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First, Change the System

Dear Source:

Miss Langdon, you are exactly right when you say the senators have voiced their views and often, those views are counter-productive to what good government is all about. When I stated that it was the system and not the elected official, I meant that the system allowed elected officials to do just that. When elected officials, Senators in this case, have no real dedication to a constituency, they tend to make decision that are their own, rather than what the will of the people they supposedly represent want. That's a system problem because the legislative set-up, as it is now, allows that to occur. If the system allowed for representation by ward and if an elected official represented a particular ward, there would be far more dedication to the people of that ward. When you elected territory-wide, or even island-wide, oftentimes Senators don't even know who their constituents are, even in a tiny place like the Virgin Islands. Moreover, they have no idea what their concerns are. That's a system problem.
The Constitution must allow for district and ward representation. I believe that if that occurs, elected officials would have a better grasp on what local matters are, will be elected to serve a much smaller population and thus beholding to only those people and not the entire Virgin Islands or one island. I also strongly believe that this territory-wide representation is far too expensive and cumbersome. A true representative considers him/herself to be a public servant and not a job seeker. That is what is occurring now. We must find ways to stop that from happening and the Constitution is the only vehicle that can do it.
Change the system and you will see dramatic change in the way we are represented.

Paul Devine
St. John

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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