Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Jersey's Elections (2)-- The Facts Speak For Themselves

The election merry go round enters its second week and Hustings are now being held for Deputies as well as Senators. The one Husting for the only election for Connetable will be held at St Mary on Tuesday 7th October at 8pm.

The first Hustings for Deputies got underway last night and tonight there are 5 Deputies and 1 Senator’s Husting. I shall be chairing the St Helier Number 1 District Hustings at 7pm this evening at the Ommaroo Hotel at Havre des Pas and look forward to the occasion.

There is a rare Husting at Trinity this evening where the Health Minister Anne Pryke who was “elected” 9 years ago will be appearing before the electorate for the first time, thanks to Hugh Raymond throwing his hat into the ring. He is a well qualified candidate and it will be interesting to see how the pair perform at the Hustings and the support each candidate receives from what is expected to be a high turn out.

The fact that a candidate can be elected unopposed and become a Minister without facing the electorate is another example of how outdated our current electoral system is. Also this evening at St Lawrence there is a Senators Husting where the Connetable and the 2 Deputies were all re-elected unopposed. The two Deputies Noel and Le Fondre (who has not uploaded his manifesto) are both seeking Ministerial positions as is Deputy Kevin Lewis who if re-elected will be hoping to carry on as Minister of Transport and Technical Services.

Whilst I don’t support the continuation of the Senator's role it still exists and, as such I believe that candidates wishing to become Ministers should seek an Island mandate to give them credibility, It has been noticeable that some Senatorial candidates like Anne Southern, Zoe Cameron, Deputy Young and Green are seeking an Island mandate to enhance their chances of becoming Ministers. I wish them well and I consider that all are well in with a chance of being elected.

Some may say its surprising how little interest is being shown in relation to the referendum as to whether Connetables should retain their automatic right of a seat in the States Assembly. The referendum is half cocked and if it was not being held on the same day as the General Election there would be an all time low turn out.

It is interesting to see how Senator Bailhache says he supports reform when he has done so much to stifle it and continues to do so  by supporting the Connetable's right to an automatic seat. The Senator is also of the view that there needs to be a reduction in the number of States Members. Had he not ambushed the Electoral Commission there would have been a reduction and a genuine election where all the candidates would have to face the electorate and the public would have a genuine say in who represents them.

I have always supported the Clothier recommendation for a smaller Assembly which the Senator also wants but he stops short of the full Clothier recommendation of a one class of States Member. Having just read his leaflet which has come through my letter box it is evident that Senator Bailhache is unsettled by those States members who question what Ministers do, including those who are caught out reading confidential papers on aircraft. There is no Opposition Party in Jersey and true opposition is left to the ever decreasing number of Members who are prepared to make Ministers accountable.

Opposition can come via questions and propositions being lodged and it is evident that the outgoing House has hardly excelled its itself. In the House of 2008 to 2011, 1402 propositions and amendments were lodged. This outgoing House has lodged 848. That number would have been much reduced had the Plemont and Electoral Commission not been recycled at the behest of Senator Bailhache.

The same reduction can be found in the number of written and oral questions asked. The previous House asked 2359 written and 1049 oral questions. The outgoing House has asked 1892 written and 878 oral. I wont embarrass the Connetables by revealing the number of questions and propositions they have lodged because a number would have a zero figure. Therefore it is not surprising that Ministers wishing for an easy and unaccountable way of life seek the retention of Connetables remaining as ex-officio States Members.

Confirmation of the figures I have produced can be verified via the States Assembly website which be accessed by clicking HERE  

In my last Blog I commented on the number of Connetables who had failed to upload their manifestos onto the Vote.je website. Having checked before publishing this Blog it is evident that only two of the re-elected have. One displays his website but on reading it I found that it had not been updated since 2011. What is particularly disappointing is among those who have not uploaded their manifestos are the two Connetables who have been elected unopposed. Therefore their parishioners have no idea what they stand for or what they hope to achieve during their term of office.   

In conclusion it is pleasing to note the States has taken a leaf out of the Voice for Children and Tom Gruchy book and is now videoing most of the Hustings via the vote.je Website. Whilst the visual and sound quality can be improved the recordings offer those unable to attend the Hustings with the opportunity of seeing the candidate and hearing what they have to say.

The vote.je website can be accessed by clicking HERE.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for another informative blog and indeed the figures do speak for them selves and do little to inspire one to vote “Yes” to keep the Connetables in the States.

    Tell me is it true that our non elected Dean and Deputy Bailiff are representing the States at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in the Cameroons?

