Public invited to have their say on island-wide voting
A REVIEW of island-wide voting is being launched today by the Scrutiny Management Committee.
But it is ruling out a bid to scrap island-wide voting or change it substantially ahead of the next general election in 2025.
‘There will be no change to the fundamental way deputies are elected in 2025,’ said Scrutiny president Yvonne Burford.
The committee is inviting comments for its review over the next seven weeks. It hopes to complete its work and recommend any changes by the end of the year.
Guernsey’s first general election by full island-wide voting was held in October 2020.
‘My committee considers that such a substantial change to the way we elect our government should be reviewed and feedback from the community should be sought in order to inform the operation of general elections beyond 2025,’ said Deputy Burford.
‘We want to hear from the public and all interested parties.
‘As chair of the review, it is not my job to pre-empt any part of the review. However, I am sure many people, including candidates in the 2020 election and the douzaines, will be keen to share their thoughts.’
The SMC has appointed a panel to lead the review. Deputy Burford is joined on the panel by Deputies Simon Fairclough and Carl Meerveld and former Deputies Chris Green and Michelle Le Clerc.
‘The review will look to evaluate the success of the changes made in 2020,’ said the SMC.
‘It will seek feedback from the community and consider the demonstrable and perceived advantages and disadvantages of the island-wide voting election process.
‘The panel will explore evidence submitted, undertake further research and conduct public hearings to gain additional evidence to support the review process.
‘The review will make evidence-based recommendations for future action detailed in a report which will be released into the public domain at the conclusion of the review.’
Deputy Burford said the costs of the review would largely be met within the committee's existing budget.
Guernsey introduced full island-wide voting after it was backed in a referendum two years earlier. Each voter had up to 38 votes and there were 119 candidates.
The cost of the election was just over £510,000 in addition to expenditure of just under £365,000 to compile a new electoral roll.
Recommendations on improvements to the electoral system have already been made by Commonwealth Parliamentary Association election observers and the island’s Registrar-General of Electors.
Guidance on making a submission to the SMC’s current review and the full terms of reference can be found on the States’ website at www.gov.gg/scrutiny.
The deadline for submissions is 24 March.