Senators Hustings Meeting - St Martin
Parishioner Alex Glendinning asked the 21 candidates how they would get more people interested in politics and persuade them to vote.
Senator Mike Vibert said that he had introduced citizenship classes for all ten-year-olds and visits to the States Chamber so that they could take part in a debate. 'I hope in the future we will have a much more interested electorate,' he said.
Montfort Tadier said he would stand down in three years if he was elected and that we should get rid of Senators and Constables in accordance with the Clothier Report, adding that the 35% turn-out of registered voters was 'disgraceful'.
Daniel Wimberley said that he would want a general election and that there was a problem with the set-up of Deputies and Constables. He added that he should not have had to fight so hard to organise a school hustings event.
Senator Philip Ozouf said that he would like to see polling cards introduced and manifestos published and scrutinised properly to make sure that they were costed.
Deputy Alan Breckon said that 19,000 signatures on a petition against GST was evidence that politicians are not listening.
Chris Perkins said that he would hold regular surgeries with constituents, and endorsed the findings of the Clothier Report, particularly the suggestion to reduce the States from 53 to 42 or 44 Members.
Nick Le Cornu said that the Clothier Report 'must be implemented' and that the Bailiff should be 'out of the legislature'.
Mark Forskitt said that he wanted single transferable votes and a general election every year. 'At least that way, a third have their eye on the electorate and will do what they want,' he said.
Trevor Pitman also said that a general election was the way forward and that everyone should serve only a one-year term. He said: 'We can have a vote for Central European Time but not a vote for the Chief Minister.'
Jeremy Maçon said he would do more to teach young people about the States and the way that departments work, and get them into the States Chamber.
Deputy Geoff Southern said that candidates should 'get out there and meet people, talk to them and listen to them'.
Deputy Sarah Ferguson said that having ten-year-olds debating was 'fabulous' but added that the 'overburden of candidates demonstrated the need for electoral reform'.
Deputy Alan Maclean said that the Clothier Report was 'cherry-picked' and Mick Pashley said that people needed 'sexy politics', or on a more serious note that the public needed to know their vote would count for something.
Adrian Walsh said that the States should be transparent and accountable when spending money and he echoed Mr Tadier's promise to step down after three years and fight his seat again.
Deputy Peter Troy said that the Senators half-way through their six-year term should not be able to stand for Chief Minister without facing the electorate again. He said that in 2005 Senator Frank Walker got the job without going before the electorate, and neither of the possible candidates this year – Senators Terry Le Sueur and Ben Shenton – has to stand for re-election.
Ian Le Marquand said that the States system was 'a club'. He said: 'We vote for 53 Members and they then decide who has the power. We have no say on who the Chief Minister is and that is a fundamental problem.'
Nicholas Palmer said that politicians had to gain the trust of the public, and Senator Paul Routier said he stood for reducing the number of States Members in the Assembly, and that he backed the Clothier Report.
Mike Higgins said that politicians should stop using spin and start realising that the public 'are not idiots'.
Cliff Le Clercq said that candidates should 'be better, be believable and be more transparent'.
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]