean, the PPM representative for East End, told his constituents last night that they could set the example to the rest of the country by signing the petition that he and his fellow MLA Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, are organising to bring about single member constituencies. The MLAs will be petitioning registered voters in order to trigger a people’s initiated referendum and force the hand of government to change the voting system.

Speaking at a public meeting in his district Tuesday evening, McLean said he was not prepared to tolerate a policy which would see voters in George town given six votes and enabling them to influence the make-up of government six times more than his own constituents because it was not democratic.

Following the rejection by government of a motion submitted by Miller to change the elections law and subsequent attempts by him to bring further motions, which have been blocked by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the two MLAs, who are the only single member representatives, hope to establish the principle of one man, one vote via the constitution.

McLean said the government will not implement the system but the two single member constituencies stood out when it came to democracy and they needed to show the country how democracy works.

“George Towners are going to have six chances to influence the creation of a government and East Enders are only going to have one. You think that fair?” he asked his district.

“Every man must have one vote," he said. "That is democracy.”

One man, one votes creates accountability, he pointed out and said he would not support six candidates in George Town because the option government has chosen is further disenfranchising the single member constituencies. The government does not want the outer constituencies to have any influence on government, the MLA stated as he announced the plan to circulate the petition.  He said that government had chosen the leastpopular option for the next election because the premier believes that he can stay in power under that system.

Miller told CNS after the meeting that, following the numerous efforts he has made via the parliamentary process to introduce a voting system that is not only more democratic but also understood to be supported by most people, the petition could force government’s hand.

“If we are able to collect a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters, we can test the government’s commitment to the constitution and trigger a referendum on the issue and let the people decide,” Miller said.

The two single members will be holding a press conference on Wednesday to announce the launch of the petition and details of the accompanying campaign.

Check CNS tomorrow evening for a full report on the campaign for single member constituencies.

Category: Politics

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why not 1 man/woman & 15 votes? I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP WEST BAY in contributing to the formation of the government. This will serve 2 purposes. How about giving EVERY Caymanian 4 votes in West Bay, 4 votes in George Town, 3 votes in Bodden Town, 1 in North Side, 1 in East End and 2 in the sister Islands? This forces the constituents to be concerned with the personal politics of each candidate, and brings the responsibility on the candidate/constituent to become INVOLVED with the creation and maintenance of a proper government that will be required to answer to each other.

    1.) Constituents in East End/North Side, whom have traditionally only had 1 person to represent them, and only 1 "voice" in the house of their choosing, now will determine the ENTIRE composition of government, hence making their vote just as powerful as any other Caymanian regardless of their district of residence.

    2.) This will make it virtually impossible for "vote buying", because in order to 'purchase' your seat in the Legislative Assembly, you would have to supply 'gifts' to the entire island. Sorry, but we all know this occurs. 

    Cayman is too small for single member constituents, regardless if I reside in GT,WB or BT, i should feel represented by ANY & ALL members of the Legislative Assembly, especially my premier. This is currently NOT the case, as evidenced by the Premiers desire to move the dump INTO Bodden Town (benefitting WBay road & inconveniencing the people of BTown), & his insistence of destroying dive sites in putting a cruise berth in West Bay (Once again to the benefit of his district)

     

    Try getting a petition for this, and i will be the first to sign.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Bermuda is small too and has one man, one vote. It works just fine.  

    • I disagree says:

      It would be nice to allow every registerd voter to vote for every seat in the country, but to me that is counterproductive. That would distract the MLA's from focusing on their district duties and focusing on wider "National" issues only in order to keep the national voters happy. This would then cause smaller local issues to be neglected. Also, think about just how much they woudl actually get done is every single member suddenly felt responsible for the same initiatives and to the same people, it would be a free for all. It is better to delegate out responsibility to where we know who is responsible for each district and who is ultimately accountable. The way the system is now, we do not know who is responsible and who is accountable. Take George Town for example! There are 2 PPM and 2 UDP reps. Which of the two do we go to for local George Town concerns? Which of the 4 are managing local George Town issues? Which of the 4 are available and contactable?

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Your proposal is a very silly attempt to distract and confuse the issue. People are confused now that they have 1-4 votes depending on the district. If each individual had 15 votes it would be exponentially worse and many throw-away votes would be cast. The polls would also take a lot longer to close as each individual would require anywhere between 4 times and 15 times as long to vote.  The 'reminder' cards that were handed out on election day would have to be a lot longer. 

      You deal with vote-buying by enforcing the existing laws. As for your argument about smaller numbers vote-buying happens more in the larger districts than anywhere else so that is a non-starter.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is absolutely idiotic.  Taking my 4 votes and turning it into 1 is supposed to empower me?

    So all a sudden this makes it hard to buy votes in town??  reducing the voter base from thousands to hundreds??

    So somehow it will be harder now to have to coat tail effect???  What? influencing a smaller section of town and a politician is somehow more difficult to do?

    Now encumbant politicians will have a pile of money to spend on a smaller district and that will somehow help qualified candidates get in office?  And you leave me with 1 stinking vote to somehow offset that??

