|Sen. Philip Bailhache, Chairman of the Electoral Commission|
A referendum is coming up in less than 3 weeks. Two campaign groups, the States Assembly and the electoral commission acknowledge the need for States reform, members of one group - Option C - are questioning the need for reform at all.
So what is the case for reform?
Well, first of all, here is a little teaser. Can you tell me who is the originator of the following quote?
'There is widespread disillusionment with the political process. Some might say perhaps that this reflects the absence of party politics, but it is also a reflection of the relatively complicated and unfair system whereby we elect our representatives.'
When I saw this quote, I wondered who had said this. I thought it might have been me, but it was not particularly my idiom. So I thought it might have been Geoff Southern or more likely, Roy Le Hérissier. But no. Who was it that dare suggest that there could be anything even slightly wrong with our current system of government, and the way in which we ran our elections in Jersey?
|Avid JEP reader, Jimmy Perchard|
It is certainly a far cry from the idyllic picture painted by former Senator Perchard (who I hear is now campaigning for the abolition of the Senators) who said, on 30th March 2011 that 'Jersey is a great example of democracy; a beacon of democracy that we should hold up high for the world to look at.'
Hide it under a bushel? No! Not Jim, in any case. He was loud and proud of the Jersey system, which he is now, 2 years later, campaigning to change.
So let's put you out of your misery. The person who disagrees with Senator Perchard, that thinks Jersey is a not shining beacon of democracy, but a 'relatively complicated and unfair system' is none other than Seigneur Bailache lui-même.
So the question is, now that it has been established beyond doubt, that Jersey's system needs change: what do we do about it?
Well, we have two options on the table. A or B. So which should we go for?
Senator Bailhache told us on 20th February 2013 that:
'Reform option B creates greater voter inequity than we have at the moment.'
So, that naturally means that the Senator is supporting option A, (right?) which is fairer, more democratic and less complicated (his original reason for bringing reform). WRONG. Senator Bailhache is supporting Option B because he wants to make the system even more inequitable that it is at the moment.
This is the man who topped the poll islandwide, but he has campaigned to change our entire electoral system which he thinks is unfair and he wants to replace it with something that is even more unfair.
This is an example of cognitive dissonance of the highest order.
Of course, the Jersey mainstream media do not pick up on this contradiction in the system, in the same way they do not ask why Pierre Horsfall has done a U-Turn on the Constables, and is now supporting Option B.