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Lets fix the Guernsey States and our futures with a Constitution

Guernsey became wealthy because it kept the States (and its costs) small and efficient, which kept taxes low. That attracted business, wealth and investment in the island.

The States – the Civil Service, not the Deputies, – is now throwing all that away. It has become too big, too powerful, and too expensive. It is out of control. As a result they are desperately trying to do exactly the wrong thing – tax everything that moves, to fund their bloated lifestyle, instead of halving their size and reducing taxes.

Investment is moving away. Middle to lower income people now pay more tax here than they do in England. Many Guernsey people are now getting poorer as a result. The campaign Enough is Enough was formed in protest, and the States ignored it.

The States of Deliberation, our Deputies, can’t control the States, because their are no political parties, so there are 47, soon 38, Deputies voting in different directions, and the States can laugh at them.

One of our Chief Ministers told me that he has no power. For our chief elected Deputy to admit this, again shows democracy does not work in Guernsey. The tail is wagging the dog.

So the States has become unaccountable, undemocratic, wasteful, and people who are trying to run a business here, may add dictatorial, and law breaking. Yes, the States breaks Guernsey law, and doesn’t care if it does.

All of this can easily be solved by a Constitution that precisely defines what the States can do. How many people it is allowed to employ, how much tax it can raise, what its budget is, what powers it has.

Guernsey has no constitution, so we its people have no defined legal rights. Nearly all civilised countries have constitutions. Britain has the longest, but it has no teeth to discipline the government when it breaks it, so it does often.

Attached is an initial draft Guernsey Constitution for discussion, that has teeth.

We need more volunteers for a constitutional committee. We need you to come up with clauses, or improvements to existing ones, that you believe will help. Then we need over half of Guernsey’s voters to vote for it.

We can then impose it on the States.

If we can get more than half the Deputies behind it, we can accelerate the process. It may take a year. But the result will be permanent.

If you read the constitution you’ll see how many of Guernsey’s problems can be solved this way. And you can add your solutions by emailing mail@const.gg with clauses you would like to see.

David Noakes, representing

The Constitution Committee