BVI News

Only At-Large Representatives should be Premier — CRC report

One of the more controversial recommendations emerging from the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) report is that the positions of Premier and Deputy Premier should only be filled by candidates who are elected At-Large at the polls, irrespective of their political party affiliations.

The proposal was dubbed a hybrid model and was one of several governance models put forward. It seeks to address concerns over political leadership and representation and aims to ensure that these top officials are elected based on a territory-wide mandate rather than their performance in any local district.

During consultations, commissioners heard a clarion call for the electorate to vote directly for who is to be Premier and Deputy Premier and complaints that the At-Large system is not working well enough.

The Commission’s report suggests that this change would create a more representative and accountable leadership, more closely aligned with the public’s wishes.

Meanwhile, the Commission said it believes that a properly thought-out model of District Councils, on which the public has an opportunity to weigh in, will go a long way towards alleviating concerns about the underrepresentation of sister islands, addressing hyper-local issues at the local level, and freeing up ministers to deal with and debate national issues.

The report states in part: “The Commission’s proposal to select the Premier and Deputy Premier from the successful At-Large candidates would enable the voters to choose their leaders nationally, while at the same time keeping the largely parliamentary system of government now in effect. When coupled with District Councils, the hyper-local issues can be dealt with in the district.”

In its comprehensive report recommending significant changes to the governance and constitutional framework of the territory, the CRC put forward a series of proposals that could ultimately redefine the political landscape of the islands.


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  1. Agree. Plus. says:

    I am in full agreement. Also I think to uphold good governance, fairness and high standards the speaker also should be elected at large..We need done with the selection of a speaker that is only enabling a corrupt government…

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  2. The Speaker too. says:

    I will like to see the Governor elect a speaker..or the people vote for a speaker. An elected speaker can and will never be fair and unbias..How can you go against your boss who is paying you. Even though you know your boss is wrong and corrupt. Most people secure their pay check first. So we need to replace the way we go about getting a speaker of the house..

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    • @the speaker too. Agree. says:

      Both the speaker and the Premier should be elected in a country vote, that’s the way we get good leadership, a fair and productive HOA and good governance.or alternatively, the Governor should select a speaker. This Dolly house conducted by the speaker cannot continue..

  3. Interesting... says:

    So what happens in the case where the 4 elected at large is from the “ABC Party” and the 8 of the district seats is from “DEF Party”? You are telling me that the “ABC Party” rules the government because the Premier and possibly Deputy Premier is selected from amongst the 4 at large seats…even though the party didn’t gather enough seats?

  4. Anonymous says:

    The BVI must transition to full democratic principles and electet all its members of leadership to include the Governer’s position..

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  5. Confusion says:

    This would require a whole new constitution. to clearly outline responsibilities and how ministers would be elected ousted.

  6. Just Saying says:

    I think what they really mean is for the whole country to vote for the premier and not necessarily the at large system as we have it now. This is a novel idea, but we will need a new constitution not base on the West Minister model.

  7. The Truth says:

    Here is an article I wrote on fakebook last year.

    at large system of government

    Over the past weeks there have been a flurry of commentary in the press concerning possible elections in early 2023.

    There were a number of interesting areas mentioned, from lack of confidence for party leaders to the thought-provoking topic of removing the at large system all together from the election process.

    The at large system is interesting in that it has shaped our political landscape over the past years. It was first introduced by the UK to affect the then Lavity Stoutt VIP administration. Although it took a while to be used effectively in counteracting the in district aspect of elections, it also took a dark turn and was utilized by future administrations to use popular vote as the basis for winning an election. One thing that has been obvious is that neither systems have been effective enough to satisfy the needs of the populace and more so the needs of local indigenous British Virgin Islanders.

    The greatest downfall of the at large system in its current application is that it only adds numbers to assist in getting the right amount of candidates to win election but it doesn’t ensure synergy between the candidates and the portfolios that are filled after election therefore making the probability for an effective government to diminish.

    After reviewing the information in the blogs over the past few weeks addressing the state of BVI politics, here is my suggestion for a more effective system. Feel free at the end to criticize dismiss or give suggestions which you feel are more fitting.

