BVI News

Henry rubbishes claims that premiership contenders should run At-Large

Social commentator Julio ‘Sam’ Henry has rubbished claims by NDP leader Myron Walwyn that persons vying to become Premier should only run ‘At-Large’ and not at the district level.

According to Henry, former Chief Ministers H Lavity Stoutt, Dr Willard Wheatley, and Ralph T Oneal were all elected as district representatives during their respective times as government leader. He further said they were better leaders than present-day At-Large representatives such as Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

“They (the former Chief Ministers) did a remarkable job building a very powerful nation,” Henry wrote.

“The foundations that we are living off of now were built by those few individuals that I mentioned earlier— all district candidates and persons the people felt confident in,” he added.

NDP has failed

Henry said the current administration has failed – a sentiment, he claims, is widely accepted in the territory.

“The people believed At-Large candidates would be better represented as a leader, hence Dr Smith was elected. [But], in my opinion, and that of many others, Dr Smith and the NDP haven’t delivered,” he said while rebutting Walwyn’s assertion.

Walwyn – an elected At-Large representative – had said persons vying for premiership should not ‘hide’ behind the voters of a single district.

He said running At-Large provides the ideal opportunity to learn whether the territory embraces or rejects a person as their Premier.

Post from Myron Walwyn on social media network, Facebook this week.

Walwyn’s statement follow Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie’s announcement of seeking another term as the First District representative.

Henry said Walwyn’s comment is an attempt to distract voters from the NDP’s four elected At-Large candidates who he said has failed to “represent and deliver good governance to the people of the Virgin Islands”.

Henry challenges gov’t

Henry then challenged Walwyn and the so-called ‘missing in action government’ to revise the ‘no-visa for China nationals’ policy, rebuild the fishing complex in Road Town, and build new ones in East End and Virgin Gorda.

He also said the NDP should focus on rebuilding all the schools, conducting an independent financial audit into the controversial cruise ship dock as well as the wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School.

He further challenged Walwyn to develop a real interest in agriculture and food production, establish a food depot similar to the fishing complex, restore the West End ferry dock, and bring back the economic energy in the areas mentioned.

Henry pointed to other areas he believes should have been given priority such as road and sidewalk repairs, beautifying Main Street, implementing freedom of information and consumer protection laws, among other things.

The next general election is constitutionally due in 2019 but is anticipated to happen sooner.

Whenever elections roll around, all voters are eligible to cast their ballot for an At-Large candidate. But, only voters registered to a particular district in the territory are eligible to vote for candidates vying to become the representative of that district.

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23 Comments

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  1. ndp heckler says:

    ABOUT 400 HUNDRED PEOPLE IN THE 5TH DISTRICT ELECTED CANDIDATE CYRIL B ROMNEY AND HE GAVE US FINANCIAL SERVICES ENHANCED DY ANOTHER 1ST DISTRICT CANDIDATE LAVITY STOUTT…SO LET WALLWIND MOVE FROM HERE WITH THAT RUBBISH, A FAILED ATLARGE SYSTEM…TELL THOSE 4 ATLARGE CANDIDATES BRING BACK OUR 7 PLUS MILLION DOLLARS

    Like 22
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    • Sigh* says:

      So the crux of your argument is that the fewer of us British Virgin Islanders that have a say in who becomes the Premier, the better? Which district do you think should have that honor on behalf of us all? (hope you get the sarcasm).

      People seem to be missing the point here, even if we all agree that every single at-large member has failed us for however long; at the very least ALL OF US were complicit in electing them to their post and the onus remains on us to remove them at the polls if necessary.

      What you are prescribing is that a select few of us rather than ALL OF US should have the privilege of electing OUR premier. Whether this man or woman serves brilliantly or their tenure results in another failure is besides the point!

