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Falklands Voters Polled on Single Constituency

FALKLANDS VOTERS POLLED ON A SINGLE CONSTITUENCY

By J. Brock (FINN)

Voters in the Falklands received a leaflet in their post boxes on Friday that outlined the pros and cons of a single constituency and gave information about how the question would be posed during the 22 November 2001 election. The question reads: “Do you agree that there should be a SINGLE CONSTITUENCY for the Falkland Islands, with a new voting system for proportional representation?”

The single constituency means that from the General Election of 2005, every elector would have the opportunity to elect all eight councillors.

The referendum which will be carried out when people vote in the Falklands, came about because of the migration of people from Camp to Stanley. Therefore, Camp seemed to be over-represented. One of the reasons why people object is that they are afraid that Camp will not have a voice at all on Legislative Council.

Even though there may be a single constituency, a system would be put in place to ensure that people in Camp would be represented on Council. This proposed system of proportional representation tries to ensure that minorities are given fair representation. All voters will be able to vote for candidates of their choice in order of preference. First preferences are put in an “A” quota and the leaflet says that in the last election, 122 votes would have secured a place in that quota. “Surplus votes over the quota would be re-distributed to lower choices. Currently this seems to be the most favoured scheme for a single constituency.

The formal wording of the question has to be agreed in the September 2001 meeting of Legco. The outcome of referendum will not be the final decision but advisory in nature. The new legislative council will have to take the results into account when deciding whether to seek a change to the Constitution for a single constituency and a different voting system.

More detailed information is available to voters on phone No. 27110 or e-mail mblanch@sec.gov.fk



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