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Thursday, 4 April 2013

JERSEY REFERENDUM: OPTION A - WHY ARE BEN SHENTON & THE CONSTABLES ALL RUNNING SCARED OF GENUINE 'HEAD-TO-HEAD' DEBATE?





The main piece below is a requested 'anonymous' guest posting that I am happy to make available via the Bald Truth Jersey. In flagging up the realities of Option A it certainly sets one to thinking...

How much of the truths argued below will actually be confronted by the champions of increased inequality and non-ECHR compliance - Option B; or the retain the failed status quo brigade pushing Option C?

And why ever can it be that the recently re-emerged into the political twilight former Senator  Ben Shenton and his Establishment Protection Squad (EPS) AKA the Constables are running so scared of debating the true merits and drawbacks of all the Options A, B & C with one of the true giants of the modern political era, former Senator Ted Vibert?

Yet first of all for those who haven't been able to read it in the local Pravda I also publish below Mr. Vibert's recent press release itself. For the record I should also point out that while I am aware Mr. Vibert has indeed written personally to the aforesaid ex-Senator Shenton on the matter; sadly, it seems that as yet he has not even received the courtesy of a reply...

*For once I can confidently say that any and all spelling mistakes; typos etc are nothing whatsoever to do with me! Honest...


Press release 

FORMER SENATOR CHALLENGES FORMER SENATOR

 

Former Senator Mr. Ted Vibert has issued a challenge to former Senator Mr. Ben Shenton to publicly debate with him issues involved in the referendum on the make- up of the States.

Mr. Vibert is publicly campaigning, together with the A team, for Option A, which would reduce the number of States members from 51 to 42 and would create six equal size constituencies which would elect 7 deputies per constituency.  Constables would be able to stand in these elections as a deputy and, if elected, hold both positions.

Senator Shenton is a spokesman for Option B which also reduces the numbers to 42 but retains the parish constables as at present.  Option C retains the status quo- 12 Constables 10 Senators and 29 Deputies

In a letter to Mr. Shenton, Mr. Vibert proposes that they debate the motion: “That the Parishes will better off if their Constable is not in the States” . There would be an independent chairman and each speaker would have 15 minutes to make their case.  Their seconder would have 7 minutes and the matter would then be thrown open to the audience who could speak for 2 minute each for a 30 minute4 period.  Each speaker would have a five minute closing speech after which the audience will be invited to vote.

Said Mr. Vibert: “This was the successful formula used by the Jersey Debating Club that was so popular in the late fifties and follows the rules of most debating societies in Britain.

“I hope that Mr. Shenton will take up the challenge as it will help to ensure that the public are fully informed about this most vital issue, probably the most important public issue to come up since the war”

“If Mr. Shenton accepts the challenge I hope that we could hold this at the T own Hall in the weeks before the referendum. I will be asking Jersey Radio if they would broadcast the event live as they have done for election meetings.”  

For further information contact|;  Ted Vibert   625591   07797846764  or email  tedvibertt@gmail.com
 
***


“OPTION A” CAN CREATE A TRULY DEMOCRATIC STATES OF JERSEY
A guest posting from a concerned veteran of 1948 and  an observer of many a political battle since. Can any one of us really afford to let this referendum pass us by?
 
 
Just what is at stake on April 24th...
 
'On April 24th you will be able to take part in a unique event by voting in a referendum where you can tell your government how you want it to be organised and structured.
Governments affect people’s lives in every way.
It decides how much tax you pay, how that money will be spent, whether or not you can smoke in a public place, how much your petrol will cost, how the hospital is run, how you are educated, how much our nurses should be paid, how late you can drink in a pub, what kind of films can be shown, how many houses can be built and so on.
The States registers you when you are born and records when you die.    In short, your government has a massive impact on your lives from the cradle to the grave.
No generation in Jersey has ever had the chance to decide the make- up of our Parliament.
That is why April 24th is a crucial moment in Jersey’s history and islanders must seize it. 
Failure to do so – for instance, by not voting in the referendum  or supporting options that rely on emotion rather than fact,- will mean that we will lose this golden chance of getting the Government we so desperately need to face the modern challenges of the international  world in which Jersey now finds itself. 
The current make-up of the States was recommended to us by a UK Home Office Commission which came to Jersey in 1948 at the request of the States to examine our system of Government which consisted of  the parish Rectors, Jurats, Constables and Deputies..
This system had evolved, from the 15th century when the island’s warden, the Bailiff, was the sole government on behalf of the British Crown.  

