Island wide voting 'is what the people want'

A PETITION by deputies could see island-wide voting brought in by the next election if it is successful.

mike1327100_475

A PETITION by deputies could see island-wide voting brought in by the next election if it is successful.

Deputy Mike Hadley, pictured, said he would be finalising the wording of the requete motion today.

He is one of several politicians hoping to reopen one of Guernsey’s longest-running debates, and said the move reflected the will of the people.

‘When it was last debated I researched the subject and it’s clear that the majority of people want it,’ he said.

‘Again in the last election people lobbied for it and I committed myself to it.

‘Now we’re two years in to this term and nobody has done anything – it’s time it was brought back to the Assembly.’

Deputy Mary Lowe, who has assisted Deputy Hadley in forming the requete, said it would call for the States Assembly and Constitution Committee to bring in a single island-wide election of 45 deputies as outlined in the committee’s report in 2011.

‘I’ve always been supportive of island-wide voting. People should be able to vote for all of government, not part of it – nothing has ever changed my mind about that,’ she said.

Comments for: "Island wide voting 'is what the people want'"

MP

Yes it is what the people want island wide voting and fewer deputies whilst you are at it.

Alvin

Totally agree... 24 deputies as explained in my post below.

Geoff

It will be very interesting if it ever gets to a vote how some deputies will vote. I don't see it being in place for the next election though.

insider

Love the sound of IWV, however I have yet to see a format that is actually workable and wouldn't lead to more voter apathy.

glep

Unlikley to happen, but if it dies, I will glady add my name to the electoral roll and use my right to vote.

glep

Naturally - that should say "does", not dies. Although given the lak of movement on this before, I have no doubt it will indeed die on its feet!

Dave Jones

Submission to the House Committee on Island Wide Voting

I welcome this opportunity to make this submission to the House Committee on the subject of Island wide voting. If there is one major change to our electoral system I would wholeheartedly support, it would be a change to an all island voting system.

I have always believed, indeed I spent many years as part of the local pressure group trying to persuade people that we ought to at least get the electoral process right, in order to make all our elected representatives accountable to all of the people.

This can only ever be achieved if we give all of the people eligible to vote, the chance to elect all the members of the States on an all island ballot sheet, or some electronic version of the same.

The previous Bailiff Sir De Vic Carey during a speech given at one of the I.O.D. conferences a few years ago made special reference to our electoral process. He warned at the time of the Harwood report, of the possible consequences of embarking on a change to a more 'focussed' form of government, without first addressing the pressing matter of the limited support there seemed to be for the present political system.

It is this clear lack of support that is revealed in terms of the diminishing numbers of people prepared to visit the ballot box. De Vic said, and I quote: "If only a small minority vote and you move from consensus government to a more focussed government”, “the risk of that government being unrepresentative and suffering a serious loss of confidence are that much greater". End of quote.

In any modern democracy (ours especially, without a party based system) it must be the fundamental right of every citizen to elect or remove all of the politicians that make up their government. When we vote, we are not voting for a party ideology, we are electing a group of individuals, that stand on their own policies or beliefs in an election for a single seat, that will collectively make up the entire legislature of this island……… a complete government

It is also my belief that there is now widespread public support for Island wide voting. Accountability we are constantly being told by at least one powerful section of our business community and our illustrious Guernsey Press, is the ingredient that is missing from our present system.

Being truly accountable is not something we are particularly good at as politicians. History has shown us that there has been some seriously un-dignified attempts by some politicians in the past to cling to their positions once it was clear that it was neither in the Islands best interest to remain, or their own.

Although I don’t believe this new government is any less accountable than those of the past, I just think we often appear to be less willing to account for our mistakes.

This frequently results in a feeling by the voting public, that we as politicians do not step down or to use the political interpretation, "fall on our swords", when we have failed our people, and it is abundantly clear to everybody that we should do so.

It is my belief that Island wide voting would go some way to making everyone of us as elected representatives, accountable to ALL of the electorate, at least through the ballot box.

Many of the opponents of island wide voting have regularly dismissed the idea as being too complicated or too difficult to administer, another view is that the public would find the process too complex to understand, in terms of numbers and choice of candidates.

I can only say that if that is the strength of the opposition’s argument, against I.W.V then it is intellectually bankrupt by its content, not to mention hugely insulting to the intelligence of the electorate who consistently show that they are much brighter than any of us ever give them credit for.

You don’t need to be in politics for very long to realise, that things only become impossible when there is no real political will to succeed. Not to mention a certain fear by some of our elected representatives that IWV would not be in their individual best interest.

As for being to difficult to administer, I would ask all of you, if you would trust any government to run a 3 hundred and thirty million pound economy, who couldn’t even organise an election in an island eight miles, by five?

Recent attempts at reducing the number of States members also has huge dangers for the electorate. Having fewer numbers in the house, will not somehow give us more legitimacy to govern.

I believe that down that road lies executive government, by default. The number of States members must never be reduced to the level where it would be possible for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to outnumber those left to balance the decision making process on the floor of the house.

Our legitimacy to govern our people can only come through the ballot box, not by some politically engineered elected block vote that would amount to little more than an elected dictatorship.

The States of Deliberation is answerable to the people, it is elected by the people, to serve and protect their interests as a parliament for a maximum period of four years, after which time the power is returned to the people who may grant it to another States of Deliberation for a further four years and so ad infinitum.

Thus the sovereignty of the Guernsey people is established over the States of Deliberation.

One problem we have, is that our people do not believe anymore that they can influence the States of Deliberation, they certainly don’t believe it at election time, which is why I believe they are turning their backs on the whole electoral process.

They simply don’t feel that they have any say or influence over the majority of politicians that are elected to govern them. It is true the numbers voters rose in the 2004 election after many tens of thousands were spent on encouraging people to the ballot box.

It has to be remembered that was at a time of the machinery of government changes and peoples interest in the new system had risen, partly as I said due to the huge amounts of money we as a government threw at it in order to generate this interest. However the overall trend over the last three decades is down.

The Present System of Representation

We as elected People's Deputies, make decisions that effect the lives of every man, woman and child in the Bailiwick, and yet at present the electorate can only vote to elect or remove a handful of deputies who happen to stand in the electoral district where the voter resides.

It should also be remembered that a candidate is not required to live in the electoral district in which he chooses to stand and can change parishes as and when they suspect that their electoral chances might improve, by not standing in the electoral district where they live.

This electoral freedom of course is denied to the voter. More importantly once elected the politician, can if they so choose, ignore the concerns of the rest of the island electorate,taking heed only of the issues that may effect the voters in their own particular district, secure of course in the knowledge that these are the only voters who will have the power to remove them at the next election.

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the major reasons for this drop in interest over the years, is the question of choice, the voter can only vote from among those candidates standing in their own electoral district and it matters not one jot, what their views or policies are, as they are the only candidates on offer.

Even if there are 8, 9 or 12 candidates for 6 seats, that cannot be described as an election, it is little better than a lottery.

We also forget at our peril that today’s voter is much more sophisticated than those of the past, years ago people felt a real connection with an individual parish, they probably knew most of the candidates personally and their families and many of those standing for election would have come through the Douzaine system, standing for the States after years of service to the parish, local people who lived and worked in their area

That is only still true now in a small number of cases, there are more and more people from outside the island who have settled here who are now standing for seats in the States.

I was one of them and although I have lived in Guernsey all of my adult life, I had only lived in the Vale where I was first elected for 6 years.

So it was clear that there were many hundreds of Vale parishioners who didn’t know me from Adam, it was also clear when the people of the Vale voted for me it certainly wasn’t on my record of service to the parish or my parish connections but rather because they had read my manifesto or and heard my protestations from time to time through the media.

This has happened in several parishes or electoral districts in recent times, So It cannot be Parish connections, as some candidates have only lived in Guernsey for a relatively short period of time.

In any event the connection with the parish is less important to modern voters, given that the electorate are acutely aware that the States only make decisions on an island wide basis, all of which affect their lives regardless of the parish or electoral district they live in.

It would be hard to argue that the parish or electoral district system we have at present in terms of political justice for our electorate, does not represent a significant denial of genuine democracy to our people.

I repeat again, the elector in Guernsey does not help elect a member to serve in the parliament of a party based administration, as would be the case in many countries, he helps elect an entire government, including a built in opposition.

And it is for this reason, that it is essential that the electorate should have the opportunity of electing all of the members of the house.

Just touching on the accountability issue again, the present system also leaves members of the House free to inflict any unwelcome or unsympathetic policies of planning, traffic, the closure of schools, even the sighting of refuse tips for the disposal of rubbish or incinerators in any parish or district that is not their own, fully aware that the views of the residents of that electoral district will be of little consequence, as their vote cannot damage the electoral chances of the people who made that decision outside the district in question.

Given that position, is it any wonder that people who are forced by the present system to vote on Parish or electoral district lines, desert the ballot box when the views of the Parish are constantly ignored by States Members the voter had no hand in electing?

As for the question of choice, the voter has very little real choice of candidates on polling day, those who do bother to turn out to vote, (if exit interviews are to be believed) usually end up voting for the candidates they either dislike least, rather than selecting those across the island that they believe will best represent their views.

Finding themselves in this situation the only other option open to those disaffected voters, unable to find a suitable candidate in their voting area, is to spoil their paper, or not to vote at all. An option it would seem, more and more people are adopting.

This kind of voter apathy can often lead to people no longer wishing to register on the electoral roll and in many cases, never returning to vote again.

Voter apathy is corrosive and can be handed down through generations, entire families never voting in their entire life. It is just as important, for the electorate of the island to be able to remove politicians from office, as it is to put them there in the first place.

Under the present system that is simply not possible, as they can only vote to remove a maximum of 6 members of the house at anyone time from a very restricted voting area.

Our present system of election also throws up other serious questions about the number of votes needed to gain a seat in the States of Deliberation.

Candidates can and frequently do, gain seats with a handful of votes, often gaining powerful and influential positions in government, despite an ever-diminishing mandate from the people.

Harwood suggested that the island needs 'strong' candidates who command wide support both inside and outside the chamber. Difficult for anyone to argue with that statement? However members elected into office on an 'Island Wide' mandate would clearly have demonstrated that they had the support of all the people on the electoral roll, before taking up their seats in government.

Politicians would equally be aware that those very same voters could just as easily remove them from office should the best interests of the people be consistently ignored.

One of the most frequent charges laid against States Members is that "politicians do not listen to the people." That as we all know is question of balance but the public need to feel that their elected representatives get it right more often than not and when they don’t, they at least have the power to remove them.

