Author Topic: The Electoral Reform Commission  (Read 57655 times)

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #330 on: January 31, 2017, 08:40:31 AM »
Powergate was quoted on the front of last night's JEP threatening us with a Royal Commission if his fellow sophists don't agree to abolish parish Deputies and Island Senators in Wednesday's vote:

http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/01/30/deputy-last-chance-to-reform-states-ourselves/

That is just laughably absurd. We're not in the 19th century any more (although his haircut still seems to be) and the UK Government (regrettably) has no desire any more to interfere in the shabby little ways we choose to govern ourselves. Neither side would want to pay for it either. Jersey definitely wouldn't want the UK getting involved because that might reopen the question of the Constables remaining in the States all over again, just as they've successfully managed to kill off any remaining dissent locally, with even the turncoat Mezec now playing the role of a wide-eyed Constables' fanboy.

The extra St Helier seats will just end up going to wealthy country-residing government power seekers anyway so there will be no extra voice for the urban poor in the new Assembly if this road crash of a proposition somehow sneaks through with a tiny majority.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 08:44:18 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #331 on: February 01, 2017, 08:39:55 AM »
Some frankly bizarre claims about the supposed benefits of option B were made by 'Powergate' Lewis during an unchallenged interview on BBC Channel Islands News last night. Unfortunately I did not have time to write down his exact quotes and can only quote from memory but I recall him reeling off these two classics (in blue font):

* No more uncontested elections!

Er, what? ??? Presumably he means without taking into consideration the 12 Constables' seats. Perhaps he thinks that he doesn't have to bother mentioning them at all because, technically, the way they are being elected isn't actually changing and therefore those 12 seats are not officially part of his 'reforms'. ::) Either that or he just thinks that because Donald J. Trump is blatantly getting away with telling 'alternative facts' (i.e. lies) then he should be able to get away with doing the same thing too.

Even disregarding the Constables' seats, he still should not be allowed to get away with making such a bold statement on camera that there will be no uncontested elections (in the super constituencies) as if that was an inevitable consequence of his reforms. First of all, hotly contested elections are already the norm in all of Jersey's most urbanised areas apart from St Saviour so nothing much is likely to change in those areas if his reforms are passed. Contested elections are more likely but mainly due to two unfortunate consequences of Option B:

1) The abolition of the remaining Senators' seats will force government ministers to stand against more locally-orientated, parish candidates, so we will see ballot papers in areas of St Helier with perhaps 20 or more names on them, making it harder for voters to devote sufficient time to properly researching each and every candidate. This in turn will favour existing States Members and wealthier candidates because voters are either likely to know what they stand for already or (in the case of the wealthier ones) they will soon become well acquainted with them through expensive mailshots and huge banners everywhere.

2) The cut in the total number of Assembly seats up for grabs will presumably also help to add length to ballot papers as some incumbent States Members whose old seats have been abolished compete with other States Members for fewer seats.

Neither the abolition of the islandwide mandate nor the cut in the number of seats in the legislature is a positive change from the perspective of political accountability and the side effect of having possibly unwieldy numbers of candidates in some of the urban super constituencies does not really cancel these bad things out.

* There'll be more "Deputies" to assist with the Constables!

That's more or less what I heard Powergate say on BBC TV but I don't have a recording to go back and check again. I have been struggling ever since to understand what the hell he meant by this. I still can't figure it out but if I had to guess, I would say he might have meant that those States Members who lose their jobs as a result of the reduction in the number of Assembly seats will then offer their services for free to their local Constables. Suddenly the parishes will have loads more staff as redundant ex-States Members volunteer their services purely for the benefit of their communities rather than for their own financial gain. They could be employed (without pay) to do menial tasks such as picking up dog turds and litter in the rain, disposing of fly-tipped asbestos, or maybe just following the Constable around and constantly applauding him, like he's the dictator of North Korea or something.

OK, I really can't come up with any better explanation of what bullsh*t he was trying to get away with when he said that. Whatever it was, I simply don't swallow it. I wasn't born yesterday.

