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What are the consequences of getting it wrong?

The reason I have started this section by banging on about spending rules and general rules for the campaign period, is because the consequences of breaking them can be serious.

There is a section in the official guidance (on page 17) which talks about expenditure-related offences. As you can see, breaking the rules could lead to a fine, or even cost you your seat.

These legal provisions exist because an election is a very big deal. When you are elected, you have a power to make decisions that can affect people’s lives and liberty, and that involve the allocation of huge amounts of public funds and resources. This might not have been so obvious a year ago, but living through the pandemic has really demonstrated it. So it is important that elections are genuine, fair and free – so the public have a real choice about who gets to make those decisions that affect them. The sanctions are high because the stakes are high.

All the same, I want to acknowledge that in Guernsey, these sanctions feel scary in a way they might not in other places. Political candidates in other countries usually have the benefit of professional assistance, often from well-established parties. This means it’s not their responsibility alone to know the rules – they’ve got people whose job it is to look out for them.

So that’s why I’m taking the time to point out that there are rules and that they can have serious consequences. (And, as always, that the official guidance is the best place to start learning your way around those rules.) It’s not to put you off – rather, the opposite. If you know what the rules are and where you can find them, you can go into this with open eyes. We’re more or less on our own here, and each of us is muddling through, trying to do the best we can. I hope this helps you to muddle through a bit more confidently, or at least to know what kind of questions to ask!

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Go back to Section 1.2: Getting Elected
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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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