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Support for reducing number of MPs

June 17, 2013

Dear Sir,

Following the excellent letter ‘We don’t need so many MPs’ by ‘Observing Better Administration’ on Tuesday of last week I would like to voice my support and remind readers of my letter of September 1, 2010. I submit an edited version below.

Dear Sir

Bermuda to lead the world in new strategy for political democracy.

Bermuda is in a unique position to make a mark on the world political scene with a radical streamlined new democracy.

Consider the current situation.

Bermuda has 36 MPs for 34,000 voters roughly one per 1,000 voters

MPs salaries range from $35,000 to $55,000 per annum.

13 cabinet members with salaries up to $200,000 per annum.

11 Senators in the upper house.

There are 108 government advisory boards and 38 Quangos who must be paid something for their efforts.

What are all these people doing?

There follows a suggested structure that would not only reduce the cost and improve Bermuda Government, but it would put Bermuda on the world map as a benchmark of democratic governmental excellence.

Here is a summary of the main points of the idea.

Number of MP’s; ten, salary $150,000 /annum. All elected by all the electorate not constituencies, there are no political parties just individuals.

Premier elected by the MPs $250,000 /annum.

These salaries should guarantee the best minds on the Island.

The current salary total for the lower house is over $2 million this proposal comes to $1.6 million not to mention the savings in expenses and vehicles.

The upper house should consist of ‘wise elders’ whose job it is to advise the MPs and make sure they stay honest to their oath of office. There only needs to be five Senators. They should also be elected by the people. (Salaries to be decided)

All advisory boards are disbanded; the MPs are paid so well they are able to make their own decisions. If there needs to be special advice on a subject it should be sought from the private sector.

The MPs debate a yearly strategy for the government of the island with a full budget; this is made public before year end and there is a public referendum requesting a majority acceptance of the strategy.

Bermuda is in the perfect position to use referenda as a means to offer true democracy to it’s people. With an educated electorate, who have great interest in government in a small geographic location.

The referendum system could be a world first, all done online with computer access at Post Offices for electors without internet access. The result would be known within minutes of the polls closing. (All elections for MPs and Senators would use this system too)

MARTIN WILLIAMSON*

Paget

The full version of the letter can be found here http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20100903/COMMENT/309039956

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Published June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm)

Support for reducing number of MPs

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