And what a totally unbalanced report by the BBC TV 'journalist', if you can call her that. No interviews with any States Members opposing option B and even the 3 cheap voxpop street quotes were all in favour of the Lewis-Mezec reforms in one form or another. It's what we've come to expect from BBC Jersey so no surprise.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 08:47:07 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Andrew Lewis deforms the facts to his advantage (again!)
« Reply #332 on: February 02, 2017, 05:50:14 AM »
Another totally misleading 'fact' was cited by Deputy Andrew 'Powergate Lewis during an interview on ITV News Channel TV (6pm edition) today. Once again I could not get an exact quote of his words and when I tuned in to the late edition of ITV News at 10.30pm to view it again for certainty, the report was shown again but with Lewis' interview comments completely removed - did they belatedly realise that his statement was too misleading to broadcast again? The report doesn't seem to be on the ITV News website either - strange.  ::)

What I heard him say (from memory so I might be wrong) was that 6 Deputies on the Council Of Ministers got 400 votes between them. Quite patently that is not the case on the plain and obvious meaning of the way he said it, because that would imply that between those 6 Deputies, they polled a total of 400 votes, so some of them must have been elected to the States with presumably less than 100 votes each! :o.

Therefore for clarity and fact-checking purposes, I have just checked the States Assembly website and browsed through the various Government Departments and listed the names of all the Deputies holding either the position of Minister or Assistant Minister, together with the number of votes they polled in the 2014 elections.

I have highlighted in red the 5 lowest number of votes cast for certain Deputies, which range from 476 for Scott Wickenden to 685 for Rod Bryans. Any Deputy who polled higher than that got more than 1,000 votes. There are 2 Deputies holding the position of Minister who were elected unopposed in 2014 but I presume Lewis did not intend to include them in his statistics because that would have opened up the obvious question of why some Constables are also holding ministerial positions despite being elected unopposed - and Lewis' proposition wouldn't stop Constables continuing to be returned unopposed in the future, so he doesn't want to highlight any members of the executive who didn't have contested elections. I have only included Anne Pryke once even though she holds an astonishing 4 separate Ministerial positions. I didn't even know that was allowed.

1) Chief Minister

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Scott Wickenden (polled 476 votes - St Helier No. 1)

2) Education

Minister:

Deputy Rod Bryans (polled 685 votes - St Helier No. 2)

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)

3) Health and Social Services

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Peter McLinton (polled 656 votes - St Saviour No.1)


4) Housing

Minister:

Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)


5) Social Security

Minister:

Deputy Susie Pinel (polled 1,541 votes - St Clement)

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Graham Truscott (polled 1,073 votes - St Brelade No. 2)


6) Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Murray Norton (polled 545 votes - St Brelade No. 1)

7) Home Affairs

Minister:

Deputy Kristina Moore (polled 1,335 votes - St Peter)


8] Environment

Minister:

Deputy Stephen Luce (re-elected unopposed - St Martin)

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)

9) Infrastructure

Minister:

Deputy Eddie Noel (re-elected unopposed - St Lawrence)

Assistant Minister:

Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)

Looking at these figures, I reckon he is actually referring to the fact that 6 Deputies (my research says only 5 - Wickenden, Norton, Pryke, McLinton and Bryans) individually gained total votes in their respective constituencies that happened to be within 400 votes of each other. However, that is a totally meaningless argument. For example, I could equally point out, using the same misleading Lewis rhetoric, that in those same 2014 elections, 4 candidates for Senator (Ferguson - 9,800 votes, Ozouf - 10,062 votes, Farnham - 10,409 votes, Cameron - 10,412 votes) got just 612 votes between them. That is just as misleading - and just as meaningless too.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 05:53:58 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: States adopts Farnham wrecking amendment
« Reply #333 on: February 02, 2017, 09:39:43 PM »
News Update at 3.40pm:

The States Assembly has adopted the self-serving wrecking amendment of Lyndon Farnham, which, in itself, is a terrible compromise that would still see the introduction of super constituencies and a reduction in the number of Deputies, but with 8 Senators (and 12 Constables of course).

Powergate then announced, with the full support of Sam Mezec, that he wished to withdraw his proposition. Some supporters of the Farnham wrecking amendment then criticised Powergate for wanting to withdraw it, Farnham being paramount amongst them as he wants to take the credit for being the man who finally persuaded the States to introduce 'reform' (albeit terrible back of a fag packet compromise reform).

