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Friday, 18 November 2011

Same circus, same clowns...

Philip Ozouf offered a mea culpa for his recent behaviour.
 He promised to be a good boy if  the States let him stay on.
CTV said he was just 'misunderstood'
provoking a reaction in the Chamber.
"The high contacting parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of legislature." Extract from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Freedom of expression of the opinion of the people is inconceivable without  the assistance of a plurality of parties (Yumak & Sadak v Turkey).

Clearly the elections gave the public no clear choice in the composition of the legislature, there was no attempt to ask the public who should be in charge of each department, we get what we are given and we have to just lump it.

If anyone ever takes a case under Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the Convention to the Court then it is impossible to tell what they will do with our little effort but if the results from yesterday are anything to go by then there is a clear incompatibility in the operation of our legislature with our convention rights.

There was a clear message from the people of Jersey that they wanted change, but this has been ignored.

A couple of days ago I raised the issue of the inability of the Chief Minister to select his own Ministers.

Things kicked off on Thursday morning with the election of the Treasury Minister. The Chief Minister had identified Senator Le Marquand as his preferred candidate. Three other chose to allow their name to go forward, Senator Alan Breckon, Deputy John Le Fondre and the incumbent Senator Ozouf were the selected candidates.

The twitterati were in fine form on the day. For me there was not a candidate who properly embraced the ideals of minimal government and was prepared to outline a series of genuine cuts (not just cuts in proposed increases). None of them identified the need to reduce taxation. I have come to accept that I am just not going to be represented in the States.

In the first round Senator Ozouf nearly attained the required 26 votes falling two short, with Le Marquand on 11, Le Fondre on 10 and Alan Breckon 6.

The second round saw Ozouf's vote fall to 22, Le Marquand on 16 and Le Fondre on 13. Perhaps there was some tactical voting going on here to ensure that it would not be a Le Fondre/ Ozouf run off. Le Fondre has the requisite skills and experience to be the money man and has a reputation as a fine finance manager in that he will query every penny spent.

In the final round the result was 26-24 in favour of Ozouf.

Sadly we will never know how the voting went as Ministers are elected under secret ballot, perhaps the recent change to the election of Chief Minister to keep a record of the vote could be extended to the ministerial elections in three years time?