Many locals reject UK’s plan to move from the traditional first-past-the-post system. Residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands have made it abundantly clear to officials from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and by extension, the United Kingdom (UK) Government, that they have no appetite for any proposed changes to the current voting system that is being used to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) and governments.
This was one of the main points that emerged from the serious of consultative meetings which were held in the various islands by a team of high-level FCO experts over the past week.
At almost every meeting, the FCO officials were told in no uncertain terms that the proportional representation system which is a major plank of proposed recommendations that will form the new Constitution, should be rejected now, in much the same way that the Alternative Voting (AV) was hammered by close to 70 percent of the UK’s population, including Prime Minister David Cameron, two weeks ago.
Under the new system that is being proposed by the British in the new TCI Constitution, all of the constituencies that now exist in the Turks and Caicos Islands will be scrapped.
Instead of the islands having more than one MP, there will be one MP for Grand Turk, one for Salt Cay, one for Providenciales, one for Middle Caicos, one for North Caicos and one for South Caicos.
The other nine of the 15 MPs will be elected from a separate, or at large list of party candidates or independents, where persons from all across the country will be entitled to vote for them. The winners will then be chosen following a mathematical formula which would determine who gets the most votes.
Two weeks ago, the UK held a referendum to change their voting system which is identical to what the Turks and Caicos Islands presently has. Some13 million people voted against changing the system while six million were in favour of changing it. It was a boost to England’s Prime Minister David Cameron who had campaigned hard for a No vote and a blow to Nick Clegg, who had made a referendum on voting reform a condition of the Coalition deal.
Clayton Greene, the Progressive National Party (PNP) Leader, said the system should not be introduced to the Turks and Caicos Islands, saying that since it was not good for the UK electorate, it should not be good for the Turks and Caicos Islands also.
Full Article: Turks and Caicos SUN Newspaper.