    It's going to be the same CRAP!!!  Yall a buncha Ezzard FOOLS!

    This solves NOTHING, it worsens the situation.  But but looking who's pushing it, Iguess there's no surprise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for posting. It helps the cause to expose the ignorance of the people who oppose one man, one vote. One person, one vote is democracy pure and simple. Our antiquated system has been abolished everywhere else in the world. It will obviously help to break up the coattails effect where the same person who voted for X can also vote for Y Z and W and often for no better reason than they were on the same platform. Let every man and woman stand on their own two feet. Let every voter decide which ONE person will best represent them. No throw-away votes.

      Buying votes is a completely separate issue. We just need to enforce the laws.

  3. Cayman sign up says:

    All Cayman, run out and sign the petition today.

  4. Anonymous says:

    OMG what will poor Captain Eugene be doing from hereon out?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Get this petition going and publish the persons who have it or places where we can go to sign it ASAP.  God knows we need something to look forward to in 2013.  Thank you Arden and Ezzard.  To be honest either of you is really all we need as you are the only ones in Gov't. doing something FOR the people and those of us who don't live in your districts can't vote for you as things are.  Time for change.

  6. anonymous says:

    If Arden and PPM was really for "one man/ one vote" they would have put it in their new constitution in 2009. Simple as that.  They are not any more for it than UDP.

    They had the power to do it, they pushed for the 2009 constitution to get it passed with a minority of the electorate. No party in Cayman really wants "one man/ one vote". Takes away the power of the parties. 

    All that is happening is the Arden and Ezzard are doing early campaigning on an issue that makes a good sound bite.

    I support it however as it will get rid of a lot of dead weight in LA to allow true representation and more importantly Accountability. At the moment only Arden and Ezzard are clearly accountable to their constituents. The rest can all blame "the other folks" that also represent their districts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not putting one man one vote in the Constitution was an ill-advised compromise with the UDP in order to gain their support for the Constitution.

      Obviously, Arden and Ezzard are for one man one vote – it has always been that way for NS and EE.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    I belive Arden could win the next election running on the manifesto promise of one-man-one vote.  By the way, Mr. McClean, I hope you're manifesto is ready to go.  Is it?  If so, give us some sneak peeks of your socio-economic and political approaches to the serious issues facing the country.  Surely, you must realise that the electorate is not in the mood for spin, bluff, and bluster in 2013.  Give us credible policies and we'll give you our vote. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds good, go for it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Finally!

    Where do I sign??

  10. Anonymous says:

    ARDEN yuo might as well give up on this one.  the UDP goverment do not want the system to change. they are afraid that some of them will be voted out, but it is not only them . THE leader and pass leader do not want it either.   IF alden had want this dont you think he would assisting you and ezzard withthis issue. he is very silent when it come to this  pack up and leave him to fight his own battle

  11. Anonymous says:

    For the first time and I can't beleive i'm saying this. I agree with these Donkeys.. We need one man one vote. I want to be able to vote who is going to run our country, not a bunch of Donkeys in a Party hidden in some room.

    We will be really surpised who accually gets in, one thing is i'm not voting for one of the current Donkeys.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Agree completely here with Arden and Ezzard!

    One Man/Woman – One Vote is the most Democratic way.

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    I agree Arden 1 man 1 vote is the way to go.  What are the UDP afraid off? If they are confident what they are doing is accountable and correct, then pass the motion.

  14. SKEPTICAL says:

    As I have four votes in GT, can I sign the petition four times – please.

  15. Well says:

    It is about time. The people indicated that they supported single member consitiuencies when the electoral boundary comission did their report. tThe comission even recomended it be put in place, and the UDP are fighting against it simply because they know it will fairly adjust the balance of power in this country. One man One Vote must come now!

     

  16. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    This is great and all people that believe in fairness should be on board this train before it leaves the station. Women, this is your oppertunity to break the hammer lock on political power by the men that won't and can't get important buisness of the people done.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They could have every voter from East End and North Side sign and what would that be 1500 votes?

  18. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    I can be added as in favor of one man one vote. Next thing that should happen is a national ballot.

  19. Anonymous says:

    There is only one reson we will not get one man one vote.  That reason is that one man name Big Mac.  realizes that that he losses his control under that system and he iis not prpared to do that.  He wants to have his way not the peoples way.

  20. Anonymous says:

    For the long run this is the most important political issue that Cayman needs to address.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Austin Harris of Rooster started a petition for the same thing last year and I signed it. Since it is the exact same request I see no reason why Ezzard and Arden cannot use the signatures collected by Austin.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well done, Arden and Ezzard! We have got at least two MLAs who are for the people.

    Where is Alden and the rest of the PPM on this?  

    • Anonnymous says:

      They don't want it either!

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM has always been in favour of one person one vote. If this petition does not make the Government change, then I am confident that this change will be a PPM position in the upcoming election.

      As has been repeated stated, the only reason that it was not enshrined in the 2009 constitution was becuase the UDP would not agree to anything in the constitution if that provision was included. So in the interest of moving forward, the UK suggested amended wording to allow the voting structure to be changed by the Elections Law and not require a constitutional update.