Reform referendum in April?

ISLANDERS could be asked to vote in a referendum on plans for States reform as soon as April, according to the Electoral Commission.

Commission chairman Senator Sir Philip Bailhache (right) and vice-chairman Colin Storm
Commission chairman Senator Sir Philip Bailhache (right) and vice-chairman Colin Storm

ISLANDERS could be asked to vote in a referendum on plans for States reform as soon as April, according to the Electoral Commission.

On Friday the commission are due to announce their final recommendations about what changes they think should be made to the make-up of the States Assembly, the way politicians are elected and their terms of office.

Islanders are being invited to the launch of the proposals - which follow months of public consultation and research - at the Town Hall at 9.30 am.

Also at that event the commission will set out the proposed timetable for the next stages of the process, including their recommendation to hold a referendum on the plans, if they are approved by the States, on Wednesday 24 April.

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Comments for: "Reform referendum in April?"


Good time to meet 9.30am when everyone at work!

The Bailanche fan club of retired silver heads of course will be there to support their master.


Hahaha. And, no doubt, if the referendum doesn't go his way, he'll spit another dummy out and hold another one. Now, back onto the Plemont issue...................


It's not a consultation meeting on Friday - they've done all that ad nauseum. It's a presentation of final recommendations and I'm sure we can read all about it in Sir Philip's daily newlsetter (aka JEP).

the thin wallet

quite right small business, during working hours.

they dont want the ordinary working person there.


Senator Bailhache is NOT the master of all retired silver heads mainly the rich ones! I know a lot of young voters who voted for this man.


Just had a sneak preview of the reform questionnaire..

1. Do you agree with everything Sir Philip says and does?

A Yes.

B Of course.

C Certainly do.

2. Errr... Thats it.


Can't we just get rid of all of them and make a fresh start?


we did a year ago

Pip Clement

This is just the launch, there will be a lot more chances to make your opinion known.

There has been a lot of consultation and there will be more.

If we want a vibrant democracy; then we have to turn out, express our opininons, and vote!


correct il vote this time never have befour just to let you know if not registerd you cant vote and if you do register it is 6 months befour you are allowed to vote


If you are the same evelyn that commented on another page saying you are 13 years old, just to let you know, you can't vote until you are 16 in Jersey.


Don't get too excited people, they will only be referendums on foregone conclusions and issues they feel safe about asking the Islanders their opinion on!!! There will be no controversial, challenging issues or ones that will detract from their personal positions!!!

Turkeys (and we have aquite a few in the states) would not ask the public to vote on Christmas for fear of the outcome and the sound of axes being sharpened............


Nice to see that everybody knows how this will turn out! Here's a thought why don't we all wait and see wait the proposals will be then comment.


Will reserve most opinions until the presentation on Friday, but a few things to consider in the meantime.

Originally they were recommending 2 questions. This is an awful idea that they must change on Friday. Two questions make it impossible to vote how you want.

Let's say the questions are -

1. Do you want super-constituencies? Yes/ no

2. Do you want the retention of the Constables? Yes/ no

How do we people who want super constituencies, but not the Constables vote?

I think super-constituencies with the Constables is less democratic than what we have now and would pick no change above that. But the 42 Deputies in super-constituencies is almost perfect for me. But I can't vote yes to super-constituencies until I know the result of the vote on the Constables.

And that also works the same for people that take the opposite view.

It makes no sense whatsoever to ask two connected questions on one day when the answers to each question will determine how you vote for the other.

There must only be one simple yes or no question. Anything else will ensure the answer is fixed.

It's also not right nor appropriate for three outspoken supporters of the Constables remaining in the States to have framed the question on their future.

Referenda are too important to be left to the whim of politicians. The practicalities of how they work should be decided by a panel of international experts on referenda. Not three politicians and three businessmen with no credentials on such things.


Oh for heavens sake Sam, grow up !

How do people who want super constituencies, but not the Constables vote?

1. Yes

2. No

I realise its very upsetting for the conspiracy theorist brigade that its being put to a democratic vote and you wont be able to whinge any more that the majority are voting for (and getting) what they want but you will just have to live with it. At least this will bury this ridiculous argument (that Jersey is not democratic) for a decade or two and we can all concentrate on what matters. Roll on referendum day.


Suspending the unwarranted abuse for just one moment...

You might not share it, but what I have raised is a totally legitimate worry. There are three options on the table (42 Deputies, 30 Deputies + Constables, or no change at all), two questions makes it impossible to work out what each solution's percentage backing amongst the public is.

What if both questions result in a Yes vote, but only on a 51% margin? There would be no way to tell which of the three options was the most popular, because many of the 51% that voted yes to the first question would have also voted no to the second. So actually we end up with a reform that was not supported by any clear definite percentage majority of the public.

