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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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A Response to Paul Devine's Letter

Dear Source:

Paul Devine is absolutely right that we have to change the system. The at large system that we have now ends up as a popularity contest with absolutely no accountability. This system is antiquated and you won't find it in use very many places on the globe. There must be a reason that voting for district representation is the most popular method in the world.
We have a group here in St. Croix that has been trying for years to get rid of the at large system but it seems that once a senator gets elected, he forgets all about trying to change the system. He likes the big salary (that he can easily vote to raise) and the freedom to do what he likes with little criticism. He represents everyone and no one and doesn't have to worry about accountability.
In the last legislature, we had a senator who was willing to submit a bill to change the system to have representation by districts. When he tried to submit his bill, he was told that there was already a bill in the hopper for just such a change. Of course, we have secrecy in government here so it could not be disclosed who the senator was. A few months ago I read a letter to the editor where a man went to great lengths to unlock the mystery as to who this stealthy senator was. It turns out it was our longest serving senator, Norman Jn. Baptiste, who has a large following of churchgoers, who has been hiding this bill for not one but two terms (four years). You are right, Mr. Devine, with tactics like this permissible, our only hope is that our representatives to the Constitutional Convention will see fit to remove all secrecy from government and get rid of ridiculous rules like this.
Jayne Edwards
St. Croix

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