|Inside the States of Jersey|
We've been running a poll on bbc.co.uk/jersey for the last two weeks giving islanders a chance to tell us which of the five options they would like to see the States adopt.
More than 500 people voted for one of the six options in the poll, one each for the five options put forward by PPC and a none of the above option.
The most popular option in our self selection, non-scientific poll was option five (40%) but option two was very close behind with (37%).
Option one was the third most popular choice with 13% followed by none of the above at 8%. Options three and four get around 1% between them.
In the summer of 2006 an opinion poll was undertaken to find out what islanders thought of the States of Jersey and the election process.
|Constable Derek Gray (from States Assembly)|
Around 1,000 people were surveyed and the results made up part of a consultation paper on the make-up and composition of the States.
Now the group behind the paper, the Privileges and Procedures Committee, are getting ready for the next stage of the debate.
That’s where you come in.
The second phase of the consultation will see a guide to the options being sent to every household for islanders to read and find out more.
Then another opinion poll will be launched to ask people for their thoughts on each of the options discussed in the guide.
Unlike the first consultation paper this latest one includes five options instead of four. The fifth is down to an amendment tabled by Deputy Geoff Southern and Senator Ben Shenton.
The fifth option is a no Constables option.
The paper will be sent to island homes in the week of Monday 29 January 2007. However for those of you that can’t wait here are a few of the highlights.
The five options
OPTION ONE – This option would see 30 members elected island-wide and the Parish Constables staying in the States.
|Does your vote make a difference?|
OPTION TWO – This would again see 30 members elected but in a number of large constituencies as well as the 12 Parish Constables.
OPTION THREE – This is an almost status quo option. It would see 53 members elected on one general election day every four years.
OPTION FOUR – This is the steady as she goes option. It would see things stay pretty much as they are now but with a few minor tweaks.
OPTION FIVE – This is the no Constables option that was missing from the original paper. It proposed 12 Senators and 37 Deputies all elected every four years in a general election.
As well as the five options the paper outlines three main reasons why the system in Jersey needs to be changed.
These are fairly obvious but worth pointing out anyway.
|Voting in Tower Hamlets|
The first is that too few people currently vote in the island. You can find these figures yourself by going to our 2005 Election section but basically in the last election 42.6% of registered voters voted for Senators and only 33.8% voted for Deputies a few weeks later.
The second is the fact that there is no general election in the island. Senators, Deputies and Constables are all elected at different times and in different ways. It takes several elections and years to make up the States Assembly at the moment.
The third is unbalanced representation. The example given in the paper is that of Grouville and St Lawrence. Currently Grouville has one Deputy and St Lawrence has two but according to the last census both parishes have the same population.
So what happens next?
One of the key factors of the paper and comments from the Privileges and Procedures Committee is that this is all part of a wider consultation exercise that intends to get islanders involved from the start.
After the paper has been sent out there will be a series of public meetings, a new Mori poll, a debate on BBC Radio Jersey and a referendum on the subject.
During this time the States will also be holding a debate on the subject. Then with the various aspects of public consultation including the referendum in mind a composite resolution on the way forward will be debated by the States.
Then the laws defining the new States will be in place for the November 2008 elections.
BBC Radio Jersey are hosting a States reform special as part of the Talkback programme on Sunday 28 January, the day before the leaflet is being delivered to island homes.
The programme, hosted by Hamish Marett-Crosby, will feature Constable Derek Gray who is the Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee.
Islanders will be able to call up the programme and share their thoughts, feelings and opinions on the subject of States reform or ask Constable Gray questions on the subject.
The Talkback States reform special is on Sunday 28 January from 10am on BBC Radio Jersey, 88.8fm, 1026am or live online.
We will also be announcing the results of our online poll on the five options on the Talkback special on Sunday 28 January.
When the consultation paper was released we published it and the proposals it contained on the website along with a chance for you to have your say and vote on the option you would prefer the States to adopt.
You responded in your hundreds and the story received tens of thousands of views from people looking to find out more.
The four options put forward in the original paper ranged from a few minor tweaks to the make-up and compositions of the States to a major overhaul of the islands electoral system.
In the poll we asked you to vote for which of the four options you would like to see implemented. We also included a ‘none of the above’ option for people that didn’t agree with any of the proposed choices.
In total 238 people voted in the completely non scientific poll. The results were: Option one (30%), option two (53%), option three (0%), option four (3%), none of the above (15%).
Part of the reason for the ‘none of the above’ option was a lack of a ‘no constables’ option in the consultation paper. We followed up the original article by asking islanders to tell us whether the Constables should be in the States of Jersey by virtue of their office.
So far more than 450 people have cast their vote in this poll with 69% saying NO the Constables shouldn’t be the States of Jersey by virtue of their office, 28% saying yes and 3% saying they don’t know.