Sunday, 28 September 2014

Deputy Sam Mezec Unelected States Members Part 2 (Constables)

Part two of our in-depth and exclusive interview with Deputy Sam Mezec, Chairman of Jersey's only political party REFORM JERSEY examines the role of Parish Constables who are the subject of a referendum on the 15th of October as part of Jersey's first General Election.

Among the topics discussed is the role of the Island's State Media. Is it doing enough to make the public aware of this referendum? The media has it in its power to engage the public enough to ensure (as in the recent Scottish referendum) an 84% turn out at the Ballot Box so why doesn't it?

Is the electorate so "happy" with the Constables that 11 out of 12 of them were re-elected unopposed or is it because they know it is a waste of time standing against an entrenched Establishment figure there is no chance of de-seating?

Should the Constables have a seat in the Island's Parliament, as an automatic right? Let us know what you think on here and more importantly express that view on October the 15th at the Ballot Box.

Below are the views of Deputy Mezec who has since published his own Blog on this subject which can be viewed HERE.

Part one of this interview can be viewed HERE.


  1. The Connetables are the back bone of our democracy and the States would be a poorer place without their knowledge and wisdom. Vote YES for sense and sensibility.

    1. Yep. The "sensible" CONSTABLES. And the "impartial" BBC.

    2. Anyone who votes Yes is simply perpetuating a broken and unaccountable system, it is quite wilful really almost as though they want to stay in 19th century paternalism rather than a democratic 21st century where every elector feels able to stand for every states member's position, as opposed to the 1% who have honorary parish clique connections who almost always fill the constable seats


    3. The Clothier report clearly states:

      2.7 We recommend that the electoral system of Jersey be revised so as to provide that the voters may vote on one day in a General Election for all Members of the States and for their Parish Connétable. This would be an important day in every responsible citizen’s calendar and not, as now, just another election. The interval between elections should be not less than four years, nor more than five. This permits a body of opinion amongst government and those governed to take effect, while allowing time enough to consider the consequences.

    4. The Connetable is elected as an Honorary Parish leader not to sit in the States That is why we have Deputies. I have no problem with Connetable getting elected to the States if they wish, but they must go to the electorate the same as all, and I disagree with this qwerk because no one is standing against them its an automatic unelected post to sit in the States this is undemocratic totally every states member must stand down to get re-elected even if no one is standing against them they should still need to be elected with a set minimum of needed votes and if not he can still be the Connetable of the Parish but not in the States.

  2. Top interview and has reinforced my decision to VOTE NO.

  3. I shall soon be approaching sixty five years young, Sam Mezec is without doubt a truly breath of fresh air, he does not prevaricate, mumble, avoid questions, and very little 'umms' and 'ahhs' a real sign of clear thinking, check some of the senior states members on this one!. Should the Constables be in the States by default? absolutely not, if any Constable should wish to be a member of the States of Jersey this should be presented as a separate part of the Parish vote (i.e good for the Parish perhaps not so good for the States) The whole government system in this Island is a complete mess. The saddest thing is this, even if the true believers of the establishment members were shown how there chosen ones were totally corrupt, they would still vote for them because they know of no other way, as the late great Martin Luther King said "I have a dream" it may not be in my lifetime but the dream is coming down the track. Can anyone clearly state what the actual question will be on the voting form regarding the Constables in the States? if it is NOT a simple YEs or NO answer than it has been rigged just like last time.

    1. The question on the Ballot paper will read;

      "Should the Constables remain as members of the States as an automatic right?" and there will be two boxes to tick, either YES or NO.

      The site is extremely helpful and informative and can be viewed HERE.

      Referendum page can be viewed HERE.

      Beware of the State Media, and in particular the BBC, trying to fool the public into believing it is a question on whether the Constables should remain in the States or not. This is more propaganda peddled by this disgraced public broadcaster. The question is asking if you believe the Constables should have an AUTOMATIC RIGHT to be in the States by virtue of their office.

    2. Further to my comment at 15:28 if this is the formed question than it is exactly what I feared, this is not a question, this is an opinion and as such can and will be ignored by the assembly. What should have been the question is "Do you want the Constables in the States by default" YES or NO and the vote should be taken as read, when will the people of this Island pull their collective heads out of the sand and see what is coming.

