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Friday, 22 June 2012

Give me Liberty, give me Responsibility, I am an adult not a child

I was invited to speak to the Commission yesterday  
I must admit that it was with more than a little surprise that the electoral commission invited me to give evidence to them directly, not that I am assuming that I will have much influence over them, but to prejudice the outcome by not taking part in the process is nothing short of self-defeating.

I compiled a more complete submission than the one previously reported on this blog, extending to some five thousand words, admittedly largely taken from existing posts on this blog focusing on the principle of Subsidiarity.

Unsurprisingly this idea and the extensions of the principle were taken seemingly seriously; the principle holds that any decision should be taken by the lowest competent authority and is a principle which applies to Law, to Liberal Constitutions and large organisations and was in fact developed by the Pope as a principal of organisation for the Church and Christian Society.

Nick Le Cornu, graciously gave up his time to sit through the process and I am sure will be commenting soon but my turn came after a break during which the commission held private discussions, whether this is a good or bad sign, I cannot tell.

Looking through the submissions which have been made, I would comment solely that mine is one of the few which tries to provide some academic or ideological basis for its conclusions whilst the majority I would contend are varying opinions on the same theme.

We shall have to await the conclusions of the Commission however I'm going to repeat the proposals I put forward -

  • That the principal of Subsidiarity be used as the guiding principle of any Constitutional change.
  • That wherever possible individuals be allowed to retain the right to make decisions for themselves
  • That responsibility for more policy areas be returned to the Parish Assembly, that any such change would necessitate that Constables devote more of their time to the Parish and that Constables should no longer therefore retain their place in the States.
  • That the States solely hold responsibility for those areas which cannot reasonably be returned to the Parishes and that their membership be elected by a number of single member constituencies of approximately 2,500 electors per constituency.
In this way the role of the JEP in elections is severely limited, the accountability of each member is maximised and there can be a diverse range of ideas present in the Chamber rather than the current situation where we have a small number of Socialists, and a large number of Authoritarians, maybe one or two from the economic right, but no Libertarians.

Taking the meaningless decisions such as where a bus stop is to be situated out of the hands of the States will also ensure that such meaningless issues have no effect on elections to the States, but will remain local issues for the local parishes to deal with exclusively.

I am grateful to Cyril Vibert for his comments 'Personal freedom goes hand in hand with taking personal responsibility' which I did indeed extrapolate on at the Commission observing that,
When someone shows that they are not capable of taking personal responsibility, society's response is to take away their freedom but also all their responsibilities - society imprisons them. In requesting more personal freedom for myself I also realise that I am requesting personal responsibility, government is not capable of looking after all the people from cradle to grave, there is no more money to do it with in any case, it is time for individuals to take back some of the responsibility for themselves and with it a greater degree of personal freedom.
I would rather be free to choose my own way and suffer or enjoy the consequences of my own actions as well as anything that life might throw at me, rather than risk become more and more like a prisoner who has no responsibility and no freedom, that is not life.