Saturday, 13 April 2013

St Brelade - Still undecided on the Referendum

The meeting on Friday evening at St Brelade Communicare was dull. What it lacked in verve in comparison with St Saviour, was made up for by some considered analysis of the various options and none more so that by Dr Jonathan Renouf, a former Electoral Commission member and that evenings A-Team lead speaker. Here is his opening speech:

Media Boycott

For seasoned observers of the wily ways of the Jersey media, there is a worked example in their treatment of Dr. Renouf. For a member to the Electoral Commission to come out in favour of one of the options is surely a newsworthy event. When Sir Phillip Bailhache, the EC Chairman announces his official support for Option B, there will be a front page in the JEP and the other media will carry the measured cadences of L'homme providential.

Such deference was not accorded to Dr Renouf at a press conference to make clear his position. Only BBC radio turned up and to their credit ran with the story from mid-day Friday on the hour. The JEP and CTV seemingly boycotted the event, no doubt because falling advertising revenues have cut the compliment of writers. The other explanation may be that they did not want anyone else from the Electoral Commission upstageing Senator Bailhache when he comes out in favour of Option B next week.

Laughing stock

St Brelade resident Graham Prouse made some pertinent observations about Constables, no doubt based on first hand observations as a former senior Jersey civil servant. In his day, he recalled, many Constables “were a laughing stock for their inability to be articulate and in some cases even their intellect was questioned”. Fortunately that is clearly not the case today and times have changed for the better.

Christine Vibert gives her reply from the platform as A-Team speaker explaining how with Constables back in their Parishes, the Parish and Honorary system will be strengthened. Constables will be doing what they do best – running their Parishes, without the burden and challenges of States work.


The universal principles of equality and fairness. 

A straw poll was taken by the chairman of the meeting at the beginning and end of the meeting as to whether those present had made up their minds which way to vote. It was disappointing that having listened to the speakers there were so many still undecided at the end of the meeting.

Giving out leaflets in the market today, Saturday, I encountered a couple who as it turned out live in my district. They complained that they did not fully comprened the various options. One said that their opinion changed depending on which letter they had read in the JEP that evening. The issues were not clear. I suggested that they would be better off reading the government's literature produced for public distribution as this was far superior to the misinformation they would find elsewhere.

Dr Jonathan Renouf has explained in his Town Hall interview (previous blogpost) that the issue is not really that complicated. A little time spent reading the EC Report or its Summary would soon lead one to the conclusion that only Option A embodied the universal principles of equality and fairness.

Option A - Toujours en avant!


  1. 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.

  2. Thank you for keeping us informed on the debates. I would like to attend them all but logistically that is not possible with work and other commitments.