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    1. Good choice!
      Not only can the Dean & Deputy Bailiff project Jersey as a beacon of virtue and functional democracy -they can also pimp for proceeds of corruption o be laundered thought a "well regulated financial centre".

      Maybe I am being a little unfair as these things have been tightened up slightly since the Bailhache Russian billions.

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    2. Yes they are along with Deputy James Reed.

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  2. As usual great blogs and interviews on the VFC blog RE reform and unelected states members on:

    http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/deputy-sam-mezec-unelected-states.html
    &
    http://voiceforchildren.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/deputy-sam-mezec-unelected-states_28.html

    An inciteful comment off the latter was

    "The electoral system in Jersey is designed to maintain the status quo, i.e. make sure the "right sort" retain control of the States chamber. Ensuring the Constables retain their seats, ensuring the deeply conservative rural parishes are massively over-represented, and ensuring the island's only newspaper is deeply hostile to any changes that might endanger the status quo, are all part of the establishment's hostility to true democratic reform.
    However, reform of the States Chamber is, in many ways, a side-show, when the real power lies in the hands of unelected minions of the British crown. When an unelected speaker appointed by a foreign power [effectively the City of London Corporation?] can decide which questions elected members can and can't ask, and which laws can and cannot be passed, there is no real democracy."


    Where the above comment is wrong is in that the "unelected speaker" and it's powers -can and ultimately MUST form part of the more distant reform of the States Chamber.

    The system is far from perfect but electoral apathy or defeatism [or a "YES" vote] will guarantee that the system is maintained or made WORSE.

    In reality the next government has ALREADY BEEN DETERMINED by the 11 unelected Constables. Constituents can still vote for some representation via their deputies and Senators and it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to maintain some centre and moderate voices in the states if even the slightest scrutiny of the states is to be maintained. Centre right voters would be well advised to vote for progressive candidates in the hope of achieving a little balance and vigilance against practises guaranteed to proliferate child abuse.

    It's your vote. USE IT OR LOOSE IT.

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    1. "effectively the City of London Corporation"

      There is noting of itself wrong with a connection between Jersey and the City of London Corp.

      The problem comes when one has undue influence or convenience on the political structure or discourse in the other

      Or if one or both are involved in the proliferation of child abuse or cover up or protection of perpetrators.

      Well we know the Jersey Establishment's record on this.

      I don't know to what extent the City of London is implicated in the unravelling UK abuse scandal.


      Without canting any aspersions as to his good character it is worth highlighting the following individual as a noteworthy link between Jersey and the City of London Corp.

      www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/who-we-are/key-members/Pages/chairman-of-the-policy-and-resources-committee,-mark-boleat.aspx

      Outside the City, Mark Boleat holds a portfolio of non-executive positions. He is Chairman of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities, the States of Jersey Development Company and Yatterbox Ltd.

      Very impressive for a polytechnic graduate and he must have some impressive capabilities to have shinned so effectively up the greasy poles. Readers will be familiar with the above portfolio, with the possible exception of "Yatterbox" which is involved in monitoring social media.

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  3. Bob.

    No Victim Support available to vulnerable witnesses at Jersey CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY.

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  4. I can't get to the Senatorial hustings due to work, but if any out there can, could you please ask the panel a question regarding voter apathy?

    Q. Do the candidates think the Jersey voting public or the non voting public get the government & council of ministers they deserve?

    I'd love to know

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  5. From
    http://sammezec.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-future-of-constables-in-states-is.html

    Anonymous4 October 2014 13:06
    "Did you hear Phil Bailhache & others spouting off about democracy on BBC radio bean's election call? What a load of garbage.

    To summarise Bailhaches comments: Democracy & separation of powers is a good idea in theory. Except Jersey has 800 years experience of feudal rule by the elite (Me & my brother) - so why change?

    Also- the Bailiff's position in polite society would be diminished if he were not speaker in the States and head Judge.

    There you have it.

    Appearing to be a very important fish in a little pond is much more important than democracy.

    So Vote for me you fools!

    What a clown."

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    1. And who gives a flying f*** about polite society. What we want is a democratic, robust, fair system, and not some pompous t***'s prestige at a dinner party. Wake up Jersey its time for change. If you don't you deserve more of the same!

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  6. On BBC radio Philip Bailhache preferes Alan Maclean over Ian Gorst to be the next Chief Minister. Is this because Ian Gorst voted for spilting the rolls of the judiciary and speaker ? Who needs enemies when you have freinds like dear Philip, who places status above democracy and by therefore is not the right type of person to be a politician.

    ReplyDelete