Author Topic: The Electoral Reform Commission  (Read 62738 times)

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2012, 07:30:04 AM »
Despite my earlier comments that they they would only have made this trip if they were serious about recommending a Barbados-style system, there is a counter-argument, which is based more on budgets than any great admiration for Barbados politics:

It is possible that Bailhache realised quite recently that the final costs of the Commission would come in well under the £87,000 figure that the PPC quoted to the States in its proposition P.5/2012 and only then did he come up with the idea of this Barbados trip, presumably with the first thought of using up some of that big underspend, as I speculate here (not yet published):

http://www.thisisjersey.com/news/2012/07/28/barbados-trip-was-good-use-of-public-money-says-senator/#comment-176153

If you've underspent your budget, does that make it acceptable to then use up some of the savings you've made on non-essential or luxury trips as a reward for your prudence? No- I don't think it does and I believe it is this type of mentality amongst States Members that has helped to bring the whole political process into disrepute in the eyes of the public. Who is to say that the original estimate wasn't totally overstated anyway? If the Pitmans had done this, they would have had Senator Sarah Ferguson denouncing them on CTV, BBC and in the JEP by now.

Funny I have heard nothing from her so far condemning Bailhache or did I just miss it?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 07:33:47 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Calimachon

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2012, 02:18:22 PM »

Funny I have heard nothing from her so far condemning Bailhache or did I just miss it?

You most certainly have a point there about Senator Ferguson.  The first time she got in I voted for her but then there was a news report about her close working relations with the then Chief Officer and I never voted for her again.  Not that it did much good she got in anyway more's the pity.

Cali
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Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2012, 03:02:01 PM »
Ferguson has got into bed with the establishment foe sometime now.
I have never voted for her.
Remember the car recovery issue when she went to the SG and said this is the Jersey Way! For that she should never get into the States again.

Online boatyboy

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2012, 01:29:22 AM »
Fair comment Chev but nobody is perfect. I am sure that Sarah Ferguson the penny watcher actual head of corporate scrutiny will not be happy with this blatant abuse of public money.

Should Senator Barbados Bailhache not apologies and offer to return the funds out of his own generous pension, then when the States return from their summer break, the support he receives for this completely unneeded trip,  I suggest will be as thin as tissue paper.

I also thought Sarah Fergusons normal balance had gone and was supporting the old guard, but she appeared on VFC blog and spoke openly, and I would be very surprised if you see her or his right hand man Constable Crowcroft rally to his side.

I would hope the lady Senator will be asking  leading questionings with Southern and Simon Crowcroft demanding a written explanation and carrying out a public investigation by his PPC committee with the Barbados trip full costs published.

Who on earth sanctions these Jollies ?

BB.

   
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 03:55:59 AM by boatyboy »

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2012, 05:05:48 PM »
Well i really hope you are right Boatboy.
I just wish that someone in the States could gel a majority against the establishment party and hold it together for the better.
Why can they not see that this is the only way to do the things that the public want in this Island?
In one hand they say we have saved x amount  of money from our budget then go on and spend what they had served on something else that is really not needed. It makes a laughing stock of the whole situation!

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2012, 09:37:43 AM »
Changing the subject slightly- I have just been reading the most recently-published minutes of the meeting of the Privileges and Procedures Committee, which is for 23rd May 2012. I was looking for a reference to that forthcoming Barbados trip. I didn't find it. However, I did notice something else which will infuriate the public but delight all serving States Members:

The PPC are now examining afresh the 2009 recommendation by the States Members' Remuneration Review Body (the SMRRB) to introduce a pension scheme for States Members. The PPC's stated policy on this is that they will only consider its introduction if it could be "delivered within the existing budget for States Members' salaries and expenses". However, they go on to note that "the outcome of the work being progressed by the Electoral Commission could conceivably impact the existing budget for States Members' remuneration and expenses". See page 2 of the minutes below:

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyMinutes/2012/2012-05-23%20PPC%20%28A%29.pdf

Reading between the lines, I interpret this as meaning that the PPC confidently expect the Electoral Commission to recommend a reduction in the number of States Members, which would consequently lead to a saving in the amount spent on States Members' salaries... which would in turn give PPC the perfect excuse to recommend the introduction of pensions for States Members, on the basis that it will be funded from 'savings'. It definitely sounds like they are very keen to run with it, because the minutes state that they agreed to give further consideration to the matter at their very next meeting, which took place on 20th June (no minutes have yet been made available).

