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‘Wrong States to change system’

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THE ‘clear and obvious’ split down the middle of the States has made it the wrong one to implement the new system of government, according to the deputy widely considered to be its architect.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 20402662)

Matt Fallaize said that split had undermined good governance. He added that personality politics had got in the way.

A new committee system and other changes to government were made in May 2016.

Deputy Fallaize believes the States Review Committee’s reforms created a platform for better government.

‘The success of any system of government is dependent on the people in it and we were quite open in saying that in our reforms last term,’ he said.

‘My view is that the current system of government would probably be operated more effectively in the hands of the previous States, partly because from quite early in this term there has been a much clearer and more obvious division in the States, at parliamentary level at least.

‘If I was going to be tested or held to account for the changes, I would much prefer the previous States to have been given a run at implementing them.

‘I think if the old system of government was in place now, given some of the challenges we face around the States being divided, it would be utterly disastrous, I think it would have fallen over before now.’

The Vale representative said deputies were well aware of the split, which has taken its toll on the ‘flexible alliances’ that Guernsey’s government of independents has historically been known for.

‘There are probably fewer undecided votes available at the start of any debate. It makes it harder and on the whole I think it’s unhealthy.

‘It is now very predictable on most issues. On matters of major policy, you can predict almost down to the individual member. It’s less healthy because it’s been a benefit of our system of government that committees have to work hard to secure the votes necessary in the States, but if they do work hard they will tend to secure that support from the States. I think that has begun to break down.’

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