The real danger in any democracy is, when support for politicians falls to such appallingly low levels in terms of turnout, that it calls into question their legitimate right to govern. That of course has not happened in Guernsey yet but you have to ask yourselves what the percentage would be before it was considered to be a collapse of the whole democratic system.

One other point worth remembering at this stage is, that should a situation as I have just described, take place, it could allow the UK government to step in and take over the administration of this island untill such time as democracy was restored.

It has also been claimed that 'too much' democracy makes it hard for politicians to make difficult or unpopular decisions, that every government needs to make.

This is in my view is again insulting and patronising to the people of Guernsey. If the public has freely chosen all their representatives and voted them into government and providing politicians inform, consult and listen to the electorate properly, implementing just and reasonable policies, the people will give such a government their support.

What is abundantly clear at the moment is that States Members cannot lay claim to that support. The island has become a very unpleasant place for some in our community. A place of poverty and despair for many, a place many local people no longer feel a part of. The people should not be treated as a commodity that is only required to put a 'cross' on a ballot paper every four years in order for that 'cross' to bring them more of the same.

For the hundreds of islanders who believe that States Members have turned their backs on them altogether. They in turn decide that they no longer wish to be involved in the electoral process.

People need to feel that their vote matters, when they see that it doesn't, they find other things to do on polling Day.

It is also I believe, to miss the point that the only viable alternative to our system of government under it’s present electoral system, is the one the Guernsey Press have relentlessly pursued since Harwood and that is Cabinet or executive Government.

Similar to that adopted by Jersey, a system, I fear it’s people will find out soon enough, will evolve into little more than an elected dictatorship.

To conclude, the adoption of an Island Wide Voting System would I believe bring in from the cold hundreds of disillusioned voters who have turned their backs on an electoral system they perceive to be undemocratic.

We have at present a system which has so far failed to stem the tide of apathy and will only serve to fuel that indifference unless we are prepared to change.

Modern elections throughout the world are carried out using electronic voting, postal votes, and touch screen computers. Any modern democracy, even one as small as ours, can have whatever type of election we desire.

There are highly respected organisations across the western world that could provide all the necessary equipment and hardware to run a 'modern' election in this island, all we have to do is have the will to do it.

I hope this submission will help your committee in formulating it’s view, our electoral system is a serious subject and any changes to it will need serious consideration. I know you will treat it as such.

Deputy Dave Jones

(Housing Minister)

Election Issues

Deputy Dave Jones @ 10.42

Good post!

A democracy should be government by the people. All people should be able to have a say in one way or another about everything that affects their lives.

We vote every 4 years.

We are not voting on the issues that affect our lives because we have absolutely no idea what they could be when we vote ..We have to vote for those who we think share our views.

It has now become a bit of a gamble.

Since Election 2012 we have seen huge education reforms being discussed at primary,

secondary and tertiary level, the huge population policy and birthright, closure of 2 primary schools, the transport strategy, cabinet style government etc etc.

All of these things affect the lives of Guernsey people in many different ways.

Any government system is fine as long as the people subject to this system are happy with it.

At the moment government is elected to govern.

We, the public elect candidates for government by their manifestos, hustings and other views expressed. However, as Guernsey is a small island I feel that election pledges should always be kept.Pledges should not be broken as the trust and confidence between the electorate and the successful candidates can be lost.

We need to change the mechanism of how we vote.

Island Wide Voting would be a good start. For those people in government..it would be more satisfactory if the power is spread among these Deputies rather than in the hands of just a chosen few because it would really then become an elected dictatorship.....I feel that we have very close to this now.

Matt Fallaize

Election Issues,

The frustrations you describe, which I have felt too and which are completely legitimate, are the product not of the electorate being divided into districts or constituencies, which happens in almost every other jurisdiction on Earth, but of the absence of parties putting up a complete manifesto and slate of candidates upon which the electorate can pass judgement at the ballot box. I am not in favour of parties because I tend to think the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages, but turning the island into a single electoral constituency is not an effective substitute for those things which are denied us by the absence of parties.

Neil Forman

Matt Fallaize

Election Issues has raised some very good points.

The main one being that we elect on manifestos, hustings and doorstep pledges. These are able to be broken without any recourse until the next election. Four years is a long time to wait to remove someone with a personal agenda instead of fulfilling the pledges that got them elected.

A law for recall would be a start, then you would have a lot more accountability rather than empty promises. If the public could force a bi-election annually if needed, how many of the current lot would still be in their seats?

Matt Fallaize

Neil,

I don't disagree. If we are going to embark upon electoral reform, recall elections are probably worthy of investigation, though it's worth noting that there are very, very few jurisdictions around the world where they are used. Of course recall elections have nothing to do with the size of electoral districts or constituencies as such - they could as easily form part of the present district-based system as any IWV system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_elections

Neil Forman

Matt Fallaize

Sorry I should have been clearer, I think recall elections should be available in whatever system is in place.

I think candidates would be more wary of making pledges that they are not going to keep. They may not be used much but it is an extra tool in the box for the electorate. I would imagine that if it was in place today there would be one in St Andrews.

I would like to see IWV in place, it could work.

Nick Le P

This not a post, its a speech - much too long!

Shane Langlois

Maybe Dave is trying to give everybody a taste of what wading through eighty manifestoes will be like?

Neil Forman

Shane Langlois

Would they need to read eighty?

After four years I think the electorate would know how sitting Deputies think and act and will have decided if they are going to vote for them. I think more attention would be taken on the new candidates manifestos.

Alvin

I was under the impression that this was the draft of a speech previously made to one of the States committees some time ago as it refers to the previous Bailiff as being Sir De Vic Carey, and not Sir Geoffrey Rowland.

It certainly does make interesting reading, and these two points raised are valid arguments for the case of Island Wide Voting.

"It should also be remembered that a candidate is not required to live in the electoral district in which he chooses to stand and can change parishes as and when they suspect that their electoral chances might improve, by not standing in the electoral district where they live."

and

"In any event the connection with the parish is less important to modern voters, given that the electorate are acutely aware that the States only make decisions on an island wide basis, all of which affect their lives regardless of the parish or electoral district they live in."

Matt Fallaize

Alvin,

I agree that it is difficult to dispute the second point. Not so the first, in my view.

If a candidate chooses to stand in an electoral district in which he or she does not reside, the voters of that district have a choice about whether to elect the candidate. For some years Deputy Roffey topped the poll in the Vale when he resided in another parish; Deputy Gollop has topped the poll outside of his own parish; only last year voters in three parishes decided to elect candidates who resided in othe parishes in preference to candidates who resided in their own parish. If the voters don't want to be represented by a deputy who resides outside of the district, they just won't elect him/her.

Bridge

Well said Dave Jones. Totally agree.

PLP

Thank you Mike Hadley.

Andy

Island wide voting may be what some people want but not me. I do not want to have to wade through maybe80-100 manifestos to work out which candidates I want to vote for.

As for Deputy Lowe's comment that people should be able to vote for all of government, not part of it, probably every democracy apart from the smallest of islands/countries have a constiency based system where you vote for your local "MP". Is she saying everywhere else has got it wrong?

mrspinthepantry

It's not what I want.

All smoke and mirrors, just gives them another chance to promise things will be better next time and to blame problems on the old regime.

Angel

Most sensible thing I've heard from this assembly so far!

PB FALLA

Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really

Really, really wanna IWV

russm

The make-up of the States will not change under island wide voting. If there is a sensible way of making it happen then I'm for it but if anyone really thinks it will change anything then I think they are mistaken.

concerned

I'd like to know which deputies are NOT for IWV, and then those deputies sacked immediately.

insider

So if they don't agree with you then they should be sacked? Are you for real?

mrspinthepantry

Concerned -

That's nothing!

I'd like to know where you live and blow raspberries at you all day for being stupid enough to think that IWW will solve ANYTHING!

Taz

I dont think the IWV will be the cure that people think it will be, we still wont be able to get rid of underperforming Deputies or those that say one thing at the hustings and then do something completely different when they are voted in. I always say that you should use your vote, and I did so in the last election, but I wonder now why I bothered...and am starting to have sympathy with those that say it is a waste of time.

I think we should look at a completely different type of democracy system, one that includes perhaps like referendums on the big issues, like the new population regime, only have a core amount of "Representatives" who are guided by the people and make sure our States Departments follow the wishes of the electorate and if they are not they can be voted out - rather then us waiting for the four years to be up to get someone out!

I cannot see why we cannot do electronic voting for those that have it, and 'stations' for those that do not have the net or are computer savy, making sure that there are safeguards so that only one vote per person is lodged and they are normally guernsey residences etc.

BadDonkey

We do have representatives for the people , they are called Douzanieres . I would like to see oversight commitees on under-performing Deputies scrutinized by their Douzaine . Where the people can demand a "Call to question" through them.

Maybe it is time to revert to giving more power spread over the parish Douzaines. Exactly what some Deputies would hate. So it works for me.

Mon Vie

Bad Donkey,

They got rid of the douzaine reps a long time ago for a reason, you really do wish to return the island to the past don't you.

Matt Fallaize

It was in 2004, possibly by accident if you look at the order of voting on the item.

BadDonkey

And it got us here.

Yes I do want to return to a Govt that has Douzaine representatives/public in our Govt.

I'd rather take one step back than one step forward over a fiscal cliff.

Mon Vie

Bad Donkey,

What Fiscal cliff? Do you think the Douzaine reps were in any way beneficial?

I don't think the current state of public finances are anywhere near the catastrophic situation of the US debt. Are you trying to make that comparison?

BadDonkey

Now it is December would you like to re assess your answer ?

GLeP

What voters need is PROPER REPRESENTATION! Perhaps, start by bringing back Douzaine representatives in the States, or failing that, at least one PARISH Deputy, elected by the PARISH, who MUST also RESIDE in the PARISH.

With Island-wide voting, elections would be very complicated. Potentially, we could see the House with an excess of Deputies from one particular part of the Island or of one particular type of personality.

Having worked on the "inside" for many years, I am most concerned that the voting public does not always have an opportunity to see past the "public façade" portrayed by some Deputies, which in reality, can be very different to the truth. We must, as far as is possible, avoid having a House which is dominated by vociferous, self-seeking, self-publicising individuals, who are in the States for the wrong reasons.

It greatly saddens me that I have to write in these terms, but in common with an increasing majority of voters, I am alarmed to observe the steady deterioration of standards of our Island Government and departmental administrations; island-wide voting would do nothing to halt this decline, but probably add to it.

BadDonkey

I concur. Seems a lot of in house and ex in house are speaking up. Good .

Nathan

At last! I was only posting the other day mentioning the complete lack of movement on this election issue.

