The Deputy Chief Minister is making a push to return the States Assembly to the previous "ideal blend" of Senators, Deputies and Constables after the island-wide mandate was scrapped at the last election.
The loss of the island-wide mandate was one of the most controversial features of the 2022 election, which removed the seat of Senator, replacing it with 37 Deputy seats in nine ‘super-constituencies’.
Within hours of the June election result being confirmed, Deputy Ian Gorst, supported by Deputy Lyndon Farnham, put forward a formal proposal seeking to reverse the "historic" electoral reforms agreed in 2020 with the aim of making voting "fairer" starting with an in-principle backing of the return of Senators.
He is asking States Members to re-instate the island-wide mandate in time for the next election in 2026, and that the group responsible for policies relating to the running of the States Assembly and elections, the Privileges and Procedures Committee, to come up with proposals.
Deputy Gorst suggests that doing this could either involve returning to the old system, removing one seat from each of the nine districts and turning them into Senatorial seats, or, like Guernsey, giving all seats an island-wide mandate.
But, acting as an independent, Deputy Chief Minister and Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel is now making a bid to ensure that, no matter what happens, no Deputy or Constable seats are lost.
In a report accompanying an amendment to Deputy Gorst's proposition, Deputy Morel explains: "This amendment is aimed at ensuring the continuation of the roles of Constables and Deputies in the States Assembly.
"Whilst there is merit in re-introducing the role of Senators with an Island-wide mandate, there is also merit in ensuring that parochial and local views are represented, which is something that would be lost should the Assembly consist solely of Senators with an Island-wide mandate.
"Should this amendment be adopted and the main proposition be successful, then the Assembly would return to a situation in which there are three categories of members, those being Constables, Senators and Deputies.
"Such a situation creates the ideal blend of representation at the local, district and Island-wide levels."
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