An interesting thought- why would PPC be considering this matter so quickly if they had no indication at the date of their discussion as to whether or not the Commission had any plans to recommend a reduction in the number of States Members (and given that their consent to the introduction of pensions is directly tied to savings being made in the budget for States Members' salaries and expenses)? Surely they would be jumping the gun because the Commission were still in the process of consulting the public when the PPC presumably discussed the matter?

To me, this says the following:

* The Electoral Commission will recommend a reduction in the number of States Members;
* This recommendation will in turn trigger the PPC to lodge a proposition to introduce pensions for States Members;
* (most controversially) The timing of the PPC's decision to re-consider the issue of pensions hints that they were at least very confident that the Commission would recommend a reduction in the number of States Members even before the Commission's public consultation process had been completed... which indicates to me that the consultation is indeed a complete sham.


The PPC members who were present at the meeting on 23rd May are as follows:

Constable Simon Crowcroft (St Helier), Senator Sarah Ferguson, Senator Sir Phil 'Barbados' Bailhache, Constable Len Norman (St Clement) and Deputy Judy Martin (St Helier No. 1).

Online boatyboy

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2012, 03:10:43 PM »
Good informative post Jerry.

This idea of pensions is in line with the States way of doing things.

Lets save money so we can spend it in other areas. Terry Le Suer and Philip Ozouf are famous for this particular technique.

In saying that, it is a thankless task being a States member. I suggest if they are considering bringing in pensions, my first thoughts are - only if they have served ten years, which shows that the voters appreciate their work and they are not one term wonders. Any pension awarded must be based on a private scheme not on the present public sector scheme. It is also my understanding ( and I may be wrong ) but they do NOT have to contribute to social security payments at the present time but in fact the taxpayer foots the whole bill which must change.

The States is the employer, they are the voted in employed, so why should this be ?

bb
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 03:16:36 PM by boatyboy »

Offline Calimachon

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2012, 04:32:00 PM »
I agree if States Members are to gain from pensions at all they should have proved their worth in serving the community and not themselves by being voted in time and again because the people recognise thier contribution to the wellbeing of the citizens.

I couldn't agree more they should not be protected from social security payments - let's make it a level playing field.

I also note that should a politician leave politics having spent years serving our island that more often that not if they don't have substantial private means that they could be in serious trouble.  So in my humble opinion a pension for them is a good thing as long as it is kept in sensible line with the majority of other pension holders in the island and that it does not soar to the heddy hights that bankers seem to enjoy.

To the progressives sitting within our States I would like to say that I am well pleased with the way in which they are acting and long may it continue.

There is far more real debate coming out of the chamber now than there ever has been.  Heaven  knows the progressives have a massive battle on their hands but with the merging of the internet media (bloggers) both by States Members and non States members I am encouraged and look forward to a better future.

In the meantime for those who are dragging their feet in bringing on the Child Abuse enquiry I only have one thing to say to them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPWHfrU3PSQ

Cali
TOMORROW (Noun) = A mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation an achievement is stored

Online boatyboy

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2012, 03:54:07 PM »
CM Gorst nails his colours to the mast, and he dident even go to Barbados ?
and the JEP tells Jersey how it should be, what a surprise, but they forgot to do a full story on the meeting at the town hall which was never put up on line for the world to view.

JEP

THE Constables provide a vital link between government and the parishes and must be kept in the States, the Chief Minister has said.

He also suggested creating a second States Chamber made up of Senators,

http://www.thisisjersey.com/news/2012/08/10/constables-‘give-states-a-link-to-the-people’/

bb
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 03:57:07 PM by boatyboy »

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2012, 11:23:59 PM »
The very last thing we want is a second chamber.
That would completely kill the people of the Island off. It would just leave all the good things to the establishment people.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #40 on: August 13, 2012, 08:40:51 PM »
I promised myself I wouldn't do it but I couldn't help taking a quick look at just a few of the submissions made by members of the public to the Electoral Commission. It really isn't a good idea- they might as well have invited the public to tell them how long a piece of string is. You get every answer under the sun, depending on what the vested interest of the person making the submission happens to be. There are the usual submissions from past and present Constables arguing for the retention of the Constables in the States.  ::) Then there are the 2014 election candidates rehearsing the rubbish they're going to be spouting at the hustings in two years time- and one even trying to impress us by sending in his 40-page dissertation, prominently displaying the 'University of Reading' letterhead.  :-[

However, my favourite piece of advice has to be the following, which comes from someone who has stood unsuccessfully for the States in the past but who shall remain nameless in his own best interests (no- it isn't Darius Pearce or Gino Risoli before you ask!):

Quote
"Every person that puts their name forward for election should be voted into government."

