Extra Representation

June 1st, 2006
by George S. Crimmin

[private] Born in West End, Mr. George Crimmin received undergraduate and graduate degrees in the US and worked many years as a school administrator. He is now retited living in West End.

v4-6-Speaking OutFor the past several years, I have privately promoted an idea, whose time has come: Bay Islands need and deserve more representatives in the National Congress. Having just one Congressman is inherently unfair and this matter needs to be addressed now. We cannot pretend to compete with mainland Honduras when sheer number is the criteria. We do not have the territory to support these numbers.

The Bay Islands are historically, culturally, ethnically, and of course, geographically different from the rest of the nation and deserve to be measured by a different standard. I propose that the total number of representatives assigned to this department or state should be based not on population, but on our total contribution to the national treasury. For instance, if our department mirrors that of Atlántida in annual financial payments to the central government, and Atlántida has nine representative Diputados. We should have the same.

The breakdown of representatives would follow according to municipalities.

Two in Utila, Guanaja, Santos Guardiola two and Roatan, being the state Capitol should be awarded three.

When the United States was forming its government and a representative system based on population was agreed to the large states were ecstatic. The smaller states were much less enthusiastic. Fearing that they would not have much of a voice in national government, a compromise was reached. Thus the formation of the Senate, where each state regardless of size, was assigned two members.

Any Bill that passes in the House of Representatives, must also be approved in the Senate before it has a chance to become law. In the Senate, the small states have a very loud voice. We have no senate here and our participation is dependant solely on raw numbers. Frankly, we have no voice in our government. The status quo of one lone representative is totally unacceptable and should no longer be tolerated.

Bay Islanders, it is time that we all take a firm stand on this issue. In the past we have been widely respected for our courage, determination and fierce independence. Perhaps this is the right moment to reclaim those virtues.

In diplomacy as in life, compromise is often necessary and one cannot die on every hill. In this instance, I believe we should stand firm and accept nothing less than what I consider to be our God given right, the right to proper representation, the right to be heard, to be respected and above all, to be treated fairly.

If we speak with one voice, we can deliver a very potent message to the highest level of government. I look forward to the challenge that is before us. Let us unite by setting aside petty political and personal differences. Our cause is righteous, and if we focus our collective energies on our common purpose, by the Grace of God, we can and will prevail. [/private]

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