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Proxy Voting For Parish Propositions?

A Jersey politician is calling for Parish Assemblies to be overhauled to give more islanders the chance to vote on local issues.

Senator Sam Mezec says he's been contacted by 'lots of disappointed parishioners' who couldn't make it to previous meetings and so weren't able to have their say.

He wants proxy voting or ballot boxes to be used, rather than a show of hands in just one meeting.

"This is, I think, a very easy way that we can enable more people to have their say.

"We have a system with proxy voting which exists for business ratepayers and I'm just saying we extend that to ordinary ratepayers who aren't able to attend a meeting for whatever reason. 

"None of this is particularly radical, it just means more people will be able to have their say in local affairs and that's got to be a good thing."

93 people attended a parish hall meeting on the future of St Helier House, with a 48-43 vote in favour of selling to a private developer.

"I do anticipate opposition to this because it will mean parishes having to work a bit harder to include more people and some may not like the prospect of having to do that.

"I think the simple fact of the matter is that you can't harm the parish system by making it more inclusive and by enabling more people to take part in it."

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