Well, yes, that would definitely rectify the current unfairness in the electoral process- the unfairness in this case being that some candidates lose while others win! I suppose that the idea behind this would be to copy the GCSE examination system, whereby everybody who takes part in the process is virtually guaranteed some sort of a pass (election win) at the end of the day. In future, election night coverage would presumably consist of squealing schoolgirls bouncing up and down and hugging each other to celebrate their passes (election wins), declaring which unis (ministries) they intend to apply for, before heading off to the local park to celebrate their success by getting stoned out of their minds. ;D

http://www.electoralcommission.je/current-submissions/
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 09:38:44 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Online Fritz

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2012, 01:10:17 AM »
Says more about the education(?) system than the electoral system.
There are no losers in school,"Activity,(Sports)", days.

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2012, 03:21:19 PM »
There are losers in school!
No sports!
We cannot have someone coming last it makes them a loser. Well life is just like that i am afraid. So someone who will never get good marks for written work etc just might be a really good runner or high jumper etc and it makes them a winning. This is one thing that is really wrong with education these days.
Same as everyone comes out of school with a pass mark in every subject but the only problem is that getting anything below a C is an idiot.
Just look at the olympics and how good Britain did. Think about the amount of people employed in sport and perhaps those people might have had a hard job being employed else where.
Bring back the sports day between schools at the FB Fields.

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2012, 03:35:04 PM »
So how much of a pension would a states member get if only serving one term?
Also would it be on the bases as states employees?
80ths which is what all new states employees are on meaning a full 40 years you get half of your last salary and cannot draw it until you are 60. You may still pay into it until you are 60 which other members have done but the states do not put their two pennies worth in. So by this i take it that members are looking at using the states pension fund as a private investment for old age.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2012, 06:44:23 AM »
So how much of a pension would a states member get if only serving one term?
Also would it be on the bases as states employees?
80ths which is what all new states employees are on meaning a full 40 years you get half of your last salary and cannot draw it until you are 60. You may still pay into it until you are 60 which other members have done but the states do not put their two pennies worth in. So by this i take it that members are looking at using the states pension fund as a private investment for old age.

At their meeting on 23rd May, the current PPC indicated that their preferred pension arrangement was 'option 3' , which had also been the preferred option of the previous PPC in 2009, as evidenced by R.132/2009 (see page 3 of the link below):

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyReports/2009/23701-31715-30112009.pdf

Basically, the States, acting as the 'employer', would make matched contributions on a pound-for-pound basis to individual States Members' private pension schemes. There would be "no direct involvement in the operation of the scheme either from the States or any external scheme provider."

It is worth reminding ourselves that this pension talk all started in early 2009 with a public consultation by the States Members' Remuneration Review Body (SMRRB), which I consider to be another one of those sham consultations designed, in this particular case, to give the SMRRB the green light to recommend the introduction of pensions and other things that States Members had been lobbying for. Many of the respondents were actually serving or past States Members, or known associates of States Members. One of the responses quoted in the SMRRB's subsequent 2009 report was that the island should have "... half as many States Members but pay them twice as much." We don't know if it was a States Member who made that comment, but I think it is quite revealing because the issue being discussed was whether the number of States Members should be reduced. Now it is three years later and we have another sham consultation under the guise of constitutional reform, which we are told we need, and guess what? Many of the people who responded in 2009 are also now responding to the Electoral Commission and recommending that they cut the number of States Members! Almost inevitable, in my opinion, that the Electoral Commission will recommend cutting the number of States Members and that this will act as the green light for the PPC to introduce pension contributions for States Members. You can see the names of those who responded to the SMRRB in 2009 on page 13 of this report:

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyReports/2009/36090-18765-1262009.pdf

Also interesting that SMRRB member Brian Bullock has made a submission to the Electoral Commission in which he recommends cutting the number of States Members to 44 (more or less what Sir Phil wants!):

http://www.electoralcommission.je/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Bullock-Brian.pdf

Going back to their 2009 report, the SMRRB also made it patently clear that they wanted the States to consider amending article 44 of the States of Jersey Law 2005, which currently prevents States Members from being able to receive different levels of pay (actually it is article 43- the SMRRB appear to have got their articles mixed up!). A successful amendment would finally allow Ministers and Assistant Ministers to be paid substantially more than back-benchers. I am convinced that the amending or repeal of article 43, as called for by the SMRRB, will be one of the other things of direct benefit to States Members which will emerge out of this sham reform process. Within three years, I predict a Minister will probably be receiving in excess of £70K per year and all States Members will be pocketing matched contributions from the States towards their private pensions.  >:(