The potential return of the island-wide mandate in the 2026 election will have to be considered by members of the new States Assembly following a petition launched by a former Senator.
Ben Shenton said the new electoral system, which divides the island into nine districts and removes Senators, was a “backwards step” because no politician will have a mandate from every islander.
“Why should people in the town get to elect four Deputies, while some country parishes can only elect three?” he wrote in his petition.
“If you want to support a political party but they don’t put up any candidates in your district, do you not vote? If elected by a district, your mandate is from a minority of islanders.”
Pictured: Former Senator Ben Shenton wants to see all politicians, save the Constables, elected on an island-wide basis.
Having received 1,000 signatures, the petition prompted a reply from the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) - a panel of politicians responsible for overseeing the running of the States Assembly and making improvements.
They said their successors and the new Assembly would have to consider the matter.
Their reply also reminded that the proposals to abolish the island-wide electoral contest followed the Election Observation Mission to Jersey undertaken by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in 2018, which had found:
• an electoral system which remains overly complicated and cumbersome
• constituency boundaries not drawn in line with international standards
• areas of concern including the number of uncontested elections
• disparity in the equality of the vote across districts and parishes
• low voter turnout
They also reminded the States Assembly had adopted proposals to establish an Assembly of 49 Members, 37 elected from nine new districts of comparable population size plus the 12 Parish Connétables, in December 2020, which effectively enacted Option ‘B’ from the 2013 referendum except with nine constituencies not six.
“The legislation to enact these proposals was contained in P.17/2021 which brought into force the Elections (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Jersey) Law 2021,” the panel wrote.
“The Law has amended the constitution of the States Assembly by removing Senators and increasing the number of Deputies, which will take effect on 22nd June 2022.
“There would be ample time for the new PPC to consider the impact of the new system and decide how (if at all) to change the system for 2026 after the forthcoming election. As part of the new PPC’s deliberations, it will consider the outcome of the Election Observation Mission 2022 as well as a report by the Jersey Electoral Authority on the administration of the election.”
Petition update: Call to 'introduce the Island-wide mandate for all States politicians by 2026' has attracted 1,000 signatures, therefore the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) has issued a response which you can read here: https://t.co/1aBIgmYE1c pic.twitter.com/vuHm0m9miO— States Assembly - Jersey's elected parliament (@StatesAssembly) April 14, 2022
Guernsey moved to an island-wide voting system for the first time for its 2020 election. The island became one electoral district, with islanders able to vote for up to 38 candidates.
The successful candidate with the highest number of votes was former Chief Minister Deputy Gavin St. Pier with just short of 14,000, while the 38th individual to win a seat was Deputy Carl Meerveld with 6,477.
There was a record turnout for the new style of election, with 80% of eligible voters making their way to the polls.
Express disassembles the island's new electoral system with Constable Andy Jehan...
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