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Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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Pure Folly or Cutting Edge?

Dear Source:
In a Constitutional hearing held October 13 regarding the forming of the legislature, this was said: "Maybe we should do this and people will look at doing it." The reference was about the make-up of the legislature. It was also referred to as "cutting edge". What people were they referring to? What "others?" The Virgin Islands is one of the few places on earth that does not have its own Constitution. Could they mean that other countries would use the language proposed? Why? Just about every country has a Constitution! Did the delegate actually mean that language produced here in the Virgin Islands could be used as a "model" for other countries? I hardly think so.
It's abundantly clear that the delegates do not have a clue about how to formulate a legislature. The continued reference to "at-large" (suggesting 6) is pure folly! If the delegates would step back and realize that at-large representation is really the formation of another representative body, then they would realize that the answer is to have a House and Senate. The House being the representation based on population and the so-called at-large being based on area representation.
I propose that the delegates consider a legislature consisting of a House and Senate. In this way, there would be no at-large representation at all. The make-up could consist of 11 members of the House (5 each for St. Thomas and St. Croix and 1 for St. John with sub-districting mandated) and 6 Senators (2 for each island). This is new but it solves the problem. It also allows for more checks and balances while providing a greater amount of direct representation.
Come on delegates–get your thinking caps on. Your extra 8 months will be over soon.

Paul Devine
St. John

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