Sunday, 22 June 2014

Electoral Reform - a chance to take a huge step forward

Here we have the proposed referendum that the people of Jersey should have been asked 10 years ago.

We are finally being offered our say on whether the recommendations of the Clothier Report on the composition of the States of Jersey should be implemented.

The review into the machinery of government in Jersey, led by Sir Cecil Clothier in 2000, proposed many far reaching reforms into how Jersey is governed. Since then, the States of Jersey has accepted all of it's proposals that concentrated power further into the hands of the senior elite in the States, without accepting the parts that proposed enhancing the democratic accountability of all politicians to the public that elect them.

Self interest prevailed, and I think that the majority of the public now lament that decision greatly.

Last years referendum did not help.

The moment the States decided to backtrack on it's decision that States Members should not be on the Electoral Commission, the outcome was doomed.

Self-interest took over once more and we all know how that turned out!

Here we have an opportunity for a legitimate referendum, with a legitimate question on a legitimate electoral system. Last time round, we had nothing but illegitimacy in the process.

If the States agree to put this question to the public (as they have tentatively already agreed to do so, however there is still one final vote to be had), then I, and Reform Jersey, will be campaigning hard for a "yes" vote on the 15th October, alongside our own personal elections.

The distribution of seats would be -

An independent boundary commission would be established to decide on the exact distribution, as well as setting the boundaries for the internal Parish districts in the larger Parishes.

It isn't perfect, but it's a heck of a step in the right direction.

Compared to what we have now, this is how it works out. The bars going down demonstrate over-representation, and the bars going up show under-representation -
This will eliminate the historic under-representation of the town. I would be committing treason against my electorate if I did anything other than support more representation for St Helier.

But the States still has a final vote coming up at the end of July to accept this referendum question, and I can already see the anti-democrats amongst my colleagues desperately scrambling for straws to clutch at, to find reasons why they should chicken out of asking the people for their say.

In the meantime, Reform Jersey presses on and is well on the road to preparing for this years elections.

If you want to find out more about the party and get involved, please contact me on