Successive Bailiffs, in turn, called on the parish Constables to advise him.  Over centuries  Jurats were added to the mix, then the Rectors and finally some Deputies..    Eventually, this coalesced into the States of Jersey.
This was our Government. at the end of the War when Jersey was struggling to regain its economic and social life and it was obvious  to most islanders that this form of Government was not fit purpose for the changing world of the 50’s and 60’s.  Hence, the UK Commission of 1948 which ultimately recommended the make- up of  States that governs us today , There  have only been a few minor adjustments to that make-up since.
But what was fine 65 years ago can no longer be acceptable today.
Back then agriculture was our main export and tourism was only just beginning to develop.  There were few cars on the island and a limited bus service.  Few people had telephones.  Country people only came to town occasionally.  Most country people spoke Jersey French as  a first language and the population was  only  53,000   The.States sat for one morning a fortnight.
By1999 there were real concerns about that make-up of the States and a panel of distinguished UK judges, academics and  six distinguished local people( the Clothier Panel) was set-up to examine our system of government. They  held a large number of public meetings and heard hundreds of submissions.
They decided that the present system was not fit for purpose and recommended the removal of the Constables and Senators and replacing them with 42-46 members.
When it came before the Sates to decide on that change, the proposition was defeated because the Senators and the Constables, representing 24 votes  and aided by country deputies, did not want to lose their positions of power.  This led one politician to comment on the result that “I’m afraid that turkeys don’t vote for Christmas”.
So Jersey  continued to be governed by a 1948 system and which had been  judged to be “unfit for purpose” in 2000, a system which was acceptable 65 years  ago and was designed for an agricultural society of 53,000.
Two years ago, so much concern was being expressed by the population about the way in which we are governed, that the States set up an Electoral Commission to examine the question. Unfortunately, what had started out as an exemplary piece of work led by former Deputy Daniel Wimberley was alllowed to become hijacked by former Bailiff, Senator Sir.Philip Bailhache.
Nevertheless, their final report still came to a similar conclusion to that of the Clothier Panel with respect to the numbers and the Senators and they based their findings on four fundamental principles for creating a democratic government that are accepted internationally..  These are:
·        All electors should have the same number of votes.
 In Jersey every constituency has a large variety of electorates. The Constable of St. Mary has  1,340 eligible voters in her district whilst the Constable of St. Helier faces 26,890 yet, when in the States, they both have the same power
·        Constituencies should as far as possible be of equal size
Senators have an island-wide constituency containing  77.560  electors whereas the average size constituency for the 27 Deputies is 2,691.   In the 2011 election a Senator received over 18,000 votes and the average Deputy vote was 550 yet once in the States that Senator has no greater power than the Deputy.
·        A candidate should generally require a significant number of votes in order to be elected to the Assembly.
In the 2011 election there was no election for 8 Constable positions and 3 deputy positions.  In St. Ouen there has been no election for Constable for over 100 years
·        The electoral system should be simple, fair and easy to understand.
Jersey’s system is complicated and many islanders say they still do not understand it.
  Contrary to what opponents of Option A are saying, this option does not remove the Constables from the States. 
If  Option A is carried there will be an election for the 42 deputies in the six constituencies, and if a  Constable wishes to be in the States to represent his parish  he can stand as a deputy
OPTION A IS THE ONLY OPTION WHICH MEETS ALL THE BASIC CRITERIA OF FAIRNESS AND EQUITY AND MEETS ALL OF THE PRINCIPLES WHICH THE COMMISSION CONSIDERS NECESSSARY FOR THE PUBLIC TO BE FAIRLY  REPRESENTED IN THEIR GOVERNMENT
 April 24th is a special day for islanders who wish to see real change take place in the way we are governed.  This is a unique opportunity and will probably never be repeated in your life-time.  Don’t miss the chance to vote for Option A.'


