'The gerrymandered mess, Option B+, has been put forward by its proponents as a ‘last chance saloon’ for achieving any change for 2014.
However, this is not true. Those States Members truly wanting to improve our system, and not wishing to take two steps back, need only support p.171/2013 - Introduction of the Single Transferable Vote and Alternative Vote - as recommended by the Electoral Commission and its advisor, Dr Alan Renwick.
STV and AV can work with any system and was proposed when the EC themselves were hoping suggesting multi-seat constituencies to potentially run alongside the single seat constituencies of the Constables.
By way of example, the merits are laid out in the appendices to the report (HERE), however one simple example of why we need AV is given below:
(I ask Deputy Martin for forgiveness in advance…)
In 2000, a by-election took place in St Helier no.1. The results were as follows.
Election date: May 2000
- Judy Martin 190 votes
- Harry Cole 182 votes
- David Pipon 165 votes
- Geno Gouveia 134 votes
- Chris Whitworth 36 votes
Total no. of valid votes cast: 707.
The winner, Deputy Martin, was therefore elected with 26.9% of the vote. In other words, 73% of those who voted did not vote for Deputy Martin.
Subjectively, I am very pleased that Deputy Martin won, but there is no way of knowing whether she was the most popular candidate overall.
One has to question the effect on democracy and subsequent apathy when over 70% of the electorate were not listened to, because they were not given a choice, once their preferred candidate was out of the picture.
This position is made even worse when multiple-seats are involved.
I look forward to your support this week.