Guernsey

Guernsey States rejects island-wide voting

Moves to introduce island-wide voting into the States of Guernsey election process have been heavily defeated.

After rejecting a string of suggested models deputies voted 29-14 against adopting island-wide voting for all 45 seats.

The proposals were brought forward after it was supported by the majority of the 7,000 islanders who responded to a public consultation.

However, critics said it would be too complicated and unworkable.

Proposals to reduce the number of deputies in the States of Guernsey were among those thrown out during the debate.

Deputy Carol Steere wanted to reduce the number of members from 45 to 38 and to keep the current electoral system, which sees six or seven deputies elected from seven electoral districts each serving four year terms.

However, the States decided not to even debate the issue as the idea went further than the original proposition.

Deputy Steere said: "I'm not surprised, it's like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas."

Eight alternatives or additions were proposed to the report, which the States Assembly and Constitution Committee had been asked to bring forward.

Single Transferable Vote

States members also decided not to debate and voted against Deputy John Gollop's two proposals for a mix of island-wide and district voting, both of which would have seen fewer deputies in the house.

They also rejected without debate his call to extend island-wide voting to Alderney.

The assembly did the same with Deputy Rhoderick Matthews' proposal for a mix of island-wide and district voting and Deputy Mike Hadley's call for a Single Transferable Vote system.

The minority report brought by the chairman of the States Assembly and Constitution Committee was debated, but was also lost.

A last-minute amendment to limit the number of votes in an island-wide election to 10 for the 45 candidates was brought by Deputy Tom Le Pelley and was also rejected without debate.

The only successful move was to add a line to the committee's report so that if its recommendations were approved the necessary legislation would be drawn up and put in place, which was before the whole report was thrown out.

The lack of debate was due to the use of rule 13(4), under which a debate only goes ahead if 15 members of the house support a proposal to do so in a vote.

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