I think a system that allows us to vote based on departmental role would be favourable. I would propose that each voter nominates a candidate to head up each department. The most popular candidate for a given department is made Minister and the rest of the board is made up of other nominations in order of popularity, up to a defined limit.

We should also be able to vote for Chief Minister in a similar way.

Those in positions could then truly say that they were voted into those positions by the electorate.

Unfortunately for some, this would mean that the States Assembly would loose the right to appoint themselves to positions, once elected. Which I always find a lot like the BBC's 'Apprentice'. Particularly at the point where they say 'If nobody else is going to stand...'.

Yvonne Burford

MP,

Genuine question - how many deputies should there be and how would island wide voting work?

PLP

I'll make you a deal Deputy Burford: You drop the Groundhog Day-esque paid parking debate and I'll tell you ;-)

Mon Vie

Oh and IWV isn't groundhog?

PLP

Perhaps....but it hasn't been running for so long ;-)

Yvonne Burford

Beat me to it, Mon Vie :-)

Alvin

On the contrary...

I am glad to see that at least two of the Environment Department ....

Do actually care about the Environment !

Pity the other three do not !! :-(

Yvonne... the answer to your question, in my humble opinion, is 24 as explained in my post further below.

But only the bravest deputies ( i.e. those confident in their ability to deliver ), would vote for such a system. Maybe it should go to a referendum ?

Neil Forman

Alvin

The Minister does, I caught him recycling this morning.

Paid parking will make no difference to people's attachments to their cars, it will just be a money maker which will be tweaked yearly.

Matt Fallaize

PLP,

I think you'll find it has been, unless there were fierce arguments running in 1900 about whether horses and carts should be charged when stopped in Town. That was the year of the first island-wide deputies' election and the matter of island-wide and parocial representation has been around ever since.

MP

Hi Yvonne thanks for responding.

My personal opinion is that there are too many deputies as for the exact number I really couldnt say precisely but 45 is a lot!

The Isle of Man seems to have 10 with more authority handing down to departments, perhaps that would be worth looking at?

Without IWV at the moment my votes for those that I think are doing and would do a good job are lost unless they happen to be in my parish (and given where I live its not a great choice). So I would want the opportunity to be able to choose those that I feel would represent my views or those that have proved themselves whether it is in industry or through their past political experience.

Couldnt we have a referendum to understand what the majority want?

Matt Fallaize

MP,

In the Isle of Man the High Court of Tynwald has 35 members, not 10. Of the 35, two-thirds are directly elected in constituencies (rather like our deputies today) and one-third are indirectly elected (rather more analogous to the original office of conseiller between 1948 and 1994).

Direct comparisons with the Isle of Man are difficult because the structure and evolution of their administration are quite different to ours. For example, as recently as 1980 their senior committee was chaired by the Lieutenant Governor, something which is probaly inconceivable to any democrat in Guernsey. Tynwald's origins bear little, if any, resemblance to those of the States, which have Norman origins dating back to the 15th century.

MP

never mind the precise number the point is that they manage with fewer for an island with approx 25000 more people than us.

Yvonne Burford

I am hugely sympathetic to the idea of IWV but to date no-one has suggested a system which I think is workable or better than the one we have now, or if they have, I have missed it.

MP

so do you think the number of deputies we have and the current system is fit for purpose?

Yvonne Burford

I am sure improvements could be made and as I said I am open to all suggestions to make it better.

I would always want to see some element of 'parish' preserved, however that is done.

I do think that we should not significantly reduce the number of deputies, not as some kind of job preservation, but because I know the sheer volume of reports and papers I need to study each week and the time involved digging into the details, questioning staff and proposing amendments. Fewer deputies equals less scrutiny of the output of the civil service.

The single most effective way of improving the electoral system would be to have at least twice the number of candidates. In my experience, most people are disgruntled because, unsurprisingly, they cannot find 7 candidates they want to use a vote on out of a field of nine. Give them a field of 18 and they might feel less disenfranchised.

BadDonkey

24 Deputies and 12 Douzainiers.

Matt Fallaize

12?

Not one from each parish then?

BadDonkey

Alderney and one from the EU since we are playing by their hymn sheet lately. Or do you disprove Matt.?

St Saviours Bob

Last election I was unable to vote for the people I wanted to vote for, So Island wide voting gets my vote!

Mon Vie

Complete nonsesne, IWV would only lower voter turnout and make it easier for sitting deputies to be returned. No wonder Mary Lowe, Dave Jones & Mike Hadley want it.

We had IWV when we had Conseillers, lowest turnout for elections & the most incompetent idiots being placed in the most important jobs. If we want to see Guernsey progress, the answer isn't in historic mistakes.

Dave Jones

Mon vie

The opposit of what you say is true, at the moment I can be elected on a couple of thousand votes from about four and half thousand voters in the Vale,

In an island wide vote, I would be subjecting myself to the potential votes of 30,000 voters or whatever the electoral,role is at present, across the island..

Mon Vie

Yes you can, but fat chance for any newcomer. It's just what sitting deputies want, a better chance of getting in again.

With over 70 names on the ballot paper the attention grabbing empty vessels which make most noise will get an even bigger advantage.

Self serving and sold to the people as what they want, when time and again when debated it's rejected.

You say the argument against IWV is bankrupt, but you simply don't offer a version that's workable.

Easy for you to say the voters can take in 70+ manifestos, this from the district where the voters only had nine to read and consider last time.

Didn't realise you were so interested in keeping your seat. Shamefull populism on an unworkable system.

Matt Fallaize

Dave,

But what of Mon Vie's point about turnout being lower for the island-wide conseillers' election of 1997 than it was for the deputies' election a few weeks later? That is a legitimate point, is it not, especially since one of the claims made for turning the island into a single constituency is that it would boost voter turnout?

Dave Jones

Matt

I think it was a different time, people seem far more interested in who represents them in the States than they once did in the years when we had the Conselliers elections. The turnover of deputies at the last election showed that.

Plus I don't think having two elections within a relativly short period nessasarily enthused everybody.

We live in a much more critical period in island polotics and I think the majority of people would turn out and vote in an IW election. They seem much more determined these days to make their deputies accountable in my view, than they were back in the late nineties.

Mon Vie

Dave, if they're accountable, who do I contact when I want to have help? I would then have 45 to choose from and the lazy one's would get away with doing even less.

You also contradict your own argument, referring to the turnover of deputies in the last election as a good thing, but then wanting to remove that system.

I saw the same level of interest then as I did now, no one cared for the Conseillers as they weren't accountable to the parish. Why would I contact one of them when I had my deputies and my douzaine rep?

Finally, people may be engaged up there in the Vale, you should take a look at town, that has the lowest turnout and that's where you should be thinking of whether it works, not where you already have large turnouts.

BadDonkey

Dave Jones , do you agree that Policy of the States has been aggressive , that people are waking up perhaps ?

I do not think the impact is clearly felt by some of the Deputies it is lik they have blinkers on. The connection between Govt and the Public voters has been too wide for too long. I believe bringing the Douzaines into play is one option to close that gap .

Elis Bebb

My biggest concern is that as Mon Vie says, the most disenfranchised will be even further disenfranchised. St Peter Port North has more housing estates than any other electoral district, these are the areas with the lowest rates of registering on the electoral roll. It therefore follows that if we have IWV, there would be few Deputies that would stand on the desire to resolve the issues in these areas, focus would be much more on those that vote, namely the middle class and the pensioners.

Whilst I don't deny there are many issues that are island wide, I doubt that the overall populace would be best served by a system that would further disenfranchised those already suffering from the system.

BadDonkey

Well at least Elis wont get in. Thats a bonus. Subjecting him to all those In-Breds will be costly ;)

Nick Le P

That may be true Dave, but how many votes will you need to come bottom of the poll and take the last seat?

If its about "a couple of thousand" then it really makes no difference. In fact it may be substantially less. What if someone gets elected to govern the island with 500 votes?

It will be a big mistake to assume that everyone will use all the votes available to them. What happens if there aren't enough candidates voted for to fill all the seats?

Dave Jones

Mon Vie

I did not say the turnover at the last election was a "good thing" I mentioned it because I believe it shows that people are more engaged in who sits in their parliament than they were a decade or so ago.

I have to agree with you that the turn outs in the Town area have not been good but then a lot of voter apathy is because we do not have IWV.

Mon Vie

Dave,

You can't conclude that voter apathy is as a result of no IWV. It's a bit like saying that the pension scheme under funding is a result of our system of government a la diggard. Making the electorate more removed from the deputies as IWV will do is damaging. Will there be voter surgeries like we have today? Probably not.

Matt Fallaize

Mon Vie,

Your point about cause and effect is a vital component of this debate. Many frustrations are quite erroneously blamed on the existence of several electoral districts or constituencies (rather than one super constituency covering the whole island). Voter turnout is just one example. However, I am beginning to wonder whether the only way of settling this decades-old debate might be to try it in 2016 and see what the electorate makes of it.

Mon Vie

Matt,

I would have expected better of you than to give in to populist rants. Do you think such hap hazard approach acceptable in relation yo the system of government? Give executive government a go just to shut Diggard and his cheerleaders up, with the promise that we revert if we don't like it?

There are always items that won't go away because of the noise of their supporters, with IWV what we're seeing are the last gasps if the former Conseillers, now isn't the time for you nor any other deputy with common sense to go all wobbly.

Matt Fallaize

Mon Vie,

Please be assured that I'm not giving in. Turning Guernsey into a single constituency in 2016 probably would bring an end to this decades-old debate. That doesn't mean I'm advocating a trial. Your analogy with ministerial government is quite good - as you suggest, these things should be settled on their merits and not simply because campaigns for or against them run on for a long time. That said, I strongly believe that the good administration of the island depends more upon the structure of the States than it does upon the electoral system, and so the former arouses my interest more than the latter.

Mon Vie

Matt,

You said "the good administration of the island depends more upon the structure of the states than it does upon the electoral system". But isn't it the case that regardless of the structure, if you fill the states with those who scream populist ideas the structure is irrelevant as you have a government of populists? Check your priorities, any system requires a good selection of competence. Regardless of the quality if the system, IWV would fill it with empty vessels making most noise.

bcb

Oh i see they only want it so they can get back in? nothing to do with what the public may want? nothing to do with the voting public having a chance to vote in candidates not in their parish? nothing to do with the fact they may feel its the right way to go and more fair?

Its just all a conspiracy eh :)

Mon Vie

Have you looked at what the ballot would look like. The only deputies that keep peddling this nonsense are the ones that want an easy ride and court shameful populism when never offering a workable and reasonable system.

I see you're sucked in.

Dave Jones

Mon Vie

How Could it work?

