Pre-PMV Q: Governme...
 

Pre-PMV Q: Government  

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basefilm
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February 26, 2012 5:43 pm  

Good afternoon! I'm considering moving to the VI from Minnesota. I've read and re-read The Settler's Guide book, watched the 'Living in de V.I.' DVD, and have been browsing the forums and other resources on this site. I've a couple questions I could use some help with...

From what I've read, the VI government is corrupt and ineffective. It seems to just be a well-known fact, an open secret. Even the U.S. Attorney General has been made aware of it.

On the other hand, there are a lot of business owners or retirees living in the VI. Many of these people have a great deal of life experience and others may even have some wisdom. Many of them will also have the means to run for public office.

So why don't some of them run for office and start to replace the bad eggs?

Is it so bad that the elections are rigged to begin with? Is there some law that you have to be born on the VI to even run, obviously excluding many of the people I've mentioned? Is it even worse, that good people trying to run get threatened? I just haven't read a single word about a plan to get 'em out, or of people planning a campaign backing a decent person to run against a corrupt incumbent. What's the straight dope?

Thanks,
Ted


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trainwreck82
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February 26, 2012 6:13 pm  

On the other hand, there are a lot of business owners or retirees living in the VI. Many of these people have a great deal of life experience and others may even have some wisdom. Many of them will also have the means to run for public office.

So why don't some of them run for office and start to replace the bad eggs?

Impossible to explain to someone that doesn't live here.


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OldTart
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February 26, 2012 6:20 pm  

There is political corruption and inefficiency all over the US and the world. We are just a microcosm of the whole scenario. Any US citizen can run for office if they choose. I doubt you'll find any sort of a balanced view from reading this forum. What makes front page news here would be buried on Page 20 of your local big newspaper but, in such a very small area as this, politics are pretty much in your face. Gossip and speculation run rampant while "stories from the street" start off with a half grain of truth and rapidly increase in enormity as they pass from person to person until they're blown out of all proportion.

Let the rants begin!


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HappyFace
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February 26, 2012 6:56 pm  

The Bigger the fish fry and born here gets you in office!


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STXBob
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February 26, 2012 7:25 pm  

The voters, who are mostly from the VI and PR, generally do not want outsiders running their affairs.


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OldTart
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February 26, 2012 7:34 pm  

The Bigger the fish fry and born here gets you in office!

Such a generalization is, in my opinion, unfair.

Many very good representatives have been elected over many years and served well. I do agree that the majority has been elected based on the quality and quantity of their fish fry offerings, along with all the false promises of employment but there have certainly been positive changes in that respect since I first moved here.

It behooves those who choose to make the USVI their home and care enough, to register to vote if they're eligible to do so. Go to the candidates' meetings, listen to what they say; look at their credentials as well as (in the case of incumbents) their recorded history.

In order to defuse any potential personal rhetorical or inflammatory comments on this thread, I am not a US citizen although a bona fide resident and thus cannot vote in either mainland or local elections. It's never stopped me from opining and never stopped me from giving my time to the community - and researching well.


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East Ender
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February 26, 2012 10:20 pm  

The legislature here is basically elected at-large. That means you have to garner a certain number of votes to win. You aren't running AGAINST anyone, you just need votes. The biggest blocks of voters are people who don't see corruption and ineffectiveness as problems to be solved, but as their problem solved- a job, a zoning change, a protective law. In the states, in general, candidates have to vie for a seat against another candidate or candidates, so if voters want to turn someone out for non-performance, they can.

Ask about "bullet" voting.


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Linda J
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March 2, 2012 2:10 pm  

The population on STX is about 85% black/West Indian, 10% Hispanic/Puerto Rican, and 5% white/continental. As with any place else, a non-local minority has little chance of winning any election. They are seen as carpetbaggers.


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IslandHops
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March 2, 2012 3:09 pm  

The population on STX is about 85% black/West Indian, 10% Hispanic/Puerto Rican, and 5% white/continental. As with any place else, a non-local minority has little chance of winning any election. They are seen as carpetbaggers.

I'm interested in the source of these statistics. If they were accurate then there would only be 2,500 continentals on STX.


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OldTart
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March 2, 2012 3:45 pm  

http://www.stcroixtourism.com/usviinfo.htm

According to the 2000 census the breakdown was Black 76.2%, White 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, Other 6.1% and Mixed 3.5% out of a total population around 50,000. White population therefore around 6550.


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 4:08 pm  

http://www.stcroixtourism.com/usviinfo.htm

According to the 2000 census the breakdown was Black 76.2%, White 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, Other 6.1% and Mixed 3.5% out of a total population around 50,000. White population therefore around 6550.

Where are the Hispanic statistics/percentages?

They just had a Dominican(Santo) parade on STX. There is a large Puerto Rican population on STX. We have Puerto Rican Friendship Day.
I'm confused.

