The fact that there was such a low turn out is telling on the how the population viewed this political exercise. I believe one of the principal reasons for the low turnout was the lack of direct involvement by the Senators and their failure to convince the populace of the relevancy of such an exercise. The same senators who past the law authorizing the convention failed miserably to promote it. The same way they would have promoted their own candidacy for office. Another factor is the relevancy; many persons did not see how the proposed constitution would improve their lives. Another factor is that many persons, included myself believe that the whole process of considering a constitution before defining an acceptable political status and/or a defined relation between the Virgin Islands and the United States of America was a misplaced priority.
When our elected representatives in the legislature failed to move around in the community and encourage the electorate to participate tells a lot about these individuals.
Are they honest in their speeches and actions? Some persons speculate that the Senators were not involved because a constitution could curtail their power, and people do not like to give up power. There were quite a number of persons that offered themselves to represent the electorate in the constitutional convention. I guess their motives, or reasons for running could be as varied as the candidates themselves. However, we could speculate from the wide spectrum of individuals that ran that many took the opportunity to get some publicity and perhaps their names in the history books.
The number and variety of the candidates impressed me. I only hope those that were successful in the election would prepare themselves mentally and spiritually to collaborate with each other to produce a document acceptable to the majority of the electorate. It would have been better for the electorate and the candidates had there been more interaction with the public. Many citizens said they were not acquainted with many of the candidates. I believe those persons interested in serving the public in elected positions should get involve in public discourse that the public may become acquainted with them. The electorate needs more than name recognition to vote intelligently for candidates, they need knowledge of the individuals.
Now that the election is over, it is our expectation that the delegates would participate in public discourses and interact with the public to understand the direction that the people want to go and not rely on their own views. They must remember they are only representatives of the people and should always seek the people input it whatever decision is to be made on their behalf. That is the problem we have with our representatives in the Senate, they fail to consult with the public on important issues of general concern. Those other candidates that were not successful in this special election should remain involved with our community affairs and demonstrate their willingness and ability to represent the people in our legislature. Because we need to replace those that have not served us well and others who are retiring. I will now make known my position on the proposed constitution, unless it includes: A status option, term limits for legislators and municipal government it will not receive my approval, I am not alone on this stand.
J. J. Estemac
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