You’ve thought about running for Election. You’ve had all the conversations you need to have. You’ve worked out the financial implications, and what it would mean for your current work or your future career. You’ve thought about what it could mean for your health and wellbeing, and for your family’s.
And you just don’t feel you can do it right now.
Politics isn’t for everyone. For some people, it’s never going to be the right choice. For others, it feels like it could be an option when things are different, but not right now.
There are lots of other ways to make a difference in your community, and you might well be involved in many of them already. But because these posts are about politics, I’m going to concentrate on a handful of other things you could do to enrich local democracy, if you don’t feel that standing for the States is the right thing for you.
First, there are some very practical things you can do to make sure that the Election itself is a success. You can encourage family, friends and neighbours to register to vote.
A lot of the things that happen on Election Day and in the run-up to it rely on volunteers in order to run smoothly. If you think you could help out at a polling station, or otherwise get involved, you could contact the Election team to see if there’s anything you could help with.
Alternatively, you could concentrate on supporting other candidates for Election. You will need to understand what you can and can’t do – there are rules about Election spending, and it is illegal for other people to spend money promoting a particular candidate. (There will be guidance on the Election website about this.) But you can volunteer to help out as a friend – you could be part of a team stuffing envelopes, for example, or dropping leaflets through letterboxes, if that’s what the candidate you support wants to do.
The need for politicians to have supporters they can rely on doesn’t stop on Election day. Things like practical assistance with admin or research, or straightforward moral support, continue to be needed throughout the States’ term. I’m writing a section on Community which takes a look at the different kinds of support that Deputies need – and which maybe you might want to provide.
There are many different aspects to democracy – standing for the States is a pretty central one, but it is not the only one. If you’ve decided it’s not for you, perhaps you could consider some of these options instead?