Electoral Reform 'Compromise' Offered

Politicians are being given a third option for reforming the States Assembly.

Deputy Montfort Tadier is suggesting 34 Deputies across nine districts, plus keeping the 12 Constables. He calls the idea the 'third way' and a 'compromised position'.

PPC wants 46 Deputies split across nine districts and Constables to lose their voting rights in the States Assembly.  

But Senator Ian Gorst says Constables should remain full members because more than 60% of voters said so in a 2014 referendum.

Deputy Tadier says his amendment  - which would see St Mary, St Ouen, St Peter, St John, St Lawrence and Trinity represented by a total of four deputies - achieves fairer representation and keeps the Constables.

"Clearly, there is one area of compromise, and that is around the number of votes that any one elector will have; this is not ideal; however, it is a much less serious matter than malapportionment. Indeed, it is the way in which we currently deal with variations and fluctuation in population sizes within the various districts already.

"We know that St. Aubin gets to choose only one Deputy and St. Brelade No. 2 has 2 Deputies, because the population is much bigger in the latter. The residents of each district understand this and accept it on the grounds of fairness of representation. What is not fair is to say that St. Brelade would have a total of only 5 representatives while district 8, with a smaller population, would have 7!"

He also wants Deputies and Constables to be allowed to speak in any parish assemblies in their districts, but only be allowed to vote if they are residents or ratepayers of that parish.

The reduction in States Members from 49 to 46 would also save £140,000 a year in pay.

The amendments and main proposition from PPC will be debated in the States Assembly next week.

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