I am delighted that the hustings open in my home parish of Grouville. I am standing for election because I love my Island and I hope that I have something to offer in the States. I also believe that there is unfinished business in terms of electoral reform. It was disappointing that some members refused to implement the decision of the majority in the referendum, and completely undemocratic. Our electoral system is confusing to newcomers, unbalanced and unfair. Some voters elect one deputy, while others elect 2, 3 or 4. One of the deputies represents 1300 electors while another represents over 4000, three times as many. In some constituencies a deputy is elected by 300 or 400 voters while by contrast a senator is elected by several thousand.

However good the individual candidates may be, it is also worrying that so many members are elected without a contest. Democracy involves giving voters a choice. The system is just not fair to the electorate.

Many people like the Island-wide mandate, and some say that they would like all members elected in that way. Yet it is clear that if you have 30 or 40 senators, and 70 candidates or more seeking election, the system would be unworkable. Imagine a hustings like this with 60 candidates, or a ballot paper with 60 or 70 names on it. Some want to go back to the old staggered system of 12 senators with 6 elected every 3 years. But we abandoned that system because people wanted a single election day when they could reject a government if they wished. They did not want to find unpopular senators, who had not faced the electorate because they were half way through their term, being elected as Ministers.

So what is the answer? I think that the answer is to divide the Island into a small number of districts, and to have senatorial-type contests in those districts. That would ensure that voters were always given a choice. If you value the parish connection, as I do, you keep the Constables in the States. But I have run out of time, and that is for another day.