The Power and The Vote: A discussion around voting and whether or not you should

Gimme somethin better than this!

As an introduction to this discussion, let me first introduce myself.  I am a single 20-something Caymanian woman.  I have no children, some tertiary education, a home, a decent job, religious beliefs, an interest in reading and a love of writing.  You will know from reading this that I have a blog, I am not short of words and I am not short of opinions.

I have never registered to vote.

This shocks many people and I have until now been very careful who I say this to.  But, you know what, I feel good about ME.  So there it is.  Near a score and ten I have never voted.

A few more facts before I get down to business and what this discussion is about – not only am I not short of words or of opinions, I am not short of friends.  Put an extrovert in a small town and you end up with something like me – I know thousands of people, have to cull my facebook monthly to keep it under the sweet spot of 800 friends, can hang out in any district in Cayman and about every level the society has to offer, and have a pretty good feel of the state of our society as a whole.  I say all this to say…

I have ONE close friend in the twenty-somethings who voted on Wednesday.  ONE.

 Now let’s talk about why that is.

I do not presume to have the answer to this question.  I cannot and will not speak for my entire generation.  I am inviting YOU, the people I know, to explain to me why you are not on the voters list.

I would also like to invite those who are on the list who strongly (or not) believe in the power of the vote to engage me.  Convince me.  Leave a comment on this blog or on this page and tell me why you choose to vote and why I should.  A little later I’ll put my own two-cents about my WHY of it.  Keep an eye out.

ONE RULE:  I ask that you respect the non-partisan nature of this page.  For those of you with a party to plug, plug it elsewhere.   I am not inviting the left, the right, the middle, the green, the orange, the red or the blue to sing the party songs on this page.  If you do it your comment will be removed – don’t be upset, you’ve been warned.  Save that stuff for those who are registered and we will be just fine thank you.

This is about the system and whether or not and if so how much one should participate.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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16 thoughts on “The Power and The Vote: A discussion around voting and whether or not you should

  1. I have been a registered voter for years. However, I have only voted once, when I was at Uni doing my undergraduate studies. it was a protest vote against the incumbent government. The Party in power won anyway, so my vote seemed a bit worthless. I respect people who vote. And I also respect those who choose not to exercise their right. I used to be a political scientist so I do have some opinions on voting and the systems used.

  2. I could write a book on my views regarding the Cayman Islands voting system, but I’ll limit my views to bullets points (pun intended) 

    Our creator has endowed us with, among other things, freedom of conscience.

    The concept of society is a very old one, and human society goes back to the first family, Adam and Eve.

    However, the need and desire for individuals to cooperate with others for various reasons, systems developed over time because of the challenges of administrating those things which are common.

    In some cases around the world, official offices have been obtained by the point of the sword, but in other cases people preferred to choose from among themselves who would occupy policy making and management offices…

    In 1215 and skipping a lot of detail, the Knights who travailed around the country with the British King (John), who was holding court and collecting taxes (excessively), placed a sword to the throat of the British King and demand that he respect certain things they considered to be rights (Magna Carta).

    “In December 1648 the House of Commons was purged by the New Model Army, which was supposed to be subservient to Parliament. Pride’s Purge was indeed the only military coup in English history. Subsequently, King Charles I was beheaded and the Upper House was abolished. In 1653, when leading figures in this Parliament began to disagree with the army, it was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell. [Remember him?] However, the monarchy and the House of Lords were both restored with the Commons in 1660. The influence of the Crown had been decreased, and was further diminished when James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.” – Wiki

    Ahhh, the British Bill of Right 1689, and one of the rights contained therein being the “freedom to petition the monarch without fear of retribution”. Wish we had that right here! 🙂 Actually, we do have that right, but the only rights that anyone of us will ever get to keep are those we are willing to fight for.

    Via the Treaty of Madrid in 1670 the Cayman Islands became a colony of Great Britain, as it remains to this day, as colony. Consequently, we have obtained certain British rights, and the political right to vote at general elections being one of those rights.

    We should never forget the roll the American Revolution played in individual rights and freedoms around the world. The United States of America’s Second Amendment right to arms for their (individual) defense is a British concept embodied in the British Bill of Rights 1689, and one concept which preserves individual rights.

    However, the right to vote was not so easily obtained here either, because it wasn’t until 1831 when, in what could be described as a bloodless revolution, locals unlawfully established the first Legislature at Pedro St. James in Bodden Town, and the first three local MLA’S were elected by the people.

    In 1948 women petitioned for their political right to vote at general elections, but it wasn’t until 1959 when the then government recognized a woman’s right to vote.

    Since the 1960’s, there has be some people who saw the need for more voter equality, that is more than just allowing women the right to vote, and that eventually resulted in the July 18, 2012 referendum on the matter of single-member constituencies and one person-one vote. Unfortunately, like the views of those in 1948 that were okay with discrimination, many today voted to retain the current discriminatory voting system.

    While I have just glossed over the history, I thought that some historical perspective is important, because the right to vote is a very precious political right, one that many have fraught and died for.

    So, we should vote because it’s a great privilege to have such a powerful political right. We should vote because the proper functioning of society requires that residents vote. We should vote because if we do not, we might lose that right.

    Can you imagine being over taxed by some British King or worse, some local politician and not having the right to petition and vote against their hunger to waste our money?

    The right to vote is one right that is worth fighting for, to the death.

  3. Mr. Warren, your contribution to this discussion is absolutely invaluable. Thank you for coming by! Going to link this to the facebook discussion, if you don’t mind.

    For those interested in following the discussion for this blog, go to the blog’s facebook page where you will find a link to the TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE – Cayman Discussion page. If not, just search for it. On facebook it is getting quite juicy.

  4. OK, so you should vote because you are smart and the more smart people that vote, the smarter the selection they make. Having voted gives you the right to complain if things don’t or aren’t going well. Not that the right to complain should be a goal, but if you didn’t use your say when you had it, why would anyone care what you think of the results?

    Or, to give some guy the thrill of seeing legs like that inside a curtain. LOL

  5. To be honest, I still can’t fathom how voting isn’t compulsory in the USA anyway. For me it has never been a question of “will I vote?” but “who should I vote for?” We have a similar thing in the fact that people who ‘donkey’ vote (registering as voting but putting in a ballot in such a way that it cannot be counted) don’t have a right to complain imo, but I think if it was compulsory a lot of things would be different. Then again, I have learnt a lot more about world politics and things like that recently, and it seems that America is just a bunch of states,anyway, due to the fear of anything federal being “socialist” and apparently freedom-taking or something like that. I don’t really get it, but it’s something that’s come up with the healthcare a lot, too – let’s just say a lot of other countries are laughing at USA’s fear of doing anything federally.

    • This is true! Fortunately for me, our political situation is quite different from the USA’s. Constitutionally we are very British. But I’m hearing more about Australia’s compulsory voting system and I’m beginning to like it…

      • Yeah it’s a good system, cause I swear if we didn’t have it, barely anybody would have voted at last time’s federal election :s unfortunately compulsory voting does not prevent crappy people from getting in power, it just makes you choose one haha

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