Guernsey

Third island-wide voting plan proposed

Rhoderick Matthews
Image caption Deputy Matthews said his proposal provided more accountability

A third proposal for how island-wide voting for deputies could be achieved in Guernsey has been suggested ahead of the States' February meeting.

The States Assembly and Constitution Committee has suggested all 45 members of the States be elected island-wide.

Its chairman suggested an alternative with a mix of island-wide and the current district elections.

The new proposal from Deputy Rhoderick Matthews also involves a mix combined with elections every two years.

Currently the island is divided into seven electoral districts, each electing six or seven deputies every four years.

Deputy Matthews' plan would see 15 island-wide deputies elected for two years in March 2012 and after that for four year terms.

In a separate election held in April the current districts would elect 30 deputies to serve four year terms.

'Too cumbersome'

If agreed only those elected island-wide would be eligible to hold the office of chief minister.

Also the terms of office within the States, those of chief minister, deputy chief minister, ministers, department members, chairpersons and committee members, would be reduced from four to two years.

Deputy Matthews said: "This is the best way to give islanders the democratic power they would like to have."

He said it would "provide more accountability and opportunity for change, yet provide improved continuity".

Deputy Matthews said: "All island-wide for all deputies is too cumbersome; people want to be able to vote for, or not for, the deputies in power."

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