- losing the 8 remaining Senators from the States
- seeing an overall drop in numbers from 49 down to 42 (with a drop in the backbenchers' power to outvote the ministerial bloc)
- losing the parish system and get six new meaningless 'super' districts instead (still unequal).
All of this is rolled up into both of the main choices A and B, dressed up as an apparent say in whether we lose les Connetables too, or keep them in.
I make that 4 different issues, but with 3 in common between just 2 so-called 'choices' A and B.
Or we have choice C : keep things the same as they are now.
Or D : Don't turn up.
Or E : Express Protest - actively go and spoil the paper.
As I don't want any of the 3 changes they're trying to sneak in, and don't really care about the constables either way, that leaves me with a problem. Do I turn up and vote C, or spoil the paper, or stay well away from the whole hijacked waste of time?
Tough choice. Your opinions are welcomed ... what I should do, given my resistance to A and B (which won't be changing, so don't try to persuade me on that)?
Voting CThis can be interpreted as "I'm happy with things as they are" - and I'm not. In addition to the proposed changes that I disagree with, I'm also just as concerned about -
- the unelected Bailiff's conflicted role.
- the quality of the idiots that get in, regardless of who votes for them (not much we can do, there).
- the Dean sitting in there, unelected.
As far as the issues in question -
- Island-wide mandate, Senators - I want them to remain. It's all I feel that I can actually have an effective say in.
- Numbers - the more the merrier - and I was mildly angry about the drop from 53. If we sort out the pay issue it doesn't matter how many there are. (I'd say don't pay them, most of them don't need it, let Income Support top up their income like the rest of us)
- Districts - I'd rather keep the parish voting districts as they are - and the small St.Mary 'problem' could be sorted out by having more Deputies everywhere else, especially if the Constables go...
- Constables - they can stand as Deputies if they want, what's the problem? The automatic seat doesn't feel right. What the point of a referendum on this? They can just go! It's not worth bothering the public asking us.
Voting DDon't go - is tempting, but gets counted as Apathy. That still gives them a message, but seems like a waste somehow.
Voting EExpress Protest - can mean many things, so you have to hope they understand if you mean "You've wasted everyone's time, and I've made the effort to come here to say Go away and do it properly next time!".
Voting FA variation on voting E, but a bit more forceful, would involve an expletive written on the paper, or perhaps a pictogram of an inflated phallus. But that's not advisable considering that the papers are numbered and can be cross referenced to your electoral roll number :)
Tough ChoiceSo C,D and E all give mixed messages, are all open to misinterpretation. It's a little difficult to choose!
I suspect that the turn out will be very low. So I'm not concerned about any of A,B or C winning out of less than half of the electorate. The slimeball politicos will use whatever result they get as a justification to get what they wanted, regardless.
The misguided A campaignThe 'A team' seem to have bees in their bonnets about equal numbers of votes, and getting rid of the constables. In their eagerness to grasp what they mistakenly think will make a difference (it won't!) they will be hoodwinked into achieving the classic "throwing out the baby with the bathwater".
As I've said, the constables don't really bother me enough to be an issue here. Ideally they should go, but not at the expense of the more vital things that we'd lose if we vote A. And yes, I've seen them vote "en bloc" and not "en bloc". It's not surprising that 12 people of the same personality type, with the same parish role, should agree fairly often. With their ear to the ground, connections and experiences, they are often more down to Earth and in touch with reality than the more "Despicable Right" of the super priviledged.
The A Team can't be argued with about the Troy Rule, the smaller number of 42 members meaning that the ministerial bloc (all the Big Cheeses and their lackeys) will outnumber the backbenchers, making opposition impossible. They naively think that will all work out fine in the end - despite depending upon the very outnumbering that will have happened in the meantime! So let's not dwell on that.
As for the representation, again I think that the A Team are making mountains out of molehills. So what if a St.Mary deputy has fewer votes behind them than a St.Clement one? It's just an opinion poll, with a smaller sample size. The greatest proportion has their way, regardless of numbers. The A Team might need to read up on statistics and poll sampling.
But the worst thing is, with Vote A we actually get less representation! I used to be able to vote for 14 (12 Senators, 1 Constable, 1 Deputy) out of 53 members - 24.6% of The House. This has dropped with the loss of 4 Senators to 10 of 49, which is now just 20.4%. With this 6 districts plan, I would get just 7 votes of the 42 - an all time low of 16.7% ... why should I even bother to turn up to the polling station for that? I would have to really believe in my 'opinion poll sample size' reasoning and trust my fellow islanders to do the right thing in the other 5 districts. Whatever happens, the same old opinionated bores will get in, with all their massive arrogance, blinkered against reality. Votes A or B won't change that in the slightest!
So... what?What do I do? Turn up, don't turn up, write something sarcastic on the paper, or Vote C?
I want my action to be counted amongst the most likely actions of other people who feel like I do. I suspect most of them will vote C or stay away, and a spoilt paper will be a minority action that will get overlooked and ignored.
I think that staying well away from the whole charade will have the greatest impact. That way the entire referendum means less, because it's less representative. Let's face it, the whole thing is weighted against common sense, it is a pointless waste of space, so let's treat it that way.
It was bad enough that the 'independent' electoral commission was taken over by the Establishment (and with He Who Would Be King at the helm too!), but the 'choice' they have presented to us is anything but.
For my vote to count for something, it seems I'll have to treat this farce with the contempt it deserves. Which is a lot.