    3. If memory serves correct PPC had done a large amount of work on this subject/question and the original question was going to be either adopting the Clothier recommendations or not or something very similar. But of course after all the establishment wrangling and bloc voting we ended up with the question we have now.

      Deputy Jeremy Macon is the Chairman of PPC and will hopefully come on and explain how we ended up where we are? I understand it's not where PPC wanted us to be.

  4. I'm voting No as I want a true democracy, not a fake one.

  5. Hi VFC,

    I would just like to point your readers to this speech by the unelected Dean of Jersey that he made in the States of Jersey regarding: 3.3 Civil marriages: same sex couples (P.102/2014) - resumption - as amended. Here he is, making a speech, no other religion is allowed this privilege and buggers of as the debate continues. Deputy Tadier decided to pull him up on it.

    3.3.2 The Dean of Jersey:

    I count it an immense privilege to be able to speak after Senator Ozouf and to do what little I can to pour more oil on troubled waters.  This is not the speech I had written.  It seems to me that all of us in this Chamber have the responsibility to set an example to the rest of society as to how we conduct debates in which many of us have not only intellectual opinions but immense emotions, whether coming from our own sexuality or our faith or both or anything else.
    You will know the story of the preacher who wrote in his sermon notes at one point in the margin: “Argument weak, shout loud.”  It seems to me that when we simply yell words that we do not either understand or which we use in a way that simply is not a correct translation of their Greek origins, then we take the debate into the primary school playground rather than into a governmental Chamber.  It seems to me that whatever views we have, we should be trying in these next months to understand, to listen, to accommodate and to affirm.  I want to say, if you will allow me mentioning God in this Chamber, that God loves heterosexual and homosexual people to exactly the same degree, in exactly the same way.  That would be the foundation of any contribution that I might make in the months to come.  Senator Le Gresley, in a lovely comment before lunch, asked if I would be cursing him.  I think he meant that humorously.  No, I want to say that the number one thing that the faith communities must do in these next months is to pray and to listen and to bless and to understand.  It is not wrong to be able to say what people think about marriage, whatever those views are, but it must be done with respect and it must be done with care.  I mean care for people.  It would be quite wrong for any faith communities to use language or concepts that are deliberately, or as far as possible can be avoided, unintentionally provocative or read by the listener as insulting.  It is equally hurtful when members of those faith communities are written-off as bigoted homophobes simply because the speaker cannot be bothered to engage with the arguments.  [Approbation]  I want to commit, along I am sure with people of all sides on this Chamber and on this issue, to a period of months where we work together for a just and peaceful outcome for all the people of this Island, atheists or Christians, Jews or Muslims, reformers or traditionalists, irrespective of their sexuality.  As Members of this Assembly I think we can do nothing less nor operate to any lower standard.  Thank you.

  6. 3.3.4 Deputy M. Tadier:

    The Dean has left but I wanted to ask him if he knows what the Greek is for “guff”?  It is not a parliamentary word but maybe in Greek democracy it would have been permitted, because what we heard there from the Dean is complete and utter twaddle.  To try and say that an institute, which for 2,000 years has oppressed and repressed and suppressed homosexuality, to come up with a statement which is factually incorrect to say that God loves heterosexuals and homosexuals exactly the same does not stand up to the teaching in the good book of the Bible.  If we look at Leviticus - and I will show how this is relevant - God himself, ostensibly we are told, says: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female.  It is an abomination.”  “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.”  In a different version.  Leviticus 20(13) says: “That if there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman both of them have committed a detestable act.  They shall surely be put to death.  The blood guiltiness is upon them and if a man lies with a male as with a woman both of them have committed an abomination.  They shall surely be put to death.  The blood is upon them.”  Now, either God said that or he did not and if he did not say that they should not be putting any store by it.  If God did say that then the position of the Dean is completely untenable.  What he is saying is that God loves homosexuals in exactly the same way that he loves heterosexuals but he shows his love for homosexuals by telling people in society to put them to death but he loves heterosexuals by letting them live.  This is the gracious Father we have in the sky, apparently, which is dictating the whole moral code which underpins this Assembly and this God is saying …

    1. Monty has always wanted to nail Our Dean.
      I don't see why it should cause confusion or revulsion that the bible is so utterly unambiguous about condemning male homosexuality but in many places overtly (or not so overtly) CONDONES paedophilia.
      Why should we expect the Dean's guidance to the house to be any different, if a little toned down in both respects?

