I was doing some reading on electoral systems the other day and I came across 'Initiatives'. They are political devices which can be used to enfranchise the people of a state to have a greater say.
Rather than merely electing a representative to look after your interests for a set peiod of time - initiatives allow for the electorate to bring forward legislation if enough people sign the petition.
Now although this figure changes, a common region can be found at around 25% of those who voted. For example Austria (250,000) in 2006 petitioned to leave the E.U if Turkey were to join - highlighting the influence of the people on more than just election day.
Now putting this into context - wouldn't it be fantastic if this was deployed in Jersey!
I'm forever reading in the J.E.P that people are fed up with how things are run - well now if say 10,000 people went to the States Building to sign a properly administered petition (rather than the recent failure of G.S.T petition organised by the J.D.A) then they could reverse legislation which they felt was going against the will of the people.
Off the top of my head we could well see the removal of;
- The reduction in the number of Senators
- The removal of G.S.T
- The removal of zero ten
By introducing such a measure we are becoming more democratic. One election every 3,4 or 6 years is not enough and by introducing this public opinion is always measured and taken into account further.
By introducing a more informal approach to politics more people may become involved as opposed to the formalities of voting. Voter Turnout therefore increases with the increased number of interested people / reduction in apathy as they're now having their say!!
We have a responsibility to hold the States of Jersey to account - and by introducing such a method we would have more of a say!