Thursday, 14 March 2013


On the 24th April we are invited to get tricked into -
  • losing the 8 remaining Senators from the States
  • seeing an overall drop in numbers from 49 down to 42 (with a drop in the backbenchers' power to outvote the ministerial bloc)
  • losing the parish system and get six new meaningless 'super' districts instead (still unequal).

All of this is rolled up into both of the main choices A and B, dressed up as an apparent say in whether we lose les Connetables too, or keep them in.

I make that 4 different issues, but with 3 in common between just 2 so-called 'choices' A and B.

Or we have choice C : keep things the same as they are now.
Or D : Don't turn up.
Or E : Express Protest - actively go and spoil the paper.

As I don't want any of the 3 changes they're trying to sneak in, and don't really care about the constables either way,  that leaves me with a problem. Do I turn up and vote C, or spoil the paper, or stay well away from the whole hijacked waste of time?

Tough choice. Your opinions are welcomed ... what I should do, given my resistance to A and B (which won't be changing, so don't try to persuade me on that)?

Voting C 

This can be interpreted as "I'm happy with things as they are" - and I'm not. In addition to the proposed changes that I disagree with, I'm also just as concerned about -
  • the unelected Bailiff's conflicted role.
  • the quality of the idiots that get in, regardless of who votes for them (not much we can do, there).
  • the Dean sitting in there, unelected. 
But none of that is addressed by this referendum.
As far as the issues in question -
  • Island-wide mandate, Senators - I want them to remain. It's all I feel that I can actually have an effective say in.
  • Numbers - the more the merrier - and I was mildly angry about the drop from 53. If we sort out the pay issue it doesn't matter how many there are. (I'd say don't pay them, most of them don't need it, let Income Support top up their income like the rest of us)
  • Districts - I'd rather keep the parish voting districts as they are - and the small St.Mary 'problem' could be sorted out by having more Deputies everywhere else, especially if the Constables go...
  • Constables - they can stand as Deputies if they want, what's the problem? The automatic seat doesn't feel right. What the point of a referendum on this? They can just go! It's not worth bothering the public asking us.

Voting D

Don't go - is tempting, but gets counted as Apathy. That still gives them a message, but seems like a waste somehow.

Voting E

Express Protest - can mean many things, so you have to hope they understand if you mean "You've wasted everyone's time, and I've made the effort to come here to say Go away and do it properly next time!".

Voting F

A variation on voting E, but a bit more forceful, would involve an expletive written on the paper, or perhaps a pictogram of an inflated phallus. But that's not advisable considering that the papers are numbered and can be cross referenced to your electoral roll number :)

Tough Choice

So C,D and E all give mixed messages, are all open to misinterpretation. It's a little difficult to choose!

I suspect that the turn out will be very low. So I'm not concerned about any of A,B or C winning out of less than half of the electorate. The slimeball politicos will use whatever result they get as a justification to get what they wanted, regardless.


The misguided A campaign

The 'A team' seem to have bees in their bonnets about equal numbers of votes, and getting rid of the constables. In their eagerness to grasp what they mistakenly think will make a difference (it won't!) they will be hoodwinked into achieving the classic "throwing out the baby with the bathwater".

As I've said, the constables don't really bother me enough to be an issue here. Ideally they should go, but not at the expense of the more vital things that we'd lose if we vote A. And yes, I've seen them vote "en bloc" and not "en bloc". It's not surprising that 12 people of the same personality type, with the same parish role, should agree fairly often. With their ear to the ground, connections and experiences, they are often more down to Earth and in touch with reality than the more "Despicable Right" of the super priviledged.

The A Team can't be argued with about the Troy Rule, the smaller number of 42 members meaning that the ministerial bloc (all the Big Cheeses and their lackeys) will outnumber the backbenchers, making opposition impossible. They naively think that will all work out fine in the end - despite depending upon the very outnumbering that will have happened in the meantime! So let's not dwell on that.

As for the representation, again I think that the A Team are making mountains out of molehills. So what if a St.Mary deputy has fewer votes behind them than a St.Clement one? It's just an opinion poll, with a smaller sample size. The greatest proportion has their way, regardless of numbers. The A Team might need to read up on statistics and poll sampling.

But the worst thing is, with Vote A we actually get less representation! I used to be able to vote for 14 (12 Senators, 1 Constable, 1 Deputy) out of 53 members - 24.6% of The House. This has dropped with the loss of 4 Senators to 10 of 49, which is now just 20.4%. With this 6 districts plan, I would get just 7 votes of the 42 - an all time low of 16.7% ... why should I even bother to turn up to the polling station for that? I would have to really believe in my 'opinion poll sample size' reasoning and trust my fellow islanders to do the right thing in the other 5 districts. Whatever happens, the same old opinionated bores will get in, with all their massive arrogance, blinkered against reality. Votes A or B won't change that in the slightest!


So... what?

What do I do? Turn up, don't turn up, write something sarcastic on the paper, or Vote C?