I passionately believe it could work but we would need to change the way we do things at the moment.

For example, currently there is a media black out for candidates in the run up to the election at the very time when the public crave to know who is standing and what they stand for.

This at a time when the media should be engaging with those who want to stand and helping those candidates get their electoral message across.

I also believe that all new candidates should be given more media help and Air time (TV, Radio, etc) than returning candidates, as we have had four years to get our message across to the voting public and I would suspect most voters would know where we stand on lots of issues.

The act of putting a cross on a piece of paper goes back to medieval times.

We simply have to bring our electoral system into the modern age.

I believe we would need a 3 or 4 page pull out from the Guernsey Press with all the candidates manifestoes clearly laid out in those pages new candidates should be allowed 3-4 hundred more words than existing candidates as they are starting from scratch.

The public would need to have this publication a full 2 months before polling day, in order that they can study closely the candidates, this publication would be sent at States expense to every household on the electoral roll.

Secondly we would as candidates set up our stall in the sports hall of Beau Sejour or some other large venue for a week and the public could come to us and tackle us one to one on any subject or policy they choose after all they turn out to the hustings just to hear the same question being answered in a dozen different versions of the same answer, which I suggest doesn’t really give you much idea of what you are likely to get when you vote.

Also if you strip out friends and relatives of the candidates from the audience together with deputies who have come to watch, that would make a big hole in the genuine voters at the hustings.

This going to see the candidates would not be unusual for our people, we ran this system in the Vale very successfully alongside a parish husting meeting at the last election and a fair number of people turned up at these sessions and were grateful for the one to one interviews, sometimes people want to look into your eyes when they ask you something or see your body language when you are put on the spot. Or if they prefer they could ring the candidate and ask specific questions on the issues that concerned them.

I think people are more interested in who governs them than they have ever been and will take the trouble to go over the candidates manifestoes thoroughly and ask the questions they want the answers too.

With a four-five page pullout from the press issued a month before the election, people would have time to go through it and pick the candidates they want to represent them and as I have said before it is an insult to the electorate to believe that IWV is to complicated for them.

I ask all those who think the present system is working, whether you think the present crop of States members are the ones the island would have chosen in an island wide vote, I am not sure we are. I am making no judgement on the present States of course but it is a fair question and one I am asked frequently when the subject of IWV crops up.

Modern elections throughout the world are carried out using electronic voting, postal votes, and touch screen computers why not voting by text?

Any modern democracy, even one as small as ours, can have whatever type of election we desire. There are highly respected organisations across the western world that could provide all the necessary equipment and hardware to run a ‘modern’ election in this island, all we have to do is have the political will to do it. Touch screen TV’s at the polling booths one for each district with the voter choosing who they want to represent them by going down the line the other advantage is that these votes would be counted electronically so you would not be waiting until two in the morning to get the results. Look, there may be some hiccups when we first try it but I believe in time islanders will wonder why we didn’t do it years ago, deputies who get elected, will for the first time in their lives have to worry about what ALL islanders think of their policies, not just a small number in their electoral district who are the only ones under the present system who can remove them from office, that reason alone is enough for me to support IWV.

It depends on how serious you are about having a fully democratically elected parliament, as to whether you want to spend time electing the people you want to serve you. I think a lot of people have given up on voting simply because they can’t vote for who they want outside their own electoral district. If they had that chance I think they would re-engage with the political process and take the time to put forward the people they want to serve in their government.

It is your parliament not ours we hand back the power you have given us after four years for you to empower a new government to serve the next four years, it is the peoples government, not the state. Most people I know find the time in the course of a day to read a newspaper or other materiel and this would be no different, people have to make the effort, or give up whining about those who represent them. What kind of government you have and who you choose to serve you is a big decision every four years. That decision can affect your whole family life, from your taxation to their schooling, your family’s health, their security through policing, their ability to find jobs and the quality of life on a very overcrowded island. In fact a whole raft of things that make peoples lives worth living.

Are we really saying that people can’t be bothered to sift through the candidates, who if elected will have a huge influence over all those things. This is not about self preservation although I suspect it might be a factor for some who vote against it. For me this is about having a whole government accountable to ALL its people and if in that process some serving deputies are not returned through an Island wide vote by the public, then that in itself will be the democratic wish of the people, surly that is worth fighting for?

Mon Vie

So your answer is a booklet produced at taxpayer expense, circulated at taxpayer expense, so that we then vote on a new electronic system bought at taxpayer expense?

Have you looked at how much these things cost? Didn't you hear about the pregnant chads in Florida that were the result of some of their electronic voting system?

Finally, you advocate a government elected by all the people as though that were a good thing, where else in the world does that happen? Only one country does this to my knowledge, the central african republic. I think that I'm not far off the mark in saying that a Banana Republic system of democracy is what you're advocating.

I for one believe that with over 70 on the ballot, people would choose the first five and then start ticking the names they know,. That would favour sitting deputies much more than newcomers.

It's a con and you know it. What's staggering is that you peddle this nonsense as though it would advance democratic legitimacy, when that's the last thing it would do.

Shane Langlois

Mon Vie

You have a good grasp of the IWV issues.

In an island governed by its Parliament, in the absence of a Government, there is always going to be a large section of the electorate dissatisfied. The ability of just about every other democracy in the world to change its Government is very cathartic, one can endure four years of a social democratic Government knowing that one has another chance of voting in a liberal democratic Government at the next election. Supporters of IWV are kidding themselves if they think their preferred electoral system will in any way model that situation. More pertinently the amount of political time and energy expended on IWV would be better spent on considering reform of the States which still has too many echoes of a paternalistic, condescending past.

Our current electoral districts at least contain parochial politics. Only candidates in the SE felt obliged to put ‘I will support St Andrew’s School’ in their manifestos to give themselves any chance of being elected. If we’d had IWV a whole raft of candidates may have included it to garner the SE vote, without alienating voters in other catchment areas. It would have been added to the ‘bankers’, that is those issues which are most likely to gain you more votes than they will lose you.

Several times Dave has said some Deputies get elected with ‘a handful of votes’ but it is percentages that matter in elections. One needs about 45% of the vote to be sure of getting elected. If someone scrapes in with 40% of the vote in an electoral district with a low turnout there is no reason why they should not do the same if the election was island-wide. We might even see more anomalies as voters choose their top fifteen candidates in an informed and considered way before putting their cross more randomly against another thirty names.

The good news is that Mike’s Requete will put forward concrete proposals rather than palming the problem off on SACC. In March there will be no hiding place for those Deputies who made pledges to support IWV without addressing even the practical issues.

Neil Forman

Mon Vie

A lot of candidates did support IWV in the 2012 election, it was also included in the booklet produced by the Press.

I think you will find that voter apathy will disappear in 2016 and a lot of new entrants on the electoral roll.

I'm with Dave Jones on this subject. New candidates need more help and should have more exposure than sitting deputies. They should also be given more insight into how to prepare and run their campaign.

I stood in 2012 and was advised by a sitting minister on how to prepare my manifesto and campaign. I made some mistakes and stood in a tough district where apathy abounds. I was an unknown but missed out by about 120 votes.

A booklet as Dave Jones suggests would work, the one to one sessions at Beau Sejour is also a great idea, maybe do one parish at a time over a couple of months and two or three sittings per parish. St Peter Port South did a daytime one to one session in 2012 and it was a lot better than the hustings. As Dave said, one question answered many times with the same kind of area is useless. Sitting opposite a candidate and asking whatever questions you like face to face is the best option. If all candidates provide an e-mail address for questions to be asked you could get a comprehensive view of the candidates views. Make the candidates work for your vote.

You could have up to five votes per parish, you do not have to lay fifty votes just to use them all, just vote for the ones you think will do most good.

Rees Bryant

Will Alderney be involved? If so, how?

If not, why not?

Dave Jones

Mon Vie

Who would you expect to pay for it, the candidates perhaps?

On your point asking "where else in the world does this happen?

In the main you are talking about countries with a huge land mass and millions of people, so you are not making a fair comparison.

We are a tiny island with 30 odd thousand people who are eligible to vote.

Of course its achievable, if people are willing to engage in the process and

their is the political will to make it work.

If you are saying that by allowing the people of Guernsey to vote for all members of their parliament in a single vote is somehow akin to a banana republic, then I do not agree and it most certainly would improve our democracy in my view.

Mon Vie

I don't make a comparison with huge land mass, take at a look at other island states, or even local elections in larger countries, they have wards to elect councillors. The idea is populist nonsense & simply isn't workable. Would you wade through 80 manifestos and then pick 45 that you'd vote for? Lets face it, you'd vote for 10 or 20, probably 30 at most. That would mean the most noisy deputies would get all those top votes, newcomers would have little and the number of votes for the 45th to get in would be minimal.

There could be another reason for you wanting this nonsense though, given the Vale has the highest turnout we'd likely see a States dominated by the Vale. Is it some parish desire to exercise more control on the rest of the island than you'd expect from that number of population?

BadDonkey

IWV can be easily implemented . People can just take this petition themselves. No need for the floor to hear it, because it is a open democratic vote to change the voting structures. Alot of undesirables get into the states on a luck ticket as none in that parish are of any use anyway. Look what we got. 3 or 4 good deputies and the rest are just for personal gain.

Mon Vie

Bad Donkey you are an idiot, who do you think organises elections? Don't you know that there are laws governing elections? Why don't you do your homework on how this actually works before your usual comments.

If you're wanting all this change, why aren't you standing for election? Or is it the usual all mouth and no trousers.

Matt Fallaize

Bad Donkey,

I suspect it would require a Projet de Loi and I'm not sure the Privy Council would be terribly enthusiastic about granting a petition on island-wide voting from Bad Donkey in the absence of any request from the States. By all means give it a try.

BadDonkey

Matt Fallaize your assumption is incorrect , I think you know very well what I mean .

I do not think it is time to open this very sensitive detail in this forum .

Mon Vie , to call me an idiot , shows me how much you know about the other side of Guernsey's system which is obviously zero. But thanks for your comments.

Watcher

Bad Donkey,

You and a few others of similar ilk are turning TIG into a farce; at one time an opportunity to debate serious issues with others the site is in danger of becoming a sounding board for the affected, the afflicted and the downright uneducated. Even the likes of IWV have gone quiet(ish) and Ed, the encyclopedia muncher, seems to have disappeared. We suffer from a lack of response from the majority of Deputies but why should they engage with people who can only moan and whinge about everything ? Protected by a cloak of anonymity they insult anyone in authority with comments that range from the nasty right out to the downright insulting. Unlike Mon Vie I would hesitate to call you an idiot, in some villages that is a respectable position, but you really should seek help.

