Mock States debate – 17 April 2024



Until now, our Politics Group Live discussions have been held around a table with everyone chipping in when they have something to say.

But that’s not how States debates work. Deputies make their points by making speeches and most can only speak once per amendment and once in general debate.

So in April, we’re going to see what that feels like by having a mock States debate. It’s your chance to try out being a deputy, just for an evening! No media, no fuss, just us.

Debate venue: Chamber of Commerce, Market Buildings – Inner St will be closed so go up Fountain St from Town Church. Door is on the left between two tall arched iron gates.

Date: Wednesday 17 April 2024

Timing: 7pm – 9pm



Bearing in mind their recent popularity, we’ll be debating a requête, proposed by Politics Group member, Susie Gallienne. ‘Deputy’ Gallienne has deliberately been provocative to stir up debate. Her requête proposes that anyone with more than £20,000 in assets should pay for their own long-term care if they need to go into a nursing or residential home.


Taking part in the debate

If you want to take part in the mock States debate, here’s what you need to do:

1. Read Susie’s requête.

2. Decide if you want to speak for or against.

3. Message Shelaine on WhatApp 07497 081126 or email by 5 April to tell her you will be speaking for or against.

4. Write a brief speech making your case (5 minutes maximum). Training in how to write a political speech will be available, see below.

If you don’t want to speak, let Shelaine know you are coming along to sit in the ‘gallery’ and observe the debate but we’d really encourage you to actually take part, it will be a lot more fun.

The plan is to have a straightforward debate with no amendments. But if you have a burning desire to place an amendment to Susie’s requete, let Shelaine know.



On 9 April, Vicky Groulef from the Women in Public Life committee will host a training session on how to make a political speech based on her experience working with Labour Party candidates. This training isn’t mandatory but it is highly recommended. We ran a pilot session with a small group earlier this year and just a few simple tips made a huge difference to the effectiveness of people’s speeches.

Training venue: Chamber of Commerce, Market Buildings

Date: Tuesday 9 April 2024

Timing: 7pm – 9pm


How the debate will work

As far as possible, we’ll make the debate as much like the States as we can. Shelaine will play the role of the Bailiff and Ruth will be the States Greffier. There will be prayers and a roll call before debate starts. ‘Deputies’ will use a simplified version of the rules, laid out here.

Debate will begin with Susie proposing her requête. ‘Deputies’ will then stand in their places when they wish to speak and wait to be called on by the Bailiff. When all who wish to have spoken, Susie will be invited to respond to the points made in debate. The Bailiff will then ask the Greffier to put the propositions to a vote. We won’t have electronic voting so deputies will vote in the traditional fashion by stating ‘pour’, ‘contre’ or ‘je ne vote pas’ when their name is called by the Greffier.

[Note, this is a simplified form of a requête debate. Normally, P&R and other interested committees can submit a letter of comment and speak at the beginning and end of the debate].


Background info for your speech

We discussed long-term care at Politics Group Live in April last year. The Briefing Note with all the background information is still on our website here.

For current statistics about Guernsey, have a look at the latest Facts and Figures booklet.


Future debates

This mock debate is an experiment. If it works, we’ll hold some of our future Politics Group Live sessions in this format. Whatever happens, it’s a great learning experience.