Friday, 25 October 2013

Reform - Who do you trust: an Oxford professor or a JEP editor?

Just a short post to draw this to people's attention -,094,098,116,117Com.pdf

The Privileges and Procedures Committee commissioned Professor Iain McLean (University of Oxford) and Professor Ron Johnston (University of Bristol) to examine all of the current reform propositions due for debate in two weeks and work out how effectively each of them addresses the problem of over/ under-representation of voters across the island.

Unfortunately they have used a different method of working out the deviation rates than has been used by Dr Alan Renwick before, so it's not easy to compare them to the charts and graphs I had been using before. Though this is understandable because it's very difficult to come up with a formula that works for all systems given how some of the proposed districts vary in their nature (i.e. some based on single Parishes, super-constituencies, part of this Parish mixed with part of that Parish etc).

But regardless, it makes for interesting reading and the conclusions are incredibly obvious.

On all of the criteria that they use to measure the proposed systems, Deputy Southern's proposition to adopt the Clothier reforms ranks number 1.

Coming in 2nd place is PPC's proposed interim reforms (which will precede a referendum on the Clothier reforms). That's those reforms that the (thankfully) departing editor of our esteemed JEP told you were "an insult to islanders intelligence". I think I'll go with the professors on this one.

So it's incredibly clear how the States should vote in two weeks. They should vote to adopt Deputy Southern's proposal, and if they can't bring themselves to do that, they should vote for PPC's interim reforms and proposal for a referendum on the Clothier reforms. Anything less than that will be an insult to islanders who deserve a proper democracy.

But of course, we know what will happen. It will be turkeys and Christmas as usual (none more so than the Constable of St Mary who really has gone to some extreme lengths to keep her safe seat in the States with her.... ummm.... imaginative proposal).

It is quite apt that these reforms will begin to be debated on the 5th of November. If anyone is free to help me load the gunpowder into the States basement, please let me know!

But on a more serious note, since the debates are unlikely to lead to any change, the planning for the next elections needs to begin now.

Once I have a venue confirmed, I will post details about a meeting in a couple of weeks for people to discuss that very matter.