BadDonkey

We suffer from a lack of response from the majority of Deputies but why should they engage with people who can only moan and whinge about everything ? Protected by a cloak of anonymity

So sorry "Watcher" your views here about anonymity are very much reinforced by example :)

Hypocrisy is no base for any statement, you sound like a Politician .

BadDonkey

Watcher , clearly the wrong name for someone so blind.

Should have gone to Specsavers old chap. ;)

Watcher 20/20

Bad Donkey,

You only took part of a comment that I contributed in order to try to make your point. Anonimity is fine provided the writer is not indulging in nasty, possibly libelous comments that vilify other posters. I can keep my observations civil, can you say the same ?

BadDonkey

Oh please do grow up. This is an open forum. If anything I said was indeed Libellous or nasty , I am sure the TIG Moderator would have mentioned it. It seems you have been personally upset by one of my previous posts . Do you not possess thicker skin ?

I am a very civil person, more than you realize ;) But this depends on the scope and quantity of facts that people present in this forum.

One thing that annoys me is reading a Deputy's manifesto and seeing a total flip flop on their stance they were elected on.

I will take your comments into consideration , I suggest you do the same.

Elis Bebb

Bad Donkey,

You have been nothing but vile towards me from the start. I have a thick skin and can ignore your comments, but don't for one moment think that your style of constant attack does anything but put people off talking openly.

TIG moderator doesn't block your comments as they don't censure, which I commend, but that puts the responsibility on you to be more civil towards your fellow islanders. Something you seem to lack.

I invite you to look at my manifesto, which I intend to keep available online, and tell me where have I strayed from it.

Don't stray from that, don't revert to type and attack me as you normally do, just be honest and tell me where I've strayed from my manifesto.

Alvin

When one considers the size of the island, and it’s rather small population, does Guernsey really need so many States deputies ?

Does it also need so many "Ministers" and "Deputy Ministers" ?

Does each department really need to be lead by a team of five, resulting in some deputies being involved in more than one department – whilst others are involved in none ?

Do elections have to be split up into different areas of the island ?

The answer quite simply to all of the above is...

"No !!!"

The island could be better, and much more cost effectively, governed by a smaller team of elected professionals and the way to do it is this...

Each voter would vote for the person, from a list of hopeful candidates, who, in their opinion, would be best suited as Chief Minister, ( or Chief Deputy or whatever name is decided ), and would be best suited to head each of the ten departments.

The candidate who receives the highest number of votes for a particular position would be that department’s head and the runner-up would be his assistant.

Candidates would be allowed to put themselves forward for only one position, eliminating any particularly popular politician from winning several posts.

That would make 22 elected deputies, ( Chief Minister, Assistant Chief Minister and a head and an assistant for each department ), plus the two Alderney representatives, and, in cases of a deadlock in voting within the States of Deliberation itself, the Bailiff, who would cast the deciding vote, if required.

Once elected, the house could vote amongst themselves as to who should head and sit on the five additional committees that currently exist.

24 paid deputies instead of almost double that amount !

But then, each elected deputy should work full-time at their elected posts and should not be using it as a part-time job for a bit of extra pocket money, for more perks, privileges, prestige or free trips abroad !

So, in order to attract the right candidates, the right salary would need to be offered. Top civil servants on the island actually earn a lot more than the politicians. This needs to be rectified, but I am not qualified to determine what the salary levels should be. However, I would suggest a generous increase that, even if implemented, would result in a vast saving overall due to the substantial drop in the number of paid deputies that currently exist.

Hopefully then, with such a system adopted, deputies would not need to be occupied with other occupations, there would be less conflicts of interest and much more undivided, concentration, dedication and devotion to the job of governing the Bailiwick of Guernsey !

GLeP

Alvin - paying Deputies more will only add to the problem. We already have too many people sitting in the States who are there only to pass the time, collect their monthly pay cheque and massage their already inflated egos.

A civil servant can't get a job without a minimum standard of education, and for some departments also vetting.

I believe that aspiring Deputies should at least have a mimimum IQ & standard of education and/or a proven successful track record in the real world. It is also important that they should be subject to some form of vetting and NOT have a criminal record, expired or otherwise!

Alvin

GleP...

I do not see how paying more would add to the problem. My proposal is that we would save money by having half the number of deputies but each would be paid more in order to attract a better quality of candidate.

No offense to existing deputies - some are doing a very good job, but there are too many part-time deputies and at current salary levels, it is difficult for full-time deputies to earn enough to support their families and to dedicate themselves fully to the job.

As for qualifications, I can see your point. But with this new system, voters would be able to scrutinise and evaluate the CVs, qualifications and experience, as well as the manifestos, of the various candidates for the 11 posts available. They would be able to decide who would be best suited to be Chief Minister, ( or President or Prime Minister or Head Deputy ), and who would be best suited to head each department.

GleP

No taxation without representation!

With IWV we would lose even more representation than we have already lost. I want to be represented in the States by a Deputies from my own area. I don't want to be represented by "strangers" with hidden agendas, from other Parishes.

With IWV, how on earth would the electorate be able to quiz candidates - it would be impossible. What about canvassing? I wouldn't want 150 wannabe deputies banging on my door for a vote!

If deputies were elected on IWV, I don't imagine that any deputy in the PRV would be interested in anything concerning the PRT! Since the last changes to electoral areas, we have even worse representation than before. It's a shame that once candidates are elected, many seem to forget their elaction promises.

To Mike Hadley, your comment about what voters want, is incorrect. I certainly don't want!

Nathan

Good to see someone re-iterating the vote into the job approach that I tried to explain earlier.

Unfortunately I have not ever heard it uttered from somebody in a position to do something about it.

Matt Fallaize

Alvin,

A chief minister elected by popular vote would no longer be a chief minister. It would become a presidential system of government. Do you know of any other jurisdition anywhere in the world where the prime or chief minister is elected directly by the people?

'Minister' implies a ministerial system of administration with departmental heads bound by collective responsibility. If so, your proposed system features every member bound by collective responsibility. There would be none left to scrutinise proposals, suggest alternatives, question and probe; indeed, States meetings would turn into the political equivalent of a show trial.

I certainly don't say that we inevitably need 47 members. For a long time we had 57. In the past some members have argued strongly for between 35 and 42. However, the correct number has little do with the size of our population and the size of parliaments in other jurisdictions and much more to do with properly providing for the parliamentary as well as executive functions of the States.

Nathan

In which case I for one would support a presidential system of government.

Although a political ideal, I see no reason why we cannot elect our prime/chief minister. After all we are only an island of 60,000 (ish) people.

The prime/chief minister could still carry authority over the top of each ministry. Yet the prime/chief minster must admit that they are accountable to the electorate.

In terms of scrutiny, I like the idea suggested by an earlier poster where boards should be directly responsible to the electorate. Public meetings might be held to discuss problems and elected Deputies would be accountable to the extent of loosing their job.

Investigations and reports will still be required, but this is a job that can be done by civil servants. There is no need for a committee whose sole purpose is to produce a report.

Like Dave Jones said earlier don't under-estimate the electorate. People will be motivated to read reports that affect them. There are many well educated professionals on this island that would voluntarily take part in debates. It may even be better to involve specialists in public scrutinization of States actions.

Although we must learn from Jersey's recent mistakes that when the public are involved in making a decision, that must be binding.

I think numbers depends on structure. I think we the States should become more like an actual business. After all, if it were a business we would not define a number and then decide where to put people. Some boards may need larger numbers than others. Departments may be brought into existence or killed off as the need dictates. As in any business There may be a danger of under-staffing, in which case I would propose that the position is contracted not elected.

I hope somebody else can see my point, unfortunately sometimes it really does feel like nothing will ever change and things will go on as they always have done, by default, without the need for anybody's input.

Matt Fallaize

Nathan,

I think it would be disastrous for us to force such an unconventional merger of a presidential and parliamentary system. I can't see how it would work in practice.

I do agree with you, though, that the present system lacks flexibility. It is too rigid and doesn't respond sufficiently to changes in circumstances. The proposals of the States Review Committee will include ways of providing for greater flexibility.

Alvin

Matt...

Let's leave the choice of title aside for the moment, and then apply the correct choice of title afterwards, once a system is agreed upon.

My aim is simply to propose a more streamlined and cost effective format to govern the island, with the right, full-time professionals being chosen to do so.

Personally, I am in favour of IWV but appreciate that to select 45 deputies from Guernsey, out of a field of maybe 60 - 100 candidates, could be very daunting for the electorate.

Then, once they are selected, we still face the problem of finding which candidates would be best suited to head each department. I do not believe that the current system achieves that.

I think we are both agreed that it is not the quantity of elected persons that is important to form a successful, working government, it is the quality of those persons that is elected which is the key to success.

Matt Fallaize

Alvin,

I agree not only with your final paragraph but also with your first, although in relation to your first paragraph it is interesting to note the experience of 2002-4 when the States emphatically rejected ministerial government and then introduced the titles chief minister, minister and deputy minister.

Tim

Alvin,

I agree with your last paragraph but I am yet to be convinced that IWV will necessarily achieve this end. As a proponent of IWV what would you do if none of your preferred candidates were successful? Much of the argument for IWV seems to hinge around individuals being able to vote for their 'right' candidates rather than the 'muppets' standing in their district. As I see it IWV is no guarantee that such candidates would be elected indeed the 'muppets' may be elected with a greater number of votes.

I can't see either the present system, IWV or any other system that would please all voters all the time. So why do we need to change?

like a kid

bad donkey said - '...People can just take this petition themselves...'. i see - do you mean an island wide vote for, er.. an island wide vote?

BadDonkey

If this goes to the floor, KEEP your eyes on the ones that vote against it.

The ones that know they got in on a wing and a prayer on a manifesto of utter lies and deception. Hope we see this very soon!

Mon Vie

Or it may be that they had a manifesto pledge not to bring in IWV. Ever thought of that? If you want to live in a banana republic, go move there, leave Guernsey to us locals who would rather not have nonsense like this.

BadDonkey

Manifesto pledge , oh you are fun Mon Vie. Ever read one ? "Us Locals" ?

We are about to see WHO the real locals are Mon Vie.

Obviously I'm in the right direction if I am upsetting a couple of Alt accounts on TIG :)

Mon Vie

Don't be waving your local credentials as though that were some measure of how correct you are, I'm as local as anyone and I doubt I'd be on the same side as you.

TiG Moderator

To Watcher and other posters elsewhere making similar comments, moderating a forum such as this is always a balancing act. We try to keep debate as open as possible while not allowing offensive material to be posted.

