Yes, definitely! Standing for election is a unique experience, and the people best placed to understand it, to sympathise with its challenges and to share its joys, are the other people who are doing it alongside you. The friendships that I made during the last Election campaign remained some of my strongest friendships throughout this States, whether we agreed with each other or not.
Once you are elected, you’re going to have to work with people on Committees, and build consensus to get policies through the States. It helps to have good working relationships with your colleagues to make that happen. Don’t be snobbish about party lines – whether you belong to a party, or you’re an independent, you will need friends from across the States, and there’s no better time to start making them than now.
Also, bear in mind that you are going to have to elect Committee Presidents and Committee Members only a few days after you are elected. Some of the people who put themselves up for election will be well-known, but others will be completely new to the States and to you. You might find that you want to serve on a particular Committee, but you’re not sure what it would be like to work with the President or other Committee Members.
You won’t have much time to get to know them after the Election result, so start now – get to know your fellow candidates, and get an idea of what it would be like to see them in particular roles, or to work alongside them on issues that you care about. It may feel like an indulgence to spend time getting to know your fellow candidates instead of being out there canvassing, but it will feel like time well spent once you’re elected and you’re suddenly facing a lot of important decisions about who takes on what role, and who you’ll be working alongside, in this new States.