The Privileges and Procedures Committee of the States of Jersey (PPC) have re-lodged proposals to change the Composition and Election of the States of Jersey in response to extensive consultation throughout 2019, beginning with presentations in the Parish Halls in May and June and independently moderated qualitative and quantitative research in September and October. It is expected that P.126/2019 will be debated by the Assembly on 4th February 2020.
The qualitative research (focus groups) undertaken by 4Insight revealed that:
- 89% of participants were in favour of the adopting, in its entirety, the PPC reform proposal.
The quantitative research (a survey sent or emailed to respondents or carried out with on street interviews in person) also undertaken by 4Insight revealed that:
- 74% were in favour of the PPC proposition, with younger respondents (those under 40) more likely to be in favour (87% compared to 69% of respondents aged over 60)
The Chairman of PPC, Deputy Russell Labey said;
“Such an emphatic result demonstrates an overwhelming desire for change in the Island and is a confidence boost for our drive to achieve, for the first time in Jersey, voter equity and voter equality at election time.
By moving to a single category of States Member and creating 9 electoral districts of near equal size, each voting for the same number of candidates, 5, with the exception of St Saviour which will have 6, we can ensure every elector has a vote of equal weight and power, regardless of where they live.
It means bidding farewell to the Senators, asking the Constables to relinquish their automatic right to a seat in the Assembly and asking some parishes to come together once every four years to form an electoral district.
The surveys reveal a strong majority acceptance of these principles. This revised Proposition, however, now includes the option to take the proposals to a referendum so that this can be discussed and decided upon as part of the main debate in February.
Our Parish Hall roadshows revealed a strong attachment to the Constables, we agree, we want to keep them involved and with access to the heart of Government. This revised proposition retains automatic non-voting membership of the States for all Constables and gives them the choice, in addition, to stand for election and a voting seat in the Assembly if they so wish.”
States of Jersey News Release.