Last year when Members debated Daniel Wimberley's proposition 9 Connetables voted against it. Any one of them could have lodged an amendment in line with what PPC was now proposing, however not one of them did so. Therefore it could be argued that if Connetables were against the Commission they would be against any form of Commission unless of course there were strings attached.
This time round there were strings attached because Senator Bailhache had already intimated that he was in favour of the Connetables remaining in the States. I heard Connetable Mezbourian's speech in which she said she felt very uncomfortable because of the assurance given by Senator Bailhache. She was of the view that Connetables were conflicted and as such she was going to abstain from voting.
A few speeches later Connetable Norman spoke and was of the view that Connetables were not conflicted and being States Members they should not be abstaining. It is worth noting that last year Connetable Norman had voted against the proposed Electoral Commission but now as a Member of PPC had supported fellow PPC Member, Senator Bailhache's proposal to ignore the decision taken by the former House and to lodge a proposition proposing that the Commission should comprise of 3 States Members one of whom should be its Chairman.
As mentioned above, Deputy Le Herissier's amendment was defeated by 3 votes. A closer look at the vote reveals that Connetables Crowcroft, Le Troquer and Pallett voted for the amendment with Connetable Mezbourian abstaining. However 8 of the remaining Connetables voted against the amendment. Of the 8, Connetables Norman, Refault,
It has often been said that States Members are like turkeys in that they do not vote for Christmas, readers may be forgiven if they hold that view following the Connetables voting pattern as there could be a degree of truth in that claim.
No matter what folk may say, perception is very important and it could be said that the proposed States run Electoral Commission will not have the same credibility as a truly independent one. However one sobering thought is no matter what recommendations may be forthcoming from either the Electoral Commission or the subsequent referendum, States Members will still asked to agree to them and it’s almost certain that Connetables will not be the only turkeys.
In the meantime, enjoy the Turkey Shoot.