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Deputies reveal their votes in referendum

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FULL island-wide voting and the status quo are the most popular options among deputies willing to reveal their choices ahead of tomorrow’s referendum.

The States has been doing its best to ensure interest in the referendum such as with this banner in Smith Street. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 22748499)

Deputy Mary Lowe said the public ‘should be able to vote for their government, not part of it’.

‘It’s a nonsense candidates can currently choose which district they want to stand in, where they believe will be their best chance of success, yet the electorate do not have that luxury – they can only vote for those in their district,’ she said.

‘Every election there are successful candidates who do not live in the district where they’ve been elected, proving the point the electorate will vote for the best person and not necessarily where they live.’

Deputy Rob Prow said the five-question transferable vote system complicated the referendum, as he urged people to ‘be decisive and select the only option they want’.

‘We need to break the mould and select those island-wide who we believe are the best and reflect our aspirations, unconstrained and limited by a district electoral system,’ he said.

‘Of course, this would provide challenges for both the electorate, because of the breadth of choice, and for candidates, when communicating their abilities and policies. But it would refresh and change the way we do these things and candidates would need to work much harder to get their messages across.’

Deputy Jan Kuttelwascher also said he would ‘Vote A’, as will official campaigners Carl Meerveld and Peter Ferbrache.

Deputy Dawn Tindall said she had supported island-wide voting before the 2016 election.

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‘That was because I felt then that it would encourage more people to get involved in politics. However, having spent the weeks before the election speaking to so many people on the doorstep, I feel that that involvement by the public in giving their views to candidates could be lost if IWV was brought in.’

Deputy Laurie Queripel also believes the status quo should be retained.

‘Changing the system of election will not guarantee improved government whereas successful candidates better understanding their various roles and duties as a deputy will. It seems to me that those campaigning for Option A largely promote a vision of government concentrating on high level work and business, but little about representation and grass roots work.

‘A States of this type will only increase the distance and disconnect between the electorate and the elected.’

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Deputy David De Lisle said his first choice will be B ‘in order to ensure continued strong representation of the West in local politics’.

Fellow West deputy Shane Langlois said: ‘I will be supporting B because I do not believe any of the alternatives would result in a States of higher-calibre deputies – in fact possibly quite the reverse.’

Deputies Al Brouard and Heidi Soulsby also favour B.

Deputies Chris Green and Richard Graham lodged the amendment that saw Option C added to the ballot paper.

‘I believe that Option C avoids the worst aspects of Options A and B. It is a hybrid model that is basically tried and tested, both here and in Jersey, and it is a

popular option,’ said Deputy Green.

‘The feedback I received on the doorstep in Castel in 2016 suggested a certain level of support for a mix of island-wide and district representation.’

Deputy Richard Graham said this offers the best and avoids the worst of both worlds.’

Deputy Jane Stephens said Option D balances the call for change against the status quo.

‘My preference will be a system that builds on what we are used to and gives me as a voter more choice of candidates,’ said Deputy Stephens.

‘I like gradual change. I will probably vote for option D as larger-district voting can be seen as a step towards IWV.’

VOTERS in tomorrow’s referendum should note that there are changes to where polling stations are normally located in the Castel and the West.

You can vote in person between 8am and 8pm at any of the polling stations in the electoral district in which you are registered to vote.

Postal votes can be dropped off at Frossard House by noon tomorrow.

‘People in the Castel will be able to cast their vote at the douzaine room and the King George V Centre, Rue Cohu,’ said States’ Assembly and Constitution Committee president Peter Roffey.

‘There will only be one polling station in St Saviour’s, at the community centre in Neuf Chemin.

‘In St Peter’s, the polling station will be at the community centre in Rue des Brehauts, which has a greater level of accessibility than the previous venue used.’

For more information, visit www.gov.gg/referendum.

St Peter Port South: Constables’ Office, Lefebvre Street or St Stephen’s Community Centre

St Peter Port North: Beau Sejour or the Princess Royal Centre for the Performing Arts

St Sampson’s: Douzaine room, Le Murier, or church hall, Grandes Maisons Road

Vale: Douzaine room, Rue Maraitaine, or Scout headquarters, Rue Maingy

Castel: Douzaine room, Les Beaucamps, or King George V Centre, Rue Cohu

South-East: Parish hall, Grande Rue, St Martin’s, or douzaine room, Route de St Andre, St Andrew’s

West: St Saviour’s Community Centre, Neuf Chemin or community centre, Rue des Brehauts, St Peter’s, or douzaine room, Rue du Belle, Torteval, or douzaine room, Rue des Landes, Forest.

Aaron Carpenter

By Aaron Carpenter
News reporter

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