      At last - & to put things into context - bible stories from the beginning -in a format that even a child could understand.
      All explained so that it makes perfect sense and guaranteed NOT to mess you up.


      Bible Stories - 1 - In the Beginning

      Bible Stories - 2 - Adam and Eve

      Bible Stories - 3 - Cain and Abel

      Bible Stories - 4 - Noah's Ark

      Bible Stories - 5 - Tower of Babel

      Bible Stories - 6 - Sodom and Gomorrah
      ("no you riff raff, don't but fuck me or the men of my house. Please gang bang my virgin daughters instead")

      Bible Stories - 7 - The Seduction of Lot (by his [still virgin?] daughters)

      Bible Stories - 8 - God Tempts Abraham

      Bible Stories - 9 - My Two Sons

      Bible Stories - 10 - God Smack

      Bible Stories - 11 - Circumcision
      (shucks, a little oversight at the end of 7)

    2. Messed-Up Bible Stories -Bailhache's Jersey29 September 2014 at 14:13

      Messed-Up Bible Stories - 12 - The Burning Bush

      Messed-Up Bible Stories 13: The Plagues of Egypt

    3. Sorry, clicking on my name above takes you to the blog site which has been censored by the Jersey government.

      The correct link for "Jersey ecclesiastical abuse" is:

  7. As somebody generally on the other side of the political divide from Sam Mezec, I have to say that I agree 100% with his arguments about the role of the Constables. His comment that the States has no legitimate democratic mandate with so many members returned unopposed is particularly important. The only logical solution is to have all States members elected on an island-wide mandate.

    1. And how do you propose we elect 49 individuals in a non-party system on one day?

      Get real. It can't be done.

    2. Uhhhhh.......Adopt a party system? #CanBeDone

    3. I agree with that, but it won't happen overnight. It will take years to be properly established.

      In the meantime, we need to sort out our system NOW. We can't wait until parties are here.

  8. "And how do you propose we elect 49 individuals in a non-party system on one day?"

    Where does the comment refer to electing all members on a single day? But setting aside your lack of basic comprehension skills, let's imagine the island did hold a general election to return 49 individuals on a single day, then how about this: all candidates are listed on a machine-readable voting form, and each voter can vote for as many of the candidates as he or she wants to, from just 1 to all of them. At the end of the day, all the forms are machine-processed and the top 49 candidates are elected. Not exactly rocket science, is it?

  9. There are 32 million cars on the roads here in the UK. They have scrapped motorists having tax discs as cameras linked to technology can tell if you are insured or not.

    Yet they can't put together in tiny Jersey a small system to work out who gets elected in a pathetically small election, this is a joke right

    1. It's not a question of can't, but won't. The electoral system in Jersey is designed to maintain the status quo, i.e. make sure the "right sort" retain control of the States chamber. Ensuring the Constables retain their seats, ensuring the deeply conservative rural parishes are massively over-represented, and ensuring the island's only newspaper is deeply hostile to any changes that might endanger the status quo, are all part of the establishment's hostility to true democratic reform.

      However, reform of the States Chamber is, in many ways, a side-show, when the real power lies in the hands of unelected minions of the British crown. When an unelected speaker appointed by a foreign power can decide which questions elected members can and can't ask, and which laws can and cannot be passed, there is no real democracy.

    2. Dear Anon @ 08:58,

      Your observation "It's not a question of can't, but won't" is true.

      The States of Jersey is controlled by the united-minority that will not allow the divided majority to change the electoral system:

      “Of all things the measure is man, of the things that are, that [or “how”] they are, and of things that are not, that [or “how”] they are not."

      Homo-mensura (man-measure) statement (DK80b1 – Diels-Kranz numbering system) attributed to Protagoras (490-420 BC), quoted in the ‘Adversus Mathematicos VII 60’ by Sextus Empiricus (160 – 210 AD).

  10. Stop moaning and get out and vote and take a friend with you.

    Imogen Nichols did not believe voters would boot her out they did she wrote to the JEP complaining, as with Carter political architect of the cavern got the boot and burst into tears, Then Cohen got the boot and all because of you dear voter. Their big glass tinsel town cages smashed. Welcome back to the real world bozoes now pay for your own parking and holidays abroad. So what have you got to lose take two friends with you vote and have a pint afterwards.