Not reaching binding turnout of 40% ‘worst possible option’
NOT achieving the turnout needed to make the island-wide voting referendum results binding is the ‘worst possible outcome’, hustings speakers warned as they made an impassioned plea to the public to avoid the matter going back to the States for deliberation.
Supporters of the five options on the ballot paper at next Wednesday’s referendum made the case for their preferred electoral system and took questions from the floor at a hustings at Beau Sejour.
It was attended by around 150 people and a Facebook live stream of the meeting had 3,000 views.
It needs 40% of the people on the electoral roll to participate to make the referendum binding, or the decision over whether to change the island’s electoral system will be referred back to the States.
Former States’ Assembly & Constitution Committee president Matt Fallaize, who was in charge when the committee designed the referendum, said voter apathy was his greatest fear.
‘I think the worst possible option is that we don’t reach the 40% turnout. I would rather any of these options be elected, but be chosen by the people of Guernsey in the referendum next week. I ask you not only to vote yourselves, but to encourage everyone you know to vote so we can get to the 40% turnout.’
The meeting began with five-minute presentations from members of the three official campaign groups – Deputy Peter Ferbrache for A, full island-wide voting, Caroline McManus for B, the status quo, and Deputy Richard Graham for C, a hybrid of the two.
Deputy Barry Brehaut spoke for option D, for four electoral districts, and Deputy Fallaize volunteered to present E, island-wide voting for a third of the States every two years.
The audience was then given close to an hour to put questions to the panel of speakers before closing statements were made.