Saturday, 18 February 2012

Reports and dates to know.


Some important dates to be aware of and some documents to become familiar with Re the Electoral Commission.

This Tuesday (the 21st) there will be a Parish Assembly at St Clements Parish Hall at 7.00pm that has been organised by some local constituents to discuss and debate Deputy Roy Le Hérissier's proposal which is due to be debated in the States at the beginning of March.

Also, on Wednesday the 29th at 7.30pm there will be a meeting at the Town Hall organised by the Jersey Rights Association where anyone will be allowed to speak and vote.

I had intended to organise a Parish Assembly in St Saviour, but, alas, being a part time UK resident got in the way and I wasn't able to do it.

It is really important to attend these meetings and show the media and States that there is a public appetite to keep the Commission independent. If the votes are won at these meetings, it will display an official stance taken by the Parishes and will pressure States Members not to be out of touch with their electorate.

The actual wording of Deputy Le Hérissiers proposal can be found here -

Two dissenting members of the PPC have written a minority report (much better reading than the Philip Dick book...) which has a few interestin revelations. This can be viewed here -

The report contains a very comprehensive list of all the times the States has debated reform and all the times it has failed to achieve any. What could possibly be a better argument that the States just needs to be kept out of such decision making?

Until reading this report, I hadn't actually realised that Senator Bailhache had also proposed incredibly limiting the scope of review that the Commission would have and would prevent it from considering removing Constables from the States and that the new assembly must have an arbitrary number of 42 members.

The only reason Senator Bailhache is so determined to ban the Commission from considering the positions of the Constables, is because he is terrified they may come to the conclusion that the States may actually be better off without them. After all, if they were so undoubtedly good for Jerseys democracy, then surely the Commission would choose to keep them and he would have nothing to worry about. If he is so certain, then why does he need to fix the result?

The fact is, the Electoral Commission has to have ALL options on the table. The more limitations they have on their scope, the worse the end result will be.

What Senator Bailhache needs to just get over is that some people don't want the Constables to be in the States, and they are perfectly entitled to express that view in submissions to the Commission. Trying to ban such discussion is just dictatorial. Lets have an open Commission where all possibilities are considered so that we can come up with the best overall result.

But anyway... keep on sending my previous template email to your States Members, and if you can, attend the meetings! The battle is to be fought soon, and so the preliminary work needs to take a step up.


P.S. Here is an interesting interview with Deputy Tadier from the Tom Gruchy blog. Well worth watching -

Monday, 6 February 2012

Template email to States Members

Since my post last night I am aware of several people who have been emailing their representatives and we have had a great response (mostly of States Members confirming their support). However, I understand many people don't have the time to dedicate to sitting down and thinking through the process of writing an email about a political issue that they may not be completely confident with.

So I have made a template here that can simply be copied and pasted into an email, the blanks filled in and away it goes. It couldn't be simpler!

The template is based on the one that I sent to my Deputies, one of whom has already responded telling me she completely agrees with me.

Don't be scared to email them, that's what they are there for!

Template -

Dear <insert States Members name here>,

I write to you as a constituent to canvass for your support for a vote due to be debated in the States on the 6th of March on an amendment to P.5/2012.

I am aware that an amendment is to be put forward by Deputy Roy Le Hérrisier to replace the 3 States Members on the Electoral Commission with unelected and independent members instead. I feel it is important to ask you, as my elected representative, to back Deputy Le Herrisiers amendment and maintain the position that was decided last year following former Deputy Wimberly's proposition.

Over the years the States of Jersey has proven itself to be incapable of reforming itself and it is of vital importance that the Electoral Commission is independent so that there are no vested interests on board. I am utterly dismayed at the attempts of Senator Bailhache (with the backing of the Chief Minister) to try and usurp the Commission for himself to put forward his own views which do not reflect the wish of much of the electorate.

The States of Jersey as it is currently constituted has severe deficiencies in democratic accountability. The election turnouts are appallingly low, there is considerable disproportionality in the representation of certain parts of the island and there is a lack of separation of powers. This can only be solved by a commission of people whose sole objective is to improve Jersey's democracy and not those who have a vested interest in their seats being maintained. I fear that if we allow the commission to be taken over by politicians then we will simply have another few years of wrangling, disagreement and no progress whatsoever.

I hope I can count on you to support this amendment, and the principle in general.