I want my action to be counted amongst the most likely actions of other people who feel like I do. I suspect most of them will vote C or stay away, and a spoilt paper will be a minority action that will get overlooked and ignored.

I think that staying well away from the whole charade will have the greatest impact. That way the entire referendum means less, because it's less representative. Let's face it, the whole thing is weighted against common sense, it is a pointless waste of space, so let's treat it that way.

It was bad enough that the 'independent' electoral commission was taken over by the Establishment (and with He Who Would Be King at the helm too!), but the 'choice' they have presented to us is anything but.

For my vote to count for something, it seems I'll have to treat this farce with the contempt it deserves. Which is a lot.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Don't Vote; it only encourages them!!

Anonymous said...


Great post. I do not agree precisely on all of it but very well put.

Or to put it another way for PB and the Establishment:

Heads, you loose, Tails I win !

I think that B or C will win because of the strong grey parish vote and JEP readership
(who know they like tradition but whose grey cells no longer function well)

If the majority of voters spoiled their paper that would be ideal but I can't see that happening.

I think everybody should vote A so we can watch the states go into spasm as it tries to justify not being bound by the referendum and finally voting for a variant of B, or more likely C

Total embarrassing waste of space - Bailhache played a blinder, flushing our money and hamstringing our future.

crapaudmatic said...

Ha ha, yes there's a lot to be said for that, although it's balanced out by the guilt trip they usually lay on us about being lucky to even have a vote at all, etc. So I do usually turn up at the polls. Duty calls, and all that. But it's so tempting not to give it the old "air of legitimacy".

BTW, I posted the link of many of the usual local blogs. Not Ian's because it's so busy, with so many dedicated topics, that it would get lost there.

And Tadier and Crowcroft both reject comments that they don't agree with, even if politely expressed. If they don't believe in freedom of expression, I won't bother with their blogs.


crapaudmatic said...

Correction : "BTW, I posted the link on many of the usual local blogs.

My last comment was directed to Anon of 11.07

Thanks too, to Anon 11.13

Anonymous said...

Personally I like Option F
where you suggest a pictogram of an inflated phallus.......
........ but I never could draw Bailhache

(So apt because having written the rules he is going to win)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You are not alone. This from August last.
No submission

Anonymous said...

Off topic but regards Tadier and not putting a link up, you are 100% correct. I have asked a couple of questions plus by email, all very polite and untrollworthy but he wont answer because I guess he could not think of a politally correct enough answer that did not support or go against either correspondence. Its my own opinion that he is playing the game and a lot of people are just along for the ride as opposed to say T Pitman who will pull no punches and has the cojones to say what he thinks.

Anonymous said...

Back on topic I was already giving thought to that option. The dillema is do I waste my vote, I dont think the states will act on option A which is my preferred choice so it is probably wasted anyway. In fact I think the only option the states will act on is C, in other words I think they will do or certainly want to do sweet F.A. In fact if you want the pleasure of knowing you were in the winning camp then you may aswell do C because that is the likely winner regardless of what wins at the poll. Just an opinion mind you.

Anonymous said...

If SENATOR Bailhash if so against the role of Senator then he should resign!

Anonymous said...

Tell me:

If you can see that the Bailiff is conflicted because he has both judicial and legislative roles, which breaches the principle of separation of powers, which is fundamental to modern democracy...

...why can't you see that the Constables are no less conflicted?

crapaudmatic said...

@Anon 8:18

Good point. I do, on balance, agree (as you'll see if you read my posting carefully). I just don't think it's the major issue of the day. Thanks for commenting.

crapaudmatic said...

re: Brevity.


Many. Points.. make.

At least I tried to make it easier on the eye, with various visual techniques, than the usual huge blocks of text you get on so many blogs known for their massive missives :)

Anonymous said...

The referendum options ABC may by an accidental farce or it could be a cynical plan to divide and rule-for-a-thousand-years

Opposition is certainly divided.

As far as I can tell the "The A team" is the only anti establishment campaign with any momentum.

I think that moderates should vote for A with their 1st choice vote and for C with their 2nd. This will probably result in C eventually winning but it will not have been the first choice of many voters so they cannot justifiably claim that everyone is happy with the current system.

"C" winning on the "recount" is the closest thing we have too saying - do away and do it properly !

Any thoughts or better ideas ?

Anonymous said...

Tadier? What do you expect from someone who can't even pick a facial hairstyle he likes and stick with it!

Anonymous said...

As someone who is going to vote for Option A, I have to agree with you on so much of what you say, especially over the Troy rule jeopardy. I'm really really really disappointed with this referendum for too many reasons to list- and the States IMO were very wrong for adopting it or at the very least, not improving it with Southern's amendment. But at least Option A brings voter equity, something Jersey's never had before due to the urban under representation and the rural over representation. It's time Jersey stopped applying TJW to democracy and confirmed to universal rather than particular arrangements.

Tom Gruchy said...

