I have written previously on the failings as I see them of the way the Electoral Commission set about its task, see why-i-have-not-made-submission. A few of those points have been reiterated elsewhere, alongside questions over why 42, and of course why there are effectively 2 votes possible for some options, but only one for others.
Looking at the way the questions and the voting mechanics have been set up for the April 24th vote I wonder if those making the arrangements really understand either referenda or AV/STV voting systems and their merits.
It is normal for a referendum to have one question and a straight yes/ no vote. The aim is to have a clear mandate from the electorate for a decisive and meaningful change in a constitution or major long running international arrangement. Of course you don't need AV/STV for a simple binary choice.
The problem with the questions the EC have given us is that they are necessarily incomplete because there are undefined ramifications to the options, such the issues arising from the mechanics of government and the number of ministers, the right of requete if constables are removed etc.
But I am also perplexed by the decision to use AV for the voting. Why - because if you have AV there is absolutely no reason not to have all the valid options on the paper. We could have options for retaining senators, having all island wide voting, having smaller constituencies etc. The great merit of AV, and more so STV, is that you have a mechanism to allow people to express their real views and preferences, and derive a broadly acceptable (or perhaps least objectionable) result at the end.
So why only three options? It would possibly make sense if people were to have but one vote, first past the post style. The cynical would observe the system has been crafted to give the best prospect for returning a particular desired outcome. The more generous minded might think it is simply that the EC members have not the depth of experience in referenda and AV voting systems to grasp the fundamentals of what they are doing in terms of electoral mechanics. What is for sure is we have missed an opportunity to do this in a meaningful way that would give a very clear steer to the States over the real wishes and priorities of the electorate.