If there is a view emerging, however, it seems to be that we should allow fewer overtly personal and hostile comments to be posted and we will to endeavour to ensure that happens while not stifling debate.

Feedback on that approach would be appreciated.

Yvonne Burford

It is an interesting point and a difficult issue for the moderator.

With respect to unpleasant comments directed at me, I am not too bothered actually. I largely take the view that people who choose to post in a personal and hostile manner tend to undermine their own arguments as the majority of people are reasonable-minded folk.

However, and it is a big however, one of my strong desires is to encourage more people, of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life, to stand for the job of people's deputy. When I ask people why they would not want to do it a recurring answer relates to the type of comments people make on sites such as this.

Those posting offensive comments about elected members often resort to the 'get them all out' mantra but fail to realise that by their very behaviour they are reducing the chances of anyone wanting to do the job in the first place.

There is a relatively small core of people who post on TIG, but there will be a considerably greater number of lurkers. Some of these lurkers who may well have useful and constructive input will avoid getting involved for fear of personal attacks. Thus there is an argument to say that the forum and the debate stand to benefit if personal attacks are not tolerated.

Just my 2p worth.

Terry Langlois

yes, taking a harder line with personal insults or hostile posts would be good

it is a shame that you cannot do much about sheer idiocy, however!

Watcher

TIG moderator,

I think your suggested approach is a good one, nobody minds clever jibes or gentle mickey taking but some comments on TIG verge on libel and can only be meant to hurt those of a sensitive disposition. Dep. Dave Jones can take it on the chin (and give it back in spades!) but some of the comments about Dep. Yvonne Burford on this and other threads were totally out of order. Let's all try to be a bit more careful in what we write, if we don't then we will allow the lunatics to take over the asylum.

ML

Agree TiG Moderator,

I agree with Terry that a hard line approach to personal insults should be taken in order to encourage more people to post their views.

In addition, the encouragement of 'balanced' robust debate should also be a firm objective.

[An unbalanced debate being where one individual attempts to overtly dominate discussion and bombast their view and intimidate others either via a relentless number of repetitious posts and/or through repetitious, unnecessary hostile comments].

Martino

I hope this and the way Yvonne has been attacked by some in the paid parking thread will act to make posters, myself included, think twice before we veer into the personal, ad hominem stuff, often without thinking.

Re BadDonkey's contributions, I would call on the moderator to crack down on multiple postings on the same thread. When I see a line of light blue gravatars dominating the recent postings page it's a turn off and I do not think, BadDOnkey, you are doing yourself any favours by posting in this style.

Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Dave Jones

Martino

I think there is a difference between somebody like you putting forward a robust argument as to why I and others have got it wrong on whatever issue, than attacking a deputy or someone with opposing views in a personal manner.

I am lucky as I have skin thicker than a Rhino after being Housing minister for 10 years but it is not the case for everybody and as far as deputies go, they offer themselves for public office to do a job and while they expect people to disagree on occasions with how they have voted or what policy's they support they do not deserve personal abuse.

Island Wide Voting

Have to agree re over the top aggression.Also have to admit to having been 'language moderated' myself occasionally :(

Perhaps a note from the moderator on the lines of ... 'ABC,your 11am post has been moderated due to bad language' ... or 'XYZ your 2pm post has not been accepted due to its insulting content' might be a handy reminder to all posters to be a bit more flipping careful

rosie

I am delighted that the Moderator is at last considering taking action against posters who use belittling and offensive language against other posters and Deputies. Often it is someone who is hiding behind a pseudo name….. maybe they should be threatened with having their real name put out there for us all to see who it is. ;-)

Yvonne B. makes a good point tho' that most people who post in that aggressive manner undermine their own argument by making themselves look unhinged. And often, I think that rude unpleasant posts are a result of people speaking with their emotions rather than approaching the subject using logic and reason. The paid parking debate has plenty of examples.

Those with a well considered and cogent argument can usually make their point without having to get all shouty.

I know so many people who won't visit this site any more because of the language used. It would be great if that could be reversed and the debate widened.

Yvonne Burford

Another point the moderator might consider which is used elsewhere is that if a post is deleted, the poster's name is left up and the text of the post is replaced with "This post has been deleted for breaking out guidelines"

The advantages to this are it stops the thread from becoming entirely nonsensical when posts are removed and there is also the hope that it acts as a deterrent.

Mumsnet have some pretty good guidelines and policies (and they moderate retrospectively which allows much faster flowing discussion)

Alvin

TiG Moderator should indeed not publish any post which it deems insulting or offensive.

Of course, opinions may differ as to what constitutes "insulting or offensive", so we also have at our disposal the "Report Abuse" button.

I do agree that certain comments, especially on the Paid Parking forum, were borderline and rather close to the edge... but were more childish and immature than downright insulting, ( I would assume that TiG had already vetted out the worst comments ).

Alvin

Ah... what has TiG Moderator done ??

The last few or so posts on the Paid Parking thread are all jumbled up date/time wise and are all totally out of context !!!

Tony Webber

Well done to those States Members who are sticking to their election manifestos and doing something about IWV.

Guernsey people are quite capable of voting for their top 45 States Members.

Other countries in the world have much longer electoral lists.

Of course Alderney electors should be able to vote for Island Wide elected politicians. They did before for the Conseillers, and as the last elected Bailiwick Conseiller I was proud to represent Alderney as well as Guernsey. Alderney people have been robbed of 12 votes for some years, which is deplorable.

However, Alderney people must be allowed to stand ( they weren't before ), and inevitably the two Alderney Representatives should should either go( as did the Douzaine Representatives ) or they should allow any Alderney resident to stand, and not, as currently, only Alderney States Members.

In the Philippines 90 million people elect 24 Senators in an Islands constituency, so it makes our task look a doddle in comparison.

At least we know that Island Wide Voting works in the Bailiwick. It is simply a question of extending from the old system of some Island wide elected politicians to having all politicians elected Island wide.

I have recently written to the Constitution and Assembly Committee giving arguments as to why our current electoral system discriminates against disabled candidates and why an IWV system is fairer for them.

Island Wide Voting

The Philippines eh?

Sounds like someone should go on a fact finding mission.May I nominate Yvonne Burford and Barry Brehaut possibly chaperoned by Rosie?

Probably best to go by boat which would mean a return to Guernsey in about April or May 2014

Simon V

After all is said and done,more is said than done !

How long does something as simple as this take ?

States members,it actions not words we want !

Watcher

Gosh ! "....and doing something about IWV" There was I thinking some brave soul was having a pop at our veteran contributor !

Welcome back Tony, an IWV system would be just what you need to get re-elected, after all you were as I recall the last person elected as a Conseiller.

mrspinthepantry

Can we have an island wide vote on whether we want island wide voting?

Or is that too sensible?

At the moment any statement along the lines of IWV being "what the people want" is not backed by fact, just by whoever is shouting the loudest.

A.J.

I think that much of what Tony says makes sense and I think that offensive and personal remarks made about him are out of line.He did represent the people of this Island very well and for many years.That is a fact!

insider

That's not a fact, that is an opinion...

Sara Thompson

Let's hope this monumental change - that's sarcasm by the way - will also bring in other forms of voting, like online or text message - that isn't sarcasm by the way.

Simon V

Island wide Referendum? Where would we start with that then,the electoral roll ?

ChrisJ

I don't care that much about IWV - it would be a total farce if we tried it, but since I don't think it would actually be that dangerous, it might be fun as a sort of 'one-off comedy special' version of democracy.

But touch-screen voting, electronic voting, voting online or voting by text? Please, for the love of God, don't do it. It would be hugely expensive, hugely complicated, wide open to fraud... and it's totally unnecessary.

How can anyone simultaneously hold in their heads the notions that having to read and understand nigh on 100 manifestos is perfectly reasonable, but that having to nip into a polling station is excessively burdensome?

Rachel

It is hard to cope with all the many Parish candidates and all their manifestos and door-to-door visits.

How on EARTH would we cope with all the hundreds of potential candidates Island wide - we would be force to vote - because "he has a nice face", "she is good with words" etc, as we can only assimilate so much information.

It would be a disaster, as so many would be UNKNOWN to each of us.

Tony Webber

On the subject of referendum in respect of Island wide voting, we did in fact have the closest we could have to this when we had the Conseiller by-election which I won with over 51% of the vote.

Thanks to the co-operation of former Deputy Mike Barrett, who has sadly passed away, he was happy to stand on a platform of doing away with IWV elected Conseillers, whereas I was obviously in favour of keeping them.

There was a campaign to rubbish Conseillers which even included a fake candidate who actually achieved some votes, but my opponent only received about 30% votes.

The Status Quo group, which Deputy Jones was very involved with, gave me a specially inscribed book after the Election for my services to democracy, and it is one of my valued political mementos.

The electors were given a clear choice of keeping Island wide politicians and losing them, and despite them choosing the former, the States totally ignored this election result.

It was made quite clear that I was standing for election for this issue and I was backed by my proposers, former Conseillers Eric Walters and Peter Ferbrache. The public was well aware this was the closest we could get to having a referenda on the issue.

As for my amendment overwhelmingly passed by the States in 2002 to bring in the legal mechanism to have referenda in Guernsey, as we all know this was been conveniently left on a back burner by those who don't want the democracy in Guernsey that most other countries in the world have.

The latest is that the Policy Council are supposed to be reporting on their progress on this within the next couple of months.

If they have any sense they will ensure that the referenda law is brought into being without any further delay.

Finally, in respect of the comment by Rachel, there just will not be hundreds of candidates for Island Wide elections. Experience in Guernsey, Jersey and elsewhere show that would not be the case.

Even if there were high numbers of candidates the electorate in the Bailiwick is intelligent enough to discern who to pick as the best 45 candidates for office.

Surely you are not saying that we have less ability as electors than those in other parts of the world where they pick from lists hundreds long?

Surely the benefits of all of us being able to vote in all our politicians, rather than just a small proportion of them, are better for accountability and democracy?

As someone who was elected both as a Deputy and on a Bailiwick wide basis, I felt that much more representative of the Islands than I did as a Deputy.

Phil

Well blow me down, I never realised until now that Tony Webber used to be a politician. You live and learn as the saying goes..........

ChrisJ

Fake candidate eh? You mean this one:

http://web.archive.org/web/20010424065756/http://www.red.oaktree.co.uk/tonybarrett/indexo.html

Those were the days...

Matt Fallaize

Tony,

What was the turnout at that election?

