Saturday, 6 April 2013

Of Constables and Turkeys - Christmas is coming on 24th April

Here is my letter to Constable Phil Rondel of St John regarding his quite amazing Proposition P39/2013 requiring a 51% turnout in the 24th April Referendum.

"Dear Phil,

Re: P39/2013

I read with disbelief your Proposition P39/2013. A few questions and no doubt you will be able to cite the sources for your reply.

Do you know the turnout for the island during the 2011 elections? I believe it was around 40%. Do you agree? How therefore do you arrive at 51% turnout as an acceptable figure for change?

You mention that when first elected in 1994 the turnout in St John was 80%. This is impressive.  Do you happen to also know the turnout in District 1 St Helier, where I happen to live? I do not know, but would assume it was around its historic level of 25%. This makes voter abstention around 75%, which is very close to your Country Parish turnout. What a difference a few miles can make.

Incidentally, I cannot state precisely what the turnout was in 1994 in St Helier, because such records are not available. There is no government electoral statistics site that would be so helpful to those researching the matter. Perhaps your next Proposition to the States could be to provide funding for such a project.

The figure that should be embedded in every speech you make in the States is that 60% of the registered electorate do not vote. There is a 60% voter abstention. This means that all governments lack legitimacy. They do not have popular support. Do you agree?

As you know full well the Referendum is purely advisory to the States. It is not in any way binding. Its results can be ignored and probably the Turkeys will do just that. Why then require a 51% turnout in the Referendum at all when you know the turnout is unlikely to be higher than at any election?

A Referendum has been mooted for at least a year. You understand the potential constitutional consequences of the various Options proposed. Can you point to the efforts you have made in that time to ensure that the appropriate legislation was in place to cover all potential eventualities? Did you contact PPC to remind them of their responsibilities and did they discuss your suggestions?

Are you a Turkey who has been told Christmas is coming on the 24th April?



1 comment:

  1. Totally and utterly superb.

    I do hope you tweet a link to this blog post to James Rondel (in his role as campaigner for option B). James is Phil's (politically active and vocal) grandson, isn't he?