    First of all the BVI is a very tiny territory. It is not a country but a colony of England. Despite that, the BVI does enjoy a certain level of autonomy over the past years and acts in a similar manner as an independent country. I firmly believe that the at large system is not working but it can be structured in a way that can make it a feasible mechanism for change in a positive way. As part of our constitutional review I would like to see us consider the following. We should keep the 9 seats in district but add another 2 seats for Anegada and Jost Van Dyke respectively. Additionally Virgin Gorda has grown in development and population to the point where it can now have 2 seats in government. So another seat would have to be created which would bring the total in district seats to 12. I also suggest that we raise the amount of at large seats from 4 to the following 7:

    Premier / Minister of Finance
    Minister of Tourism and Culture
    Minister of Education
    Minister of Communications and works
    Minister of Health
    Minister of Natural Resources and Labor
    Speaker of the House

    What I am suggesting is that the premier does not represent a district instead he or she represents the country and the same argument holds for the Labour minister or any of the other ministers who represents the entire population, not a district, class or creed of people in the British Virgin Islands.

    What a system such as the one described above would do, is it adds relevance to at large candidates and would force political parties to choose candidates wisely not only by popularity but also the skill set that they have as it relates to the portfolio for which each candidate is vying. In essence if put in place the voting public should be able to look at the candidates to see if each candidate in their mind is (a) qualified to hold the post which he or she is vying for or (b) have the maturity or demeanor in carrying out the position.

    I am a firm believer that 5 ministries are not enough and as a tourist destination, Tourism should have its own ministry and should be peered with culture. Although Tourism doesn’t generate the revenue of the financial services sector I still believe it is the most important pillar of our economy and has been neglected for far too long.

    Notice that I also believe the speaker of the house should be voted at large.

    Also the public should have the right to call for a no confidence vote on any elected member if he or she fails to perform their duties or abuse their power in office. In the words of or great former leader Lavity Stoutt “he who appoints can also disappoint.”

    I will not speak on who should make up the opposition because I think that if a system as described above were to be considered it would make it easier to devise a system for an opposition.

    One of the arguments you would hear from elected officials is that the premier has never been voted at large before and each winning party should reserve the right to choose their premier. My answer to this is that the president of the United States is voted by all the states and the same system occurs all over the world and if it is our aspirations to be like leading countries around the world shouldn’t we follow suit?

    Another argument would be that by implementing such a system you can end up with a composition of multiple parties forming the government and they may not be willing or able to work together as each party have different goals. My answer to this is BVI is a very small county of which indigenous BV Islanders are already in the minority and that number keeps shrinking day by day as we attend funerals every week as our people continue to die and get phased out of a country that our forefathers built that we have allowed to slip through our hands by keeping each other down. The BVI is too small for individuals elected by the public not to work together for the greater good of the country. Don’t you want to see a society where everyone is given an opportunity to work, have improved infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, access to safe and clean drinking water, world class telecommunications, reasonable power supply with use of fossil fuel and alternative energy sources, sporting facilities, year round tourism, embracing foreign investment, dialogue with USVI to support the BVI economy the way we support their economy which would give significant meaning to friendship day. These should be the type of goals an elected official elected by the public at large should be striving towards for the benefit of the country.

    In closing, for far too long politicians have been using the votes of naive poor people to enriching themselves.
    We the public need to say enough is enough. We need to be a part of the decision making process that determines who our representatives will be and to hold them accountable as we cannot continue to suffer as we flip flop parties in and out that do nothing in the interest of the public. Take a drive from East End to West End and look at the infrastructure in the territory and ask yourself has there been any true development in the BVI in the past 20 years

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  8. 1st District says:

    It need to change. I never agree with A. Fahie getting 300 plus votes and he is the leader of the territory. Verses the at large representatives who obtained thousands and thousands of votes. This is so unfair to the utmost. Please change immediately.

  9. BuzzBvi says:

    It would stop one person thinking they talk for the whole of the VI when they only got 487 votes.

  10. Sick people says:

    These people in hi places think them own the government we the people want the uk take over no work for the people the road in a mess the people are living like dogs

    Like 1
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  11. my2cents says:

    You people should make wine with these sour grapes. The Premiers are the premiers because they are the leaders of the winning party. Stop picking on people you don’t like. Many of you would’ve loved Myron as the premier if the NDP won & he was party leader even though he ran in the 6th. And it might happen, so stop trying to change the system just b/c you’re on a losing streak.

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