Many thanks,
<Insert your name and parish here>

Obviously amend according to any differences of opinion you have with that expressed here.

Email addresses are on my last blog post.

As always, any comments and constructive criticism is welcome.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

My plea for a small deed to save Jersey's democracy

Dear all,

Much of my previous blogs have focused on the topic of electoral reform in Jersey which is, in my opinion, the solution to virtually every problem that Jersey faces. I believe that more democracy and more responsibility for the people (together with support to empower them) is the way that all injustices will be solved, and to achieve this we need an electoral system that is fit for purpose and puts each individual in as much an equal position of power as possible.

The more democratic, accountable and receptive the States of Jersey is, together with a system that enthuses all of the electorate to take part, the better Jersey will be.

But as I and others have said before (to the point where it's a cliché now), Turkeys don't vote for Christmas and the States is incapable of reforming itself. It needs an independent commission to look at all the options, without bias and put forward a suggestion that goes to the public in a referendum. Politicians must be kept out of that process as much as possible because they all have a vested interest in what the make up of the chamber is.

You're probably thinking that I've said all this before, why regurgitate it all again now? Well, as I read in the JEP the other day, it is now official that on the 6th of March, the States will debate an amendment put forward by Deputy Roy Le Hérrisier on removing the reserved 4 seats on the Commission for States Members. *

This vote will be the crucial moment.

If it is lost, then reform in Jersey is a lost cause for God knows how long, again. It really is vital that this vote is won so that the independence of the Electoral Commission is preserved. And so I call you to action!

At the bottom of this post I will copy all of the contact details for all of the States Members who you should email, it doesn't have to be a long message, just saying that on the 6th of March you would like them to vote for Deputy Le Hérrisiers amendment regarding the Electoral Commission. Don't be scared to contact them, that is exactly what they are there for! The more canvassing people do, the more likely the member will be swayed to voting as you are asking them for.

It will only take a moment of your time, couldn't be simpler and is incredibly important! So please hear my plea!

As usual, if anyone has any questions, doesn't quite know how to word their email, or just outright disagrees with me and wants to tell me the error of my ways, please feel free to leave comments, email me at or catch me on the Facebook!

Many thanks Comrades!



Senator Paul Francis Routier M.B.E. 

Senator Philip Francis Cyril Ozouf 

Senator Alan Breckon 

Senator Sarah Craig Ferguson 

Senator Alan John Henry Maclean

Senator Bryan Ian Le Marquand

Senator Francis du Heaume Le Gresley, M.B.E.

Senator Ian Joseph Gorst

Senator Lyndon John Farnham

Senator Sir Philip Martin Bailhache


Connétable Daniel Joseph Murphy

Deputy Carolyn Fiona Labey

St. Brelade

Connétable Stephen William Pallett

Deputy Sean Power

Deputy Montfort Tadier

Deputy John Hilary Young

St. Clement

Connétable Leonard Norman

Deputy Gerard Clifford Lemmens Baudains

Deputy Susan Jane Pinel

St. Helier

Connétable Alan Simon Crowcroft

Deputy Judith Ann Martin

Deputy Geoffrey Peter Southern

Deputy Jacqueline Ann Hilton

Deputy Shona Pitman

Deputy Trevor Mark Pitman

Deputy Michael Roderick Higgins

Deputy Andrew Kenneth Francis Green M.B.E.

Deputy James Patrick Gorton Baker

Deputy Roderick Gordon Bryans

Deputy Richard John Rondel

St. John

Connétable Philip John Rondel

Deputy Patrick John Dennis Ryan

St. Lawrence

Connétable Deidre Wendy Mezbourian

Deputy John Alexander Nicholas Le Fondré

Deputy Edward James Noel

St. Martin

Connétable Michel Philip Sydney Le Troquer

Deputy Stephen George Luce

St. Mary

Connétable Juliette Gallichan

Deputy John Michael Le Bailly

St. Ouen

Connétable Michael John Paddock

Deputy James Gordon Reed

St. Peter

Connétable John Martin Refault

Deputy Kristina Louise Moore

St. Saviour

Connétable Sadie Anthea Rennard

Deputy Robert Charles Duhamel

Deputy Roy George Le Hérissier

Deputy Kevin Charles Lewis

Deputy Tracey Anne Vallois

Deputy Jeremy Martin Maçon


Connétable John Le Sueur Gallichan

Deputy Anne Enid Pryke