We also have a large Dominican & Puerto Rican population here on STT


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JulieKay
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March 2, 2012 4:10 pm  

Would Hispanic be "other (6.1%)?" That really doesn't seem right to me either for STX.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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OldTart
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March 2, 2012 4:12 pm  

http://www.stcroixtourism.com/usviinfo.htm

According to the 2000 census the breakdown was Black 76.2%, White 13.1%, Asian 1.1%, Other 6.1% and Mixed 3.5% out of a total population around 50,000. White population therefore around 6550.

Where are the Hispanic statistics/percentages?

They just had a Dominican(Santo) parade on STX. There is a large Puerto Rican population on STX. We have Puerto Rican Friendship Day.
I'm confused.

We also have a large Dominican & Puerto Rican population here on STT

I don't remember how the census was broken down but maybe the hispanic population was included in "other"? Maybe someone els can recall the details.


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speee1dy
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March 2, 2012 4:13 pm  

some could consider themselves to be mixed or some could consider themselves black. so really, it could be right.


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noOne
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March 2, 2012 4:36 pm  

I was always under the impression that STX had a large Hispanic population - I know that on STT there are a large amount of Dominicans and Puerto Ricans.


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 4:45 pm  

some could consider themselves to be mixed or some could consider themselves black. so really, it could be right.

I had a Puerto Rican tell me straight out, "I don't like black people".
They are very proud of their Hispanic/Spanish heritage.

I remember taking the 2000 census and there was a Hispanic category.
It asks your race in one question, then in another if you're Hispanic or not.

So, now I get it. They are only reporting race. Not Hispanic ethnicity.


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speee1dy
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March 2, 2012 5:15 pm  

beachcomber, cubans don't like columbians-says so right in Scarface.
but anyhow, it does look like it is broken down by race and not ethnicity, it if were broken down by ethnicity there would be way too many boxes. but still surprised there was not one for hispanic


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OldTart
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March 2, 2012 5:25 pm  

I remember taking the 2000 census and there was a Hispanic category.
It asks your race in one question, then in another if you're Hispanic or not.

So, now I get it. They are only reporting race. Not Hispanic ethnicity.

Correct. I did find a link to the census form and it's exactly as you recall.


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 5:49 pm  

beachcomber, cubans don't like columbians-says so right in Scarface.
but anyhow, it does look like it is broken down by race and not ethnicity, it if were broken down by ethnicity there would be way too many boxes. but still surprised there was not one for hispanic

The reason I mentioned what the Puerto Rican said to me was I doubt many check black under Race, because of that statement. JMO


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Bombi
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March 2, 2012 6:39 pm  

Demographics

See also: Demographics of the United States Virgin Islands

As of the census[19] of 2010, there were 106,405 people,[20] 40,648 households, and 26,636 families residing in the territory. The racial makeup of the territory as of 2010, was:[2]
Black or Afro-Caribbean: 79.7%
White: 7.1%
Asian: 0.8%
Mixed or Other: 12.4%
Hispanics of any race represent 16.8% of the total population. Of the Hispanic community, 60% were racially mixed, 28% were black, and 12% were white. The majority of Hispanics are of Puerto Rican descent. Many residents can trace their ancestry to other Caribbean islands, especially Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles. The territory is largely Afro-Caribbean in origin.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Virgin_Islands

optimist with low expectations on STX


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Linda J
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March 3, 2012 12:52 am  

My understanding is that there are about 3,000 anglo/whites on STX. That is out of a total population of about 50,000.


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poorthang
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March 3, 2012 1:44 am  

Other.......= Atheists ! Sorry I couldn't resist:D


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jbatl
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March 3, 2012 1:28 pm  

BACK on topic ... OP, politics here are very complex, because, as someone mentioned upthread, politics are far more ingrained in the day to day life here than in other locales of this size. In a county of 100,000 in the states, you might think about your county commission once a week? once a month? Here, it's likely that the latest actions, inactions, statements, scandals, etc, of our elected Senate and/or Governor might be discussed with you or within earshot multiple times a day.

Yes, there are fundimental problems with the structure of our unicameral legislature that propegate cronyism and a supreme incumabncy advantage.

It is not impossible for outsiders/statesiders/continentals/not bahn heres to get into politics. A continental is the current at-large Senator. Another continental was a long serving Senator who is now a very prominent voice on talk radio. Just two examples. Both, however, have spent decades working into the community.


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East Ender
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March 3, 2012 2:35 pm  

Politics are ingrained because the government is ingrained in daily life to a much greater degree. In the states the cemeteries, horse racing tracks and hospitals would be privately run. Here, there is an expectation that the government will take care of you, so you take care of your senator...


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STXBob
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March 3, 2012 2:41 pm  

A continental is the current at-large Senator. Another continental was a long serving Senator who is now a very prominent voice on talk radio. Just two examples. Both, however, have spent decades working into the community.

The following office-holders are also continentals (meaning, from the states):
Governor John P. DeJongh, Jr.
Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen
Police Commissioner Henry W. White, Jr.
Commissioner of Education LaVerne Terry

If you're not from here, then it helps to be black.


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