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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.


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.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies 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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