Grippios

Do you want to know why island wide voting won't change a great deal. Its because the majority of people under 35 don't care about local politics that much, they realise that the real issues are global (Recessions for Eg). not controlled by our tiny government ,environmental issues are global. What guernsey does environmentally matters not. Younger people realise this & get frustrated when local politicians are slow to adapt when the world around us is moving rapidly. We are a tiny island which for some unknown reason has divided itself up into even smaller bits & now we can,t even work out how to join them up together again for an election, it's embarrassing & we are trying to do business globally.

Guernsey needs to change we are half way between wanting to be some quiet backwater on one side then like singapore the other, we have to make a decision either go for it with more finance business & have mass developments, casinos, more E gambling,bars & clubs waterfront hotels, high rise apartment blocks etc or we stop we can,t do both we can't just try a little of that then a bit of this.

We are right on the doorstep of UK & france we could be the playground for both.

With predominately older politicians in the states nothing ever will change & unless there are loads of younger candidates queueing up to stand at whatever type of election nothing fundamental will change & anyone saying different is kidding themselves.

The local politicians just don't connect with the younger voters at all, I know Matts quite young but if he sat in a pub talking the way he does to a load of my mates we would either fall asleep or just walk off. Sorry Matt but its true, I,m not saying slip the word dude into a conversation but the deputies need to relate & they just don,t.

We want to know about real issues now. Not about elections in the 1900's. what about Jobs, Housing, Health.

Where are the politicians with the more radical idea's, the alternative vote.

Young islanders leave Guernsey all the time on trips away or for education their minds are crammed full of great ideas & some crazy ones but they have no voice, no platform that appeals to them.

I think the media need to do more, where are the question time type programmes on local TV or the alternative newspapers, radio programmes, when was the last time BBCGuernsey had a young peoples political phone in (not moaner phone on sunday mornings). Why does Island fm not have any political programmes.

There is nothing out there to get younger voters hooked, no incentive.

Another example is this forum, Its the same posters all the time, seems like a group of about 50 who like shouting at each other & calling people idiots. Moaning mostly, Where are the ideas guys? that would be more helpful not ranting.

Deal with this or stay stuck in this guernsey time warp & stand still.

Sorry if there are any mistakes in this post but can't be bothered to read it through first as i got fun stuff to do cos I'm young.

ChrisJ

Splendid piece Grippios. But would you stand for election? If not, why not? Serious questions.

Grippios

Thanks,wouldn't stand as have not been a model citizen & stuff would be trawled probably as guernsey generally does not let people have a past as some posters on this forum have shown countless times, also young family to look after, that's the answer sorry if not good enough but there it is.

ChrisJ

Misdeeds in former life can be forgiven if you are up front about it, recognise it for what it is, and show that it's in the past and you've learnt from it. Perhaps don't make a big play of it in a manifesto... but you get plenty of other opportunities in a campaign to speak from the heart, especially using social media. It's a risky play, but I reckon plenty of people would find it pretty refreshing.

Alvin

Excellent post...

A deputy must be at least 20 years old to be elected, and so young people as much as elderly people could indeed be elected.

And I think with Island Wide Voting, a young person would have a better chance of being elected than with the current system.

There is no reason why a young person can not get the attention of the media - it just takes a bit of perseverance.

And a young person who is in touch with the various social media on the internet could easily reach out to the potential voters in his own age group... getting them to make an effort to register on the electoral role and then getting them to vote for him/her.

If that person was the only person in that age group, he or she could muster quite a large vote.

Elis Bebb

Alvin,

The connection between young voter engagement and IWV are divorced, but you sought to conjoin them. In the last election there was more social media involvement than ever before (unsurprising, I know) but the youngest four Deputies are Matt Faalaize (not on social media but posts here) Garry Collins (only on twitter after the election I believe) Chris Green (barely tweeting before the election) and me (only got onto twitter because of the election & have infrequently commented here). Social media & young person engagement is a good question, but I believe Jonathan Le Tocq (tweeting & blogging since time immemoriam) Peter Sherbourne (tweeting since standing for election) & John Gollop (always a lover of all social media) show that the two are divorced.

Engaging with social media and engaging with young people are two separate questions. Young people engagement & IWV are equally divorced. You attach the two for convenience, but I doubt that there's any correlation.

Gsyman

Well said, young Grippios.

I would also like to see a couple of younger Jurats on the bench as well!

Dazzybo

I'm all for Islandwide voting but for the people less sure about it how about 3 of your votes have to be in-parish and you then have the choice of the whole island's representatives for your other 3 votes. Everyone wins.

Matt Fallaize

Dazzybo,

That's a sort of 'golden vote plus' system, variants of which have been the subject of countless investigations over the years.

The problem is it doesn't overcome any of the problems, if that makes sense. Well, except one: it provides for some dedicated parochial representation in the States, which might well be worthwhile but is perhaps not among the biggest problems associated with turning the island into a single electoral constituency.

'Golden vote plus' still requires wading through 80 or 90 manifestos, a ballot paper as long as your arm and then casting votes for candidates almost certainly without a hustings or door-to-door canvassing. In addition, the island-wide component of the election would provide voters with fewer votes than there would be seats (raising the possibility of candidates being elected with numbers of votes which might make today's several hundred or low thousands look like a landslide) or if all deputies are to remain attached to a parish or district it would raise the possibility of a parish or district being represented by a deputy who the voters of that parish or district wished emphatically to reject.

'Full IWV' - i.e. every deputy elected island-wide on the same day and with every voter having the same number of votes as there are seats in the House - at least has the advantage of purity.

Alvin

Interesting idea.

Toby

Pity the poor disenfranchised UK voters who only get to choose 1 out of 650 MPs ( that's 0.15 percent ) . And get to choose none of the House of Lords . ( so they actually only get to vote for 1 out of roughly 1,320 .... 0.075% of the Houses of Parliament )

We should all be grateful for the relatively large effect our votes can have ....

Matt Fallaize

Toby,

Quite. And several of them end up as ministers with very considerable executive powers.

Also, what you say of the UK could be said of countless other jurisdictions. There are very, very few - at either national or local level - which run elections without constituencies.

That doesn't necessarily mean we couldn't or shouldn't, but the almost universal absence of jurisdiction-wide voting elsewhere surely bears examination before any decision is made to adopt it here.

PLP

Toby - I don't think you can compare the two so simply. In the UK, apart from rare exceptions you not only vote for your MP, you vote for the political party they represent. It is that party's agenda that is followed in government.....in theory at least!

Toby

Makes us even better IMHO

Anybody ( unless they once more rewrite the rule book on a whim following the next election .... ) you vote for can become chief minister.

In the UK , realistically only 3 out of all the candidates nationwide can become prime minister ... And the chances that you are in a position to vote for or against them, and that your vote would make any difference anyway, are vanishingly small. .....

The same pretty much applies to heads of the various political departments as well .....

Matt Fallaize

Toby,

Realistically it's probably only 2. The Liberals aren't going to produce a Prime Minister any time soon.

Elis Bebb

PLP,

I can tell you that not all MPs take the whip for all votes, therefore their system is not as restrictive as you think. There are also a number of issues that aren't included in the manifesto that turns up during the term, that then requires a vote.

Whilst I'm not adverse to the idea of political parties in Guernsey, I know that I wouldn't be able to fully align myself with any of the UK parties. I also knows that parties have grown from a political movement, the idea that we simply pick up a foreign party system and implant it here won't work. It needs to be home grown.

I do believe that most of the desire for IWV is born from a frustration of a lack of a party system. That doesn't make IWV acceptable, it simply means that we should consider how we align manifestos and turn them into reality.

Island Wide Voting

Elis Bebb

There is probably more frustration at the impossibility of being able to help vote OUT a perceived unworthy deputy from another mini district

Perhaps four years is too long to wait for that pleasure?

Elis Bebb

IWV,

I believe you're correct in your observation, but the truth is that those people did elect that person. I don't level a judgement as to the choice of the Vale or Castel electorate, I respect it as democratic.

On your observation of four years. I sit on HSSD, probably the biggest and most complex department. It takes quite some time to get to grips with the whole mandate, two years would result in nothing happening. I'm sure that no one would want that.

It's all a balancing act, and I believe that balance to be not far off correct at the moment. Evidently, you will be on the other side of the argument from your nom de plume.

Matt Fallaize

IWV,

I'm sure you are right. I think thoughts of voting against candidates in other parishes and districts are behind much of the enthusiasm for IWV. However, turning Guernsey into a single electoral constituency would not provide any more of an opportunity than the present system does for electors to vote against candidates of whom they do not approve. Electors vote only for candidates - actively voting against other candidates is a concept which doesn't really exist anywhere.

It is often said that Deputy so-and-so wouldn't get elected island-wide, the claim being that he or she is approved of in his or her parish but disapproved of in all the other parishes. However, the political, social and economic composition of our parishes is broadly similar, is it not? If so, what is there to suggest that the voters of, say, the Vale would take a wildly different view of a particular candidate than the voters of, say, the Castel? I am not too young to remember the build-up to the first island-wide conseillers' election when predictions were rife of Conseiller Berry's imminent demise. In the event he polled among the highest number of votes of any candidate. Deputy Walters topped the poll island-wide just as he used to regularly in the Castel and other deputies who polled well in their parishes also polled well island-wide. Indeed, if one looks at the 1994 and 1997 electoral returns of each of the parishes - the two occasions when 12 members were elected island-wide - the order in which the candidates polled is almost identical in every parish.

Island Wide Voting

Elis & Matt

Agreed.Those who top the poll regularly in their own mini district would almost certainly do very well in an island wide vote

There are however some who give every appearance of just being there to make up the numbers to the required 45.They just seem to disappear off the radar within a week of the election only to pop up again in four years

Despite the interminable repetition in the Assembly some of these people hardly ever speak whilst others jabber away with nothing of importance to say

Is 45 the correct number?

Can IWV be introduced in stages with a North / South divide running each side of the Grange /Rohais /Route de Cobo line?

Should all 45 be required to subject themselves to a public half way written assessment to list their achievements over the previous two years?

Elis Bebb

IWV,

You make an interesting point about inactive deputies, but I'd like to say two things in relation to that.

Firstly, there are some deputies who's activity in committee is substantial, but they choose not to speak regularly in the assembly and don't court the traditional media. That doesn't make their contribution less valuable it just means that we need to think of another way of being transparent about our work.

Secondly, every parliament has a number of people that don't pull their weight. My

Brother is an MP in Westminster and frequently complains about those that do little. This is the same as any organisation, you'll always have those that do the work and those that don't, it's just more visible when they're public servants.

Other than that, I would guard against a mid term election. Some departments are large in their mandate and take some time to get to grips with them. Re-election every two years would lead to even greater degree of inertia whilst newly elected deputies get to grips with their departmental mandate.

