The results of the last elections have revealed something that we knew could happen, but we thought it would not. The DP got 4900 votes (6 seats) and the opposition parties got a combined 5200 votes (5 seats). The governing party got less votes than the opposing parties.
The suggestion I am going to make is NOT an attempt to change the results of the last elections. It is a suggestion to avoid a repeat of it. I will however use the results of the last elections as an example.
My suggestion is that the council members should be elected based on preferential votes, but not based on party affiliations. By that I mean, the top 11 vote-getters should be the ones elected to the Island Council.
The highest vote-getter is then given the task to form a government with a 6 – 5 majority, but preferably a 7 – 4 majority. This means that he/she can very well take persons from another party or other parties to form a government. This would give us a broad-based government and that should mean better representation. If he/she cannot get a government formed in the allotted time, then the second highest vote-getter would be assigned the task.
Any other elected person could form a government and present that information to the Lt. Governor to speed up the process.
The persons, who accept a seat in the Executive Council, will have to resign their seats in the Island Council to the next highest vote-getter in their respective parties. Provisions must be made for them to regain their seats in the Island Council, should they resign from the Executive Council. Professionals could also become commissioners if they are presented to the Executive Council and approved by the Island Council.
The Executive Council could present a plan of action and Island Council would approve that plan or amend it. The Island Council could also “order” the Executive Council to carry out a plan with specified guidelines and timeframe.
The Executive Council must report to the Island Council on a monthly basis and present a progress report on what is being worked on.
This is a basic idea. Now, the technocrats will have to formalize it.
Clifton R. Wilson
(Daily Herald 6/12/2003)