***
 
 

 
 
 




31 comments:

  1. The whole referendum is crap but having said that option a is the only one to vote for. The minute Bailhache was able to get his paws on this was the minute it lost all credibility.

    I feel really sorry for all of you who fought for the genuine article, but most of all for Daniel Wimberley.

    As for Ted Vibert's challenge it is easy to see why ben Shenton would duck it. A useles, talentless populist who shamelessly used his father's reputation in politics and did sweet FA once elected.

    Come back ted all is forgiven Almost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Having voted "A" #1 it is important to vote "C" #2
      Using your backup vote on C is NOT a vote against A

      It is a vote against "B" if the democratic option A is knocked out in the first count.

      "C" winning as a SECOND choice is NOT saying C is ideal or OK - it is saying do it independently using democratic principles

      ..... and "Bellyache" free

      Delete
  2. No shock about Ben Shenton not replying to Ted Vibert. Dick's lad could not even be bothered to stay a full day in the States when he was a 'peoples' Senator. A waste of space supporting an option that strives to keep more wastes of space in the Assembly-Constables.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trevor.

    Could it be that all this Option A,B,C stuff is just complete diversionary State (media) led propaganda? Could it be that the real power in Jersey is, a reported, corrupt and politicised judicial system who deport, or silence, those who are a problem to the status quo?

    On the Electoral Commission, your readers might do well to remember THIS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course - and in its present form will quite likely be so.

      Thing is we DO need a reform of the system in its truest sense i.e. improving the system.

      But we need it hand-in-hand with cleaning up a 'justice' system where the outcome depends on how much money and/or power you have.

      You just cannot allow Jurats who are mates of defendants to sit on their cases as happens now wwith the Bailiff's Office completely failing in its obligations.

      Likewise the UK Ministry of Justice

      Delete
  4. In answer to the question sent 'for publication only if you feel the need' I would just say this.

    Yes, I agree the posting does highlight some very overlooked points in why people should vote.

    No, I cannot claim the credit as the main piece is not mine.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://www.bigissueinthenorth.com/2013/04/abuse-inquiry-complacent/7714 This is where the on line edition of the excellent Mark Metcalf article for Big Issue in the North can be found.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Trevor -

    In 1948 -

    1. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.
    2. President Truman signed the Marshall Plan
    3. Israel declared independence.
    4. The World Health Organisation was founded.
    5. The Berlin Blockade commenced.
    6. The Republic of Korea was established.
    7. The United Nations adopted the Human Rights Charter.
    8. The Soviets entered the Space Race
    9. The World Council of Churches was founded – as were the Hells Angels.

    And.....

    10. Jersey had its last electoral reform.

    In that space of time the Berlin wall has come down and the communist block has fallen.

    Meanwhile in Jersey we still have the Constables in the States...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad you don't seem to tolerate trolls on here Deputy. Just finished with one Jersey 'politics' site. As soon as they let a prat like one JSH/JLG and so on partake it was bound to be doomed. A shame. This idiot should carry a government health warning.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Off topic for this post but with regard to the justice situation in this island the Law Society response featured on the BBC was highly dubious to say the least.

