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Constables To Stay Under New Electoral Reform Proposal

Priviliges and Procedures has put forward new plans to reform Jersey's electoral system, which the chair of the panel this week has called 'broken, wrong and unfair'.

Unlike the previous attempt, Constables would retain their automatic right to sit in the assembly and there would be 49 members rather than 46.

All but one Constable voted against the last attempt because of fears that it would spell the end of the parish system. PPC has offered to compromise since that was a 'deal breaker' for so many of them.

In return, PPC has suggested each district has either three four or five politicians, rather than five or six - so each boundary has equal voting power.

PPC has pushed for reform after the official observers criticised the number of uncontested elections and low voter turnout.

The committee says this can't address all their findings because of the Constables compromise, but that must be accepted to make progress elsewhere.

They warn that blindly doing nothing will ignore the dire state of civic engagement and an unfair system content with giving some politicians a vote with more weight and power.

"Time is short, delay will result in our broken democratic body limping on into yet another unsatisfactory election in 2022.

"It is hoped the bold compromise presented here will inspire Members to make an equally brave and difficult compromise so that progress can finally be made in the delivery of a fairer, better, more inviting electoral system for candidate and elector alike."

PPC also want an independent Boundaries Commission to start work after the 2022 election to make sure the nine electoral districts remain compliant with international standards.

If this is approved, it's set to come into force in time for the 2022 election.

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