Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"POWER WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY" - REFORM JERSEY PUBLIC MEETING on Chief Minister's Powers - Town Hall Thursday 24th April, 7.30pm

Reform Jersey is holding a public meeting this Thursday evening in the Town Hall at 7.30 p.m. to discuss the implications for democracy in the island of the Chief Minister’s Proposition P33 creating a system of “ministerial responsibility”.

For Reform Jersey, P33 is simply a further concentration of power in the hands of a narrow and unrepresentative elite, in an Assembly that is already dangerously out of touch and unrepresentative.

It follows on from the earlier attempt to push the gerrymander of Option B through the States, having high-jacked the Electoral Commission and then sought to legitimate their chosen scheme with a Referendum that saw an abysmal 26% turnout. With long overdue electoral reform sabotaged, the forthcoming first general election once again leaves the electorate without policy choice or ability to structure the Assembly. High voter abstention will continue.

There are a number of proposed amendments to P33, none more audacious than that of the Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, calling for salary increases for Ministers, ending existing egalitarian principles of remuneration and replacing it with a system of patronage, to the detriment of back benchers.

Reform Jersey will have members speaking and an invited guest with firsthand experience of the measures currently in place to prevent a concentration of power in the hands of a Chief Minister.

In this video interview recorded by Voiceforchildren, Reform Jersey members Deputy Sam Mezec and I, set out the reasons for calling the meeting.