    Presuming that you haven't given them access to your and/or Mike Higgins' cases how can they be so sure all is as it should be? Smells decidely fishy to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Trevor,

    Laugh!! I nearly wet myself, at last the JEP (perhaps un-wittingly)has given us some 'facts'. Tonight's News Focus has dedicated itself to The Referendum, but more importantly it spells out who is backing Option A,B & C. Well the names pretty much say it all with regards to Options B & C, all the past slimy eels that have taken this beautiful Island into 'darkness', in Option B one particular individual (who from personal experience)you would most definately not want to leave alone with your wife or daughter (he will know who he is)this first grade scumbag is nothing short of a total disgrace. The rest of the 'criminals' whoes names are attached to Options B & C are to say the least, less than to be trusted. OPTION .A. and ONLY OPTION .A. NO SECOND CHOICE...THE CONSTABLES MUST BE OUT!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I truly hope the A option comes out on top. My fear is that this whole mess is a distraction and what is really wanted is no change. This is what Bailhache will claim if no one interested because of the whole flawed process. The prime reason he hi-jacked the commission in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  11. In Tweets you have made the very correct point that option B is totally anti-equality and so anti-democracy.

    I would like to suggest that anyone who cares about such fundamental issues make sure this issue is brought up again and again at any public meeting.

    The B campaigners just aren't telling us the truth on what their favoured option does. Discriminate against St. helier and other areas too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Constable Phil Rondel has tabled an amendment that no change should take place unless at least there is a voter turnout of 50%.

    As the general election in some parishes tops a staggering 30% this is not a not very clever idea but it is a desperate move to keep the Constables in by would you believe a Constable. Can someone tell him that whatever message the vote transpires to the States, a report from PPC should soon be on the table as they were also tasked with exploring electoral reform.

    Is it not strange that the EC could not wait for PPC's suggestions, is it not even stranger that Constable Rondel does not understand that weak turnout was always the plan,but will still mean in total thousands of people leaving their homes to make a choice and now he is trying to move the goalposts. Unless enough of you vote we don't want to listen he is saying.

    Old fashioned boring and undemocratic Constable Rondel, another very good reason to vote for A.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Trevor,

    Today the JEP published a letter claiming that keeping the Constables under Option B was consistent with the principles in the Venice Commission's Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.

    This being despite even Senator Bailhache acknowledging that it is not.

    Read my response here -

    http://sammezec.blogspot.com/2013/04/letter-to-jep-re-venice-commission-and.html


    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  14. Trevor,
    I intend to vote only Option A, but I have a very grave mistrust of the voting process. Why is it not possible (or perhaps it is??) for me to place a X in the Option B & C boxes, this would prevent anyone 'adding' a 2 to these boxes. Why has this not been put forward.

    Yours Truly

    Untrusting

    ReplyDelete
  15. I see that big brave macho man daren O tool is attacking Shona on Twitter. What a coward this creep is.Everyone at the parish of St. Helier delighted he's gone. A breath of fresh air at meetings now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw this too. You are dead right a horrible little creep. I wonder what Shona did to annoy him? Apart from work hard for people who have voted for her again and again.

      If only people like Daren O fool would do something with his own life. Probably attcking a woman because he is too scared to have a go at Trevor. Next we know he'll be hanging out with death threat Jon.

      Delete
    2. O'Fool keeps on promoting some stupid twitter spoof account of Shona that's not even funny.

      Delete
    3. Well let's be honest. Poor old Daren has very little else to do with his 'free time'. As a reader says: what a lot it says about his attitude to women.

      Delete
  16. Dury is still out for me. I see Option A being my most likely option but i just dont trust the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Trevor will you appeal the decision reported on, in tonights JEP

    ReplyDelete
  18. There is no 'decision' to appeal on. This is just the JEP trying to muddy old news driven by increasing deperation.

    L/Governor has not even seen the files Mike Higgins and I are putting together either.

    As for our case...some interesting facts to report next week.

    Meanwhile, keep asking yourslef why JEP pretend they cant report the FACT of Jurat Le Breton's complete and evidenced conflict of interest whilst international journalists do so.

    Whatever can they be scared of...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Interesting to see who ends up speaking for options B and C tonight. I would also wager a pint that nobody will be allowed to ask about the staggering inequality proposed by B.

    ReplyDelete
  20. After listening to Ben Shenton I would not vote B if you paid me. Well done young Sam.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Senator Farquar Farnham not much better.

    ReplyDelete