Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Voting Records - Deputy Robert Duhamel

In this occasional series, I shall be looking at the voting records of States members, in particular to see if any patterns emerge, and where they stand on issues of justice, fairness and the environment.

Rob Duhamel is clearly a very environmentally conscious States member. The votes are consistently in favour of environmental issues, and against schemes like the incinerator. It should be also remembered that in past years, when he headed a scrutiny panel, he also arranged for speakers to come over and talk to the general public on these matters (free meetings, advertised in the JEP), to engage with and raise public awareness of environmental matters. Despite words said against him by Stuart Syvret (on his blog), Duhamel voted for the proposition to investigate the dumping of toxic ash. He is perhaps lower key than some environmentalists in the States, and in the last election, did not align himself with the loose group of Green candidates; nevertheless, his voting pattern shows himself to be a Green. Interestingly, with regard to Jersey's heritage, he voted against the importation of bovine semen.

With regard to justice and fairness, he voted in favour of the motions regarding payments made on the redundancy of Woolworth's employees, for the case of Reg's Skips and also for a review of customary law. Customary law is not codified, and it is almost completely inaccessible to the general public; moreover, as the case of Reg's skips showed, obscure parts like "voisinage" can be deployed in ways which while not illegal, nevertheless are of dubious morality as they circumvent occasions when Statutory Law and procedures have produced the opposite result. He also voted for the Gender recognition law. Again - with regard to democratic safeguards - he voted against the proposals to edit names out of Hansard, thus restricting the public's right to know all that has happened in the States. He also voted for a reform of the "suspension" procedures which are currently totally inequitable as they give the suspended individual virtually no right of appeal or redress until action has been taken, and there is no time limit on that.

Both now and in the past, he has consistently voted against any exemptions for GST, and certainly made no promises before the last election that he would change his mind - voters were not being mislead.

I have not put down no confidence votes - Chief Minister, Bailiff etc - which he has general voted against. If this shows anything, it shows he considers a no confidence vote to be a serious matter, not worthy of being trivialized, which could well be argued was the case.

I was disappointed that he did not support Bob Hill's proposal to increase question time, but 90 minutes is a fairly long time, and perhaps he thought the time could be better used for debates on legislation.

To sum up: certainly a strong Green candidate, one who takes environmental matters seriously, and also committed to a fairer society and democratic accountability.

Voted in favour

Suspension of States employees and States of Jersey Police Officers: revised procedures, as amended. This was Bob Hill's proposal to improve how suspensions are dealt with - regular reviews, and not left "in limbo".

Geoff Southern's proposition to debate the arrest and detention of Senator Stuart Syvret and associated matters( paragraphs a to d) .

Geoff Southern's proposition for an early debate about Stuart Syvret and the police action.

Ben Shenton's proposition regarding Reg's Skips and Voisinage - Ex gratia compensation payment: Mr. and Mrs. R. Pinel.

Phil Rondel's proposal for Ministerial government: review.

Geoff Southern's proposition regarding Woolworths employees: Payment of Statutory Notice payments: establishment of precedent, as amended

Geoff Southern's proposition regarding redundancies: Payment of Statutory Notice Payments: establishment of precedent (P.34/2009)

Ben Shenton's proposal for review of customary : Voisinage and customary law

Daniel Wimberley's proposition on the incinerator: Energy from Waste facility: rescindment (as amended)

Bob Hills' proposition for a review Role of the unelected members of the States: review, as amended (Crown Officers, including the Bailiff)

Geoff Southern's proposition to pay Woolworths ex-employees: Woolworths employees: payment of statutory notice periods

Chief Minister's proposition: Draft Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 200- principles and Articles

Freddie Cohen (Planning) proposition regarding Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy

Jim Perchard's proposition that the whole States should be party to approval of any signing of the Waterfront Masterplan deal with developers.

Committee of Inquiry - Toxic Incinerator Ash Dumping in the St. Helier Waterfront Land Reclamation Schemes

Stuart Syvret's proposition: Committee of Inquiry - Toxic Incinerator Ash Dumping in the St. Helier Waterfront Land Reclamation Schemes

Paul Le Clare: Planning and Environment - division into 2 ministerial offices

Draft Public Elections (Election expenses and donations) (Jersey) Regulations 200-Principles

School milk - continued funding

Voted against

Bob Hills' proposal on Question Time: Oral Questions with notice: extension to 2 hours - to agree that Standing Orders 13 and 63 should be amended to extend the current 90 minutes allowed for oral questions with notice from 90 minutes to 2 hours

Carolyn Labey's proposal for exemptions on GST: Goods and Services Tax: exemption or zero-rating for foodstuffs and domestic energy (Paragraph (a)(i)-food

Carolyn Labey's proposal for exemptions on GST: Goods and Services Tax: exemption or zero-rating for foodstuffs and domestic energy (paragraph (a)(ii)-domestic energy

Juliet Gallichan's PPS proposition to edit out names from Hansard where deemed "appropriate": Draft Amendment (No. 10) of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey.

Chief Minister's proposition: Draft Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 200- -Amendment to allow clergy to opt out of solemnizing marriages.

Constable of St Ouen's proposition: Plemont Holiday Village site - negotiations for purchase

Council of Ministers: Draft European Communities Legislation (Implementation) (Bovine Semen) (Jersey) Regulations 200- Principles - this ended the ban on the import of non-Jersey cows.

Guy de Faye's Energy from Waste Facility - establishment and acceptance of tender

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