Also, to those that vote No to the first question, they should surely not be allowed a vote on the second question considering it's part of a context that they have voted against anyway.

Are you beginning to see the problems yet?

What I say we have, is one question on the 42 member super constituencies. Simple, the majority wins. Easy. It will be a clear result. Two questions makes the result ambiguous.

Failing that, we could have one question, but 3 possible answers. You put a 1 by your first preference, 2 by your back up option. If none of the 3 answers gets over 50% of the vote on the first count, you eliminate the option that came last and reallocated their second preference votes. That way the result is clear what the public want.

There is no conspiracy theory in anything I said, just some legitimate democratic concerns and suggestions to fix them (rather than cynicism). If you're unable to comprehend them, fine, but please don't tell me to grow up for expressing a legitimate worry. That sort of unwarranted abuse is exactly what poisons so much of Jersey politics.


Well said Sam, while agreeing that we should not have unwarranted abuse on these pages, I have to say Thicky is THICK and should grow up!!!

R. Williams

We certainly don't want any international experts involved. Most of Jersey's problems have come about because of non-local experts' interference into our affairs.

Let us have Jerseymen running Jersey, not foreigners.

p.s. Will we get the chance to vote for independence from U.K. control over us?


I would advise you to take a principled approach to answering the questions. If, in principle, you support the idea of super-constiuencies because it enables a fairer spread of representation albeit at the cost of not having your own individual representative for your locality, vote yes. Vote yes because in principle that is what you believe is the right thing to do.

If, in principle, you object to the continuation of Constables because you do not believe that St Mary's should have the same one vote as St Helier, or because you believe that the Constables should stick to their day jobs running recycling schemes in their parishes, albeit at the cost of the loss of their experience, vote no. Vote no because in principle that is what you believe is the right thing to do.

Follow your principles my boy, be true to them, trust in them. It's like honesty - the best policy in the end.


I am doing my best to follow my principles by arguing for a vote that will allow everyone to vote how they want, instead of having to vote tactically.

That's the biggest problem with the two votes, because people who vote according to their principles, can inadvertently end up backing an option that is against their principles.

The commission should realise this, and change their minds and have a single question with 3 options. That way, everyone can put that number 1 by their favourite option, instead of doing what always happens in first past the post elections, which is that people have to put their X by something that isn't necessarily their favourite choice.

Bean Abroad

Sadly....Jersey has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any supposed democracy and clearly some of the highest complainers.....

the thin wallet

this moaner will vote.


George #6 Actually this process in known as an election. Problem is that £40k is not sufficient to attract the dynamic entrepreneur or anybody with any business flair. Hence the selection is limited to the normal collection of failures spouting popularist ideas for “somebody else” to implement or our regular would be revolutionaries.

And like turkeys voting for Christmas they regularly assure us that they all get paid far too much and shortly before every election will bring a proposition to limit the salary to the level that best ensures they get no competition.

If you want a dynamic government of proven and successful businessmen who will work for the benefit of us all then write to the States independent salary board and tell them to set the pay accordingly. We will actually save money by having a competent and elected person rather than two incompetent but very highly paid civil servants dictating policy.

Otherwise get ready for the next election and the same old “why has nothing been done” and “somebody else should” etc slogans and another 3-4 years of stagnation.


Sam – It may have escaped your notice but most of us of sick of being dictated to by over paid UK experts. If this is going to be your contribution to politics then you’re already 30 years too late.

Why not just write to the existing panel of UK experts and tell them of your concerns?


Sorry, when did I ever say a UK panel of experts? I said international.


We certainly don't want international 'experts' who have no intimate knowledge of the island either. Let's keep everything 'in house'.


Why is intimate knowledge of this particular island important? There are plenty of experts who specialise in democracy in small jurisdictions. No reason why they wouldn't be able to do an excellent job.

The expertise on how to perform a referendum are more important than keeping everything "in house" for no discernible reason whatsoever.


Upgrading from a UK Expert to International Expert is not progress – simply more tax payers money wasted.

What we need are intelligent and dynamic politicians who can lead us forward without expensive and unelected experts to hold their hands and tell them what policies to follow.

It not our system that’s flawed – it’s the calibre of member the current salary attracts.


You're assuming that it would cost us anything (and even if it did, do you not think democracy is worth a few bob?). Elections all around the world are monitored by international expert groups to ensure they are carried out properly and fairly. Countries don't pay for them to come, they are paid by the UN.

I agree it would be great to have local experts elected. I'm all for that. But it is impossible for Jersey to have home grown experts on referenda, because we have not had one before.