Thursday, 8 November 2012

Meddling with "the machinery of government"

You can tune up the car, but still, no-one's going to want to drive the rusty old Skoda.

The proposed changes are a waste of time. You can fiddle all you want but it will change little, apart from throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'm not bothered by the Constables being in there automatically. I can see arguments for and against, and would probably - if I really had to - say that they were elected to run their parishes (a busy job that few sensible people would want to take on) and if they want to be in the States too then they should stand for election for that purpose in addition. But really, for all the difference it makes, it's hardly worth worrying about.

Having 6 'super constituencies' electing 7 Deputies, for a total of 42 members? Utterly pointless.

Many people will be horrified at the end of the direct link to individual parishes. Me, I just think this place is small enough (drive anywhere in less than half an hour - if there isn't some impaired driver slowing you down to a crawl) and with only circa 100,000 people involved - every issue affects us all. Artificial boundaries are ridiculous when you can easily live in one parish, spend most of your waking+working hours in another, pass through others regularly and spend what leisure time you're blessed with all over the island. Why do we need politicians to be tied to a few thousand people in a couple of square miles - as if they're rooted to the spot and never see the rest of Jersey?

I can't see any good coming from this. The lowering of numbers is worrying, because by the time the brown-nosing toadies find themselves taken into little groups aligned with the ministers (especially attractive to those seeking more pay, if such a thing comes about too), automatically following the 'party' line - it leaves far fewer spare members for scrutiny and 'opposition'. The 'establishment' will be able to get their own way whenever they want, without any effective way to prevent it. That's probably what they're after in proposing these changes, and what we should guard against sleepwalking into.

But, all that aside, if the changes go ahead... ask yourself this : will it increase electoral turnout? Will any of this pointless and expensive messing about actually change the opinions of those who don't vote already? How about surveying the punters, asking why they don't vote - and see if the changes will have any effect at all? Frankly, it will even make me throw in the towel. We'll be going from 10-13 votes per elector (8 Senators, 1 Constable (possibly uncontested), 1-3 Deputies depending upon parish. Or is it 4?) to only 7. What can I realistically hope to influence by turning up at the polling booth?

I know loads of people who don't vote. They say policitians are ********s, ruin everything, only care about themselves and their peer group. Nothing short of mass homelessness and starvation would shake these people into rising up and making themselves heard. And the changes will make ZERO difference. Nada. Nil. Zip.

Stop wasting time!