      Like 4
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  2. LOL says:

    The NDP should run for cover

    Like 13
    Dislike 5
  3. waste ah time says:

    That at-large system was an experiment that went bad. It was designed to get rid of the VIP but it made matters worst, look what we got for it, 4 politicians on pension after messing up our country

    Like 19
    Dislike 6
  4. What? says:

    Henry then challenged Walwyn and the so-called ‘missing in action government’ to revise the ‘no-visa for China nationals’ policy, rebuild the fishing complex in Road Town, and build new ones in East End and Virgin Gorda.

    Why the f–k would we build fishing complexes in all those locations? For what? Who will maintain them? These pie in the sky bullsh-t ideas are what’s killing the place. When will Henry and others come up with meaningful solutions and stop with the bashing all the time? He is into hospitality and you never hear any ideas from him about how to make the tourism experience better, how to expand on it, give us some solutions and stop b-tching like a broke old lady.

    Like 16
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  5. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Urgent constitutional review is needed. The review should include getting rid of the four at large seats, setting a date certain for holding elections, changing residency requirements, qualifications for standing for election, shifting civil service and police under local control………..etc.

    Both districts and at large representatives can serve effectively as Premier. Does running at large make applicants more qualified to serve the nation as Premier? No. How effective a Premier is depends on a myriad factors: education, training, leadership, management, interpersonal relationships, inclusiveness, ethics, character, civility, humility, experience…….etc.

    Moreover, has government output improved since the introduction of the at large system in 1995? How does the record of district Chief Ministers/Premier compare to at large Premier? Does the performance of at large Premiers dwarf district Premiers? No. Political aspirants need to focus on issues that improved the lives of residents, not on useless semantics.

    Like 24
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    • The Hooded Claw says:

      Please explain in your most eloquent of words why (ALL) registered voters should not be afforded the opportunity to choose who they want to represent them.

      Isn’t it anti-democratic to disenfranchise the soverign rights of the other eight electorial districts from choosing their premier?

      Isn’t it hypocritical to claim flip the pyramid (people first) but still alienate said people from choosing? I will wait?

      • PO says:

        @ The Hooded Claw, all registered voters have the right to choose who represent them as Premier, whether as a district rep or an at large rep. It is the current practice of parties (at least the major parties) that the leader of the winning party (controls at least 7 seats) becomes Premier. As such, Constituents have the choice of voting for candidates based on whom they want to be Premier. It is alleged that in the last election the majority of voters voted against the Opposition based on whom they didn’t want to be Premier, At least, this is the word on street; school chiren say.

        Moreover, let me posed this scenario. What if the leader of both major parties are at large candidates, Party A wins 7 district seats but its leader loss who becomes Premier, if it is mandated that the Premier must be an at large member?

        Either a district rep or an at large member can serve effectively as Premier. The Premier does not serve in isolation, does not have absolute power. He/she needs the support of at least 6 other members all the time. Thus, if the Premier is not serving in the national interest, not producing promised outcomes, not cooperating or collobarating with other members other members can effect a change. The other members are a check valve on the Premier whether that Premier was elected at the district level or at large.

        Of course, if the Premier is underperforming, the voters will probably not re-elect him/her. District reps have served effectively before as either Chief Minister or Premier, ie, HL Stoutt, Willard Wheatley, Ralph Oneal. Let’s compare the performance and outcomes of district Chief Minister/Premier and at large. Thus far only two people have worn the title of Premier; one was from district; at large. other. How do their performance compare? Is the performance of one head and shoulders above the other?

  6. Sigh* says:

    WOW, so this fool is saying he seas no legitimacy in the idea that the entire bvi should have a say in electing our leader and his soul defense is that good premiers have been elected by single districts before?!?!?!?!?!?!? WOW, the kinda mumu that have voices in our community….

    I personally feel as if those who hold ministries should be made to run at-large as well. why are we giving so much power to individuals who aren’t necessarily elected by the entire populace? But if they underhandedly use the resources of their ministry to disproportionately benefit the select few who elected them ensuring another term we cry foul!

