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!
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
Deputy Scott Wickenden (polled 476
votes - St Helier No. 1)2) Education
Deputy Rod Bryans (polled 685
votes - St Helier No. 2)
Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624
votes - Trinity)3) Health and Social Services
Deputy Peter McLinton (polled 656
votes - St Saviour No.1)4) Housing
Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)5) Social Security
Deputy Susie Pinel (polled 1,541 votes - St Clement)
Deputy Graham Truscott (polled 1,073 votes - St Brelade No. 2)6) Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture
Deputy Murray Norton (polled 545
votes - St Brelade No. 1)7) Home Affairs
Deputy Kristina Moore (polled 1,335 votes - St Peter) 8] Environment
Deputy Stephen Luce (re-elected unopposed - St Martin)
Deputy Anne Pryke (polled 624 votes - Trinity)9) Infrastructure
Deputy Eddie Noel (re-elected unopposed - St Lawrence)
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.