Elis Bebb

IWV,

I'd like to add that topping the poll doesn't make you an active deputy. There are examples of popular deputies who's work is vanishingly small when subjected to scrutiny. This is the primary reason we should think of a better system of transparency about our work day & work load.

Matt Fallaize

IWV,

45 is probably at the higher end of the number required. The appropriate number will be revisited as part of the debate on the States Review Committee's proposals in the summer.

Yes, reducing the number of districts but not as low as one is a potential compromise between supporters and sceptics of full island-wide voting.

If you think deputies' mandates are too long without reporting back to the electorate, they could be cut from four years to three or even two. They used to be three until the abolition of the office of conseiller (which was a six-year term) in 2000.

blindorange

I am surprised at the conservatism of the IWV supporters on this thread. For any true democracy to be introduced into Guernsey would require that ALL decisions made by the States Deputies be confirmed by Island Wide voting on each item.

Obviously this will need some form of electronic voting which should not be difficult to arrange, internet stations at supermarkets, pubs, and petrol stations would cover most requirements.

Before each States meeting a list of propositions would be produced, the deputies would argue their cases and at the end of the day the whole population of Guernsey would push their buttons YES/NO on each decision.

If we could integrate it with the XFactor/Big Brother voting systems, job done.

You know it makes sense.

Robin m

I have been off island for a while and notice how this blog is dealing with all the old topics again.

You must not believe everything Ellis Bebb says in his comments, he likes to kid everyone that he has been here 20 years when people who know him say it is more like 10 or 12, He posts under another pseudonym on here trying to kid you that he is local.

Mr Bebb doesn’t want IWV because he knows he would be history if that came about, especially after recently calling Guernsey people “inbreds”, something I will remind the voters of at the next election.

I wish these people who turn up here to wash glasses in hotels, would live on the island for longer than 5 minutes before they stand for election. Mr Bebb has been in the States for 18 months and a bit and believes that if he speaks on everything that will make him look as if he is busy.

If he wanted to get busy he might spend some time trying to bring our health service back to what it once was when it was run and managed by Guernsey people.

Elis Bebb

Robin M,

I first came to the island when I was 21, lived here for 18 months and then took a 9 month period back in London before returning to the island and have lived here ever since. I'm now 39.

The reasons I don't want IWV is as I've posted, it has nothing to do with me increasing my chances of being re-elected or not, it is to do with the system. I also believe that IWV would increase my chance of re-election as the number of votes required is likely to be a lot less than currently and that IWV favours incumbents.

As for the rest of your post, that's your opinion and I note it, but obviously don't agree with it. Amusing that you believe me to be posting under a pseudonym when I'm not sure of your name.

Dave Jones

I think the whole point of having an Island Wide election is that people would feel that they have the power to remove Deputies who they believe do not serve them well.

That appears to be the main attraction for most of those I speak to on the issue. If people want more say in who governs them, then they must be prepared to sift through the candidates standing. I do not believe that IWV would favour existing candidates at all, being in office didn’t save a large number of deputies who lost there seats at the last election and it won’t do so at the next.

Mon Vie and others who protest to much, trying to find all the reasons it won’t work are I believe flying in the face of public opinion, I also think it is incumbent of all those deputies who stood last time professing to embrace IWV should support it when it comes back to the States. If they don’t then I suspect the electorate will not trust them again.

Martino

Yes, you're correct Dave, people would feel they had that power but they'd be deluding themselves. Unless you introduce a minus voting option the vast majority of electors will continue to vote positively for the candidates they most want to see elected. In fact with IWV the opportunity to vote tactically, as some do within the present constituency system, is diminished. In fact the entire thinking behind IWV is illusory. Let's stick with what we've got.

Elis Bebb

Dave,

I have a number of people that don't want IWV that I spoke to during the election. I think that the public opinion isn't that widespread, though I do believe that those who want IWV are quite vociferous. A year ago I was on the radio and on twitter asking about IWV, I had three responses, on twitter and one email. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the support for IWV.

I believe that the requéte will allow this debate to be had once again, but I simply don't think that the voting within districts as we do at the moment is so bad that it warrants all this discourse. I know that you and I believe the issue of poverty, housing, health are far more important for us to consider, but IWV will suck the oxygen from other political debate for a while.

The one thing that I would add to this debate. As a member of SACC I was expecting to look at the voting system after the States Review Committee had reported. The requéte is a little premature, but I agree that it had to be debated at some point during this term as it was an election issue. Not to debate it would be unacceptable.

Robin M

Deputy Jones you are not much better, another import trying to run the island.

What is it with those who come here who can't leave well alone. Guernsey men and women served in the states for years and we were never in the mess we are today, now there are far to many from the UK in the civil service and the states who are ruining the place my family have lived for nearly six centuries.

That's the real problem with you and the Bebbs of this world two Welshmen who think that Guernsey should be just like Wales. I worked in the finance sector for many years and I know several people who worked with Mr Bebb and just what expertise he can bring to our government is lost on all of us.

We need Island wide voting to get more local people into our goverment to try and bring our island back to the Guernsey we love.

Dave Jones

Robin M

I am neither Welsh nor was I imported.

I married a Guernsey girl 36 years ago and she had no wish to leave her island home.

I had a career in heavy plant for over 35 years and wanted to give something back to Guernsey in the later years of my life.

It will be for history to decide whether I managed to do that or not, although you have clearly made up your mind already.

Martino

Robin M or m

You say in another post that you have been "off island for a while"...

Well then, I would wager Deputies Jones and Bebb have done a lot more for their island than you have during your sojourn off it and therefore have every right to be regarded as being just as "local" as you are and perhaps even more so.

I sometimes take issue with both deputies and sometimes I agree with them. In this instance I am with Elis but I would never seek to question or demean their contributions to this island community because of where they were born.

islander

I favour IWV for reasons of Guernsey`s heritage.Maintaining its customs.Keeping its islands traditions.

This island needs to stay historically and not to fully commercialised as whats happening now.

Sark for example has become interfered by outsiders ruining its traditions,Alderney going down same route and possibly Herm too.

What laws England make our government follow suit.This should not be.Keep Guernsey laws if they are not breaching human rights.

An over population island needs answering urgently.We need deputies throughout the island that each voting idividual can approach to ease and improve this situation even if it means approving tower blocks for the next generation to live in or devaluing the present property market stock for affordable housing.

Encourage finance into Alderney to fill the gap thats urgently needed.Affordable housing there too for new business.

Only IWV will give guernsey people a say which deputies would serve this island well.

We have at present a few deputies that try to serve this island and its people but get out voted by people with only their interest in mind.

Martino

Delusion, pure and utter delusion.

progress

I do think the States would be better off spending its time concentrating on strategic initiatives that will bring Income into the Island. For a small democracy I personally feel that there is no place for career politicians some of whom would be of more benefit if they had had professional careers in the private sector, and can then bring that experience and intellect into the house for the benefit of our economy. All Deputies should have to meet certain criteria before being allowed to stand which would perhaps sit hand in hand with Island wide voting and reduce the number of candidates .

cyril serbant

probably just repeating what someone has said before but...

I like the idea of Island Wide Voting as it does annoy me to see people voted in on much smaller numbers of votes than people not getting in with much higher counts elsewhere but, if I'm being honest, that largely depends on who is being voted in or out (the way a sketchy red card is a disgraceful or wise decision based on the shirt colour of the person walking off the pitch).

...but I think there are problems that can't be overcome;

1. Too many people choose from. Yes, in an ideal world, we'd all have the time to read all the manifestos / websites and attend a continual round of hustings but people also need to eat, sleep, work, care for children etc. Which leads to...

2. Selection by media. 'I've heard of him', ,'she's in the GP quite a bit so she must be hard-working' - visibility will become the best measure people have as well as the old terrible chestnut 'He's a bit of a character'. Say the Press did a story in which the headline reads 'Deputy calls Islander 'inbreeds''. Many people might not even have time to read the full story, let alone the following context that showed just what a nothing story it was - that's one manifesto out of 100 that they don't need to look at all on a false premise and it's goodbye to that guy.

3. It'll be a great loss to the amount of representation you get thanks to losing the link to the Parish. There was a lot of chat that the IWV would have seen St Andrews School close earlier and I suspect that this would have been the case with no one looking solely to that parish for votes. I agree that the school should be closed but that delay and that direct accountability to the Parish is, in my view, vital. Yes, this is a small Island but the Parishes are unique and have their own problems / issues. IWV would make it too easy to ignore a smaller Parish or a very local problem.

I do think that things need to change; the numbers of Deputies should be looked if that is a general concern and I also think that you should only be able to stand in your Parish of residence (say 2 years minimum) to avoid shopping for votes.

Billythefish

Briefly, on Island Wide Voting, I agree with Cyril Serbant largely for the same reasons. Yes, we are intelligent enough, but there would be too much dilution of control and increased risks of incumbents or bufoons (mutually exclusive???) being returned.

My main point, and here I seem to be a voice in the wilderness, is I think the number of deputies should not be reduced.

Yes, we are a small island, but that just means the work that is necessary is spread around a smaller population.

No matter what our size, we have to consider all the things larger jurisdictions need to consider, legal, tech, economical, the list goes on.

We are the first to complain if something gets missed or if something isn't fully thought through - do we honestly think that fewer deputies would be able to manage this sort of workload responsibly?

I, for one, do not. There's too much at stake for the island to do a half baked job of it all, and that is what we'd get with the work shared out between so few.

cyril serbant

I actually agree about the number of Deputies. I just think that it's a topic we keep coming back to and so why not have a look at it.

blindorange

Just catching up the last few comments and was amused to read Robin M (who has been angered by what incomers are doing to Guernsey) stating that his family has been on Guernsey for six centuries.

So where were they the previous 14 centuries Robin M?

I think you should be open about where your forebears immigrated from.

Matt Fallaize

blindorange,

Why did you go back only 20 centuries?

blindorange

Matt, My memory isn't what it was, that's as far back as I can remember :-)

Matt Fallaize

Neat answer!

Tim

Having waded through all the above comments a number of thoughts occur to me.

1. There seems to be an view that the majority want IWV. Is this based on a proper opinion poll, if so where can I see it?

2. The main argument for IWV is that you will be able to vote for the candidates of your choice not just those in your electoral district. There is no guarantee that they will be elected so will there be further calls for change?

3. Am I in favour of IWV. In short no. Until such time as there are concrete proposals on the table that I can evaluate and decide if I think they are better, or worse, than the current system then I would be against it.

I remember that many years ago there was IWV for the 12 senior politicians. I am sure that those elected were not all the 'right' candidates in some peoples opinions.

Whatever system is in place you will never be able to please all of the electors.