    It is BS perspectives like this that keep us in our current conundrum, not because you feel a government failed means you attack good ideas out of spite!

    Like 6
    Dislike 16
  7. Misunderstood says:

    I don’t think anyone is really understanding Myron’s statement… He’s saying that it would be better for the People of the Territory to all have an input on who will be the Leader of the Country! Not that an individual isn’t qualified to be the leader because he is a district Rep. but Everyone should be able to cast a vote for the Person running for the Top Political position.

    Like 18
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  8. The Hooded Claw says:

    Sometimes I’m soo disappointed in the level of discourse we have in our blogs. I really hope some of the views do not represent the majority of the country.

    I heard many utterances of self determination during the beneficial ownership sanctions from the UK. Are you telling me that we as a people can not choose who we think will best lead our country? If we can’t come to a consensus on sonething soo rudimentary then clearly we are not ready to be independent!

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  9. Hmmmmm says:

    Does the NDP Constitution reflect that the Premier if he party wins the majority that an At Large Candidate become Premier or does it require that the leader of the Party whether District or At Large becomes the Premier???

    • Oh says:

      What does that have to do with anything? Alot of people have been saying all Ministers should be elected by the Territory rather than districts. Dont shoot the messenger, it makes sense.

      Like 1
      Dislike 3
  10. Real talk says:

    The get away driver is The same as the robber. Hurry up with elections let the judgment reign. Power to the people!

  11. Longshanks says:

    It is an issue to have a system where 500 votes can buy you a seat. However, with a majority in the territory, and a substantial majority in the territory who are actually net contributors to the economy, being disenfranchised, the true issue is how to change the system so that those who have made a long term commitment to the territory can also have a say. The territory absolutely depends on such people but doesn’t give them a say, or any prospect of a say, rendering their time in the BVI shortened and lessening the wealth of the territory. That is the elephant in the room.

    Civil servants do not directly contribute to the revenue of the economy by way of tax, they are expenses and anything they give back in tax is merely reducing that expense.

  12. Blind Tour guide says:

    Sam sound like most folks that has tunnel vision. Spend spend spend spend! Let hear the new money earning iniatives Sam.

    The audits are being conducted on the pier and on the wall, the findings soon here. We should be equally enthusiastic in asking for audit on the Virgin Islands Neighbourhood Partnership Project. Where are the fruits of that?

    Let’s hear why it’s such a terrible idea to relax our immigration laws to attract more tourist to our shores to spend and fill your taxi buses.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  13. Lodger says:

    If the present system is that the party leader becomes premier if his/her party wins the election, then all they need is a boxing ring and two pairs of gloves. However, I think it should be the elected representatives of the winning party who elect the premier, with the blessing or advice of the governor. Suppose the party leader does not get elected? What then?
    Mr Henry, if all those previous leaders were as good as you say, then all the things you say need fixing now would have been built to a much higher standard and would not be in such a state. I cant help comparing us with Bermuda. They are light years ahead of us in development.

  14. Rijo says:

    Man expresses his personal feelings and ask others theirs. I don’t see anything suggesting at large rep is better than a rep from the district. His belief is more people in the territory have a direct say in electing a premier if he is at large and less people if elected from a district. By the very system he is correct on the numbers. the votes garner by all reps in the last two election is clear to see.

  15. ok then says:

    maybe we need to implement a system similar to the USVI. They have a Gov and a lieutenant Gov. Maybe we can have candidates for Premier and Deputy Premier …… and others AT-large…..

  16. good points says:

    He have a couple good points (despite all the criticisms)

  17. Big Facts says:

    By Myron’s logic why should any of the ministers or deputy Premier be selected from the district representatives? The ministers make up cabinet which play an almost equal part in running the government. The ministers play a large part in providing services that affect the entire BVI just like the Premier. Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure and Labour are all controlled by ministers. Dont be selective when it suits your needs. If you truly believe that 400 people should not call the shots for 15,000 tell your potential cabinet to all run at large.

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