Effective scrutiny is impossible with only 42 Members no matter what they are. But at least "Option A" makes the substantial reform of removing the Constables to the Parishes where they belong and should prosper...meanwhile the general public (remember them?) can at long last be encouraged to participate as co-opted members of scrutiny or given the floor for 20 minutes at every Scrutiny hearing to comment on the official evidence and/or express their own views. For too long the public has been excluded from active participation...and they/we could be an integral part of a revamped and open Constables' Committee too...this reform under "Option A" does not have to stop with the simple formula as so far proposed.
Be brave - vote for this reform but do not fall asleep just because it will not deliver everything at a stroke.......

Anonymous said...

The POSITIVE features of Option A are:



*NO MORE UNCONTESTED ELECTIONS (not possible to rig a 7 seat constiTuency as there are bound to be 8 candidates- but then maybe not in the Northern enclave)





ONE CATEGORY OF STATES MEMBER (no confusion about the existing 3 categories who do exactly the same job officiall,albeit Constables do not pull their weight in the States)

I dont put these down as mere slogans. They are genuine benefits and details of an imporoved system.

There is no OPTION D. That is one Matthew Price on BBC Radio Jersey invented to demoralise the electorate. Seems you may be doing the same with a purpose in mind?

Try to address these issues, but I know you do not wish to do so. In fact your inability to do so discredits this blog and everything you write.

Dont be pessimistic, it could be worse.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Tom Gruchy

Suggest vote:
A with #1
C with #2

This referendum is a farce so it is perhaps (farcically) fortunate that the results are not binding.
Hence, in the unlikely event of A winning the turkeys will not vote for Christmas and may adopt a variant of A but not reducing the number of members.

C will probably win but if it is most people's 2nd choice it actually serves the function of "no we are not happy" / "none of the above"

crapaudmatic said...

Hi Nick (I presume, from similar material on your blog!)

First, I'll admit Option A wouldn't be the worst possible thing to happen (and much much better than B) but it's the whole way it came about, and the sneaky way to make several changes at once with just 2 options, that's what has riled me to the point where I got too irate with the whole thing to engage with it any further than writing a blog entry. And the things I strongly disagree with, of course.

To address your points :
- yes, all good things, but not exclusive to these proposals. There are other solutions that could also bring this about. And the things I complain about losing are worse than not having these.

-I haven't looked into that. No further comment for now.

- doesn't really interest me too much, compared to other aspects. I don't believe any of this has any real impact on apathy and voter turnout.

- I think we could do fine with deputies and senators. Ideally I'd rather have a vote for EVERY member, seeing as we don't have a party system. Only having 7 votes, and 35 members in there who I had no say over, is not acceptable. But it appears that having overlapping terms, and frequent elections isn't something the island can cope with. Oh well.

"There is no OPTION D. That is one Matthew Price on BBC Radio Jersey invented to demoralise the electorate. Seems you may be doing the same with a purpose in mind?"
I never heard M Price say that, I try not listen to him. Option D may not be official but it's certainly real.

"Try to address these issues, but I know you do not wish to do so. In fact your inability to do so discredits this blog and everything you write."
- I hope I've proved you wrong. I can argue all you like :)

I find the EC's approach suspect and referendum seriously flawed.

Plus, you assume that this is the only chance we have to change anything. And that they will actually pay any attention anyway. I have more doubts than that.

"Dont be pessimistic, it could be worse."
Yeah. It could also be a lot better!

Vote C said...

Is it really a problem that Vote C doesn't clearly mean either - we like things as they are - or - 'none of the above'?

I think it's quite clear. You're being offered two new choices, and if you don't like them, you vote for the third, C.

Whatever people can argue about what it means, it still achieves the same result.

And, it's not the end of the matter. The A Team will keep on championing reform and will challenge matters if C wins, so the issue will have to come back again, properly done next time.

Vote C!

Anonymous said...

A farce, all options suit the establishment.

Might mark my ballot "I revoke my consent to be governed" optional "by this shower of crooks"


Anonymous said...

At the forthcoming hijacked referendum PLEASE use BOTH votes.

e.g. A #1 ......... AND ........ C #2

Voting C as 2nd choice is NOT a vote against A because your 2nd vote does not count unless your first choice is knocked out in the first count,

Your 2nd choice vote ONLY counts if your first is knocked out ...... USE IT !

Do you want B to win because you didn't use your backup vote?

The current system (i.e. "C") is bad and undemocratic but least it is not "B", which is worse !!!!!!

I will vote A & C and hope that our politicians do the right and fair thing and adapt the result into something that respects
democratic principles like "A" but retains enough members for the much needed scrutiny function.
Perhaps have 7 Deputies per district (totalling 48) or maybe keep the Senators.
(keeping the island wide mandate is essential if the Chief Minister is going to get more powers)

The hijacked electoral commission has given us hijacked choices.
No change, or an elected dictatorship - a crass and immoral plan.

If "B" wins on the 24th our feeble democracy dies. Jersey's equivalent of Germany's 1933 enabling act, giving us a semi-elected dictatorship.