The States are now debating whether to withdraw the Powergate proposition, amidst much confusion as to whether a proposer has the right to withdraw his own proposition or whether the Assembly must decide that for him...  ???



« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 09:42:24 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline boatyboy

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #334 on: February 02, 2017, 11:02:54 PM »

The shambles that are the states of Jersey ( small s )

Again one highly relevant point which I am afraid I do not have time at the momemnt to look up Hansard as a confirmation but when asked by a Deputy in a debate a couple of weeks ago Gorst answered where does this leave the Troy rule he basically answered that the Troy rule would be scrapped and superseded.

For those not familier with the Troy rule it is incredibly important and was installed many years ago by the States, after being proposed by Deputy Troy.

My rough interpretation is that the total number of backbenchers must always outnumber the executive ie the Ministers.

If this were not the case under collective responsibility and  the fact that the Chief MInister can now sack someone that disagrees with him what you basically have is a dictatorship.

So what do we have now ?

BB

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #335 on: February 03, 2017, 04:22:35 AM »
gorst did not sack bailhache when he voted again him.
I am glad we still have the island wide vote for Senators. it makes it harder for the likes of ozouf and co getting back in. They stand a better chance within one of the 6 districts. I take it you must live in the district.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #336 on: February 03, 2017, 06:54:36 AM »
Having missed the end of the debate, I was stunned to get home and learn from the BBC TV News at 6.30pm that the States had actually adopted P.133 as amended by Farnham, because it seemed that they were going to defer the whole thing until the next States sitting when I switched off after 4pm.

My own understanding is that P.133 became law only because Lewis, having initially declared that he was withdrawing his proposition, then sensationally changed his mind after several of the most senior Ministers got up and made speeches urging him not to withdraw. Farnham, seeing his one great chance to take all the credit about to slip away, also ripped into Lewis.

Lewis then flip-flopped and changed his mind. This then led to a legal conundrum because Farnham had also proposed (stupidly) holding a referendum on his own changes before next year's election. The twit hadn't taken into account how long this process would take and it became apparent that the referendum would have to be done and dusted within the next 3 months otherwise it would be too late to enact the legislation for the 2018 elections. Yet when I heard Farnham being interviewed on the 10.30pm edition of ITV News, he said that he hopes his plans will be put to a referendum in the "third or fourth quarter" of this year and if approved, be introduced in time for next year's elections! So it would appear that the States are going to rush this through in record time!

It's all a terrible mess which only got adopted because enough States Members convinced themselves that they had to agree to some type of reform today come what may. Better bad reform than no reform was their motto. As a result, more than a century and a half of Deputies representing their parishes is going to be destroyed. Instead, Deputies will represent their own parish and some neighbouring parishes too, while the Constables continue to get elected unopposed as they always have and the wealthiest Ministers who can afford to spend £9k on their election campaigns continue to get back in as Senators...  >:(

Worst of all was watching the despicable Mr Lewis being interviewed on BBC TV at 6.30pm and claiming that he was "pleased" with the result, when we all know that little more than 3 hours earlier he had stated the exact opposite to the House. Well that's yet another lie to add to the others he's already got away with this week!
   

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #337 on: February 04, 2017, 04:25:16 PM »
May be the island wide senator vote should only be for people who want to be ministers. That way the people wopuld have voted for the government they wanted. The then ministers would pick their assit ministers and voted in by the states members.
With the island wide vote people like ozouf i think will not get in next time. If it had just been districts then he would have had a chance of getting in.
I cannot see the island voting for him but he might just stand as a deputy which would show you how power crazy he is and keeping the back handers they get from their friends and business. 

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: The Electoral Reform Commission
« Reply #338 on: February 04, 2017, 07:00:55 PM »
How about the 8 senators who get elected become the ministers. In that way the people would be voting for their government. Only people who would want to be a minster can stand.
Afterward they can pick their assit  minsters after they have been voted in by the states assembly.
Now if they govern like this lot have then we should be able to make them resign from any minster position.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 06:06:33 PM by Chevalier Blanc »