If you want to stand for the States, you will need a proposer and a seconder before you are allowed to register as a candidate.
You will have to submit a nomination form signed by your proposer and seconder to the Bailiff’s office at the Royal Court. Look out for the candidates’ guidance on Election2020.gg to find out about the technical side of the nomination process, and how to get hold of a nomination form!
You are going to have a very short window to get your nomination in. Nominations open at 9am on Tuesday 1 September 2020. They close at 4pm (that’s four o’clock, f-o-u-r … it’s not a typo!) on Friday 4 September 2020. Once that deadline has passed, it’s too late. So it’s important to prepare for this in advance.
The Reform Law says that your proposer and seconder both need to be registered on the Electoral Roll. So if you know who you want, and they’re not signed up, nag them until they do! You only have until 21 August 2020 to register – and unfortunately you’ve got to do it again for this Election, even if you voted in the last one.
(Side note: The Reform Law (Guernsey) 1948 is the main law that sets out rules for Elections in Guernsey. You’d never guess it from the title! It’s available to download on GuernseyLegalResources.gg, which is a kind of online library of all Guernsey’s laws. I’d strongly recommend getting yourself a copy – you’ll want the version that’s called a ‘Consolidated Text’, which includes all the updates – and starting to learn your way around it.)
Apart from being on the Electoral Roll, there are no limits on who can propose or second you. It’s an island-wide election, so they don’t have to live in your parish – but if maintaining a link to a particular parish is important for you, that might be something you take into account when you decide who to ask.
Likewise, if you’re standing because you want to work in a particular area or to represent a particular cause, you might want to approach someone who has experience in that sector or shares your values on that issue.
Honestly: I have never looked twice at who is proposing or seconding a candidate. It is much less important than what the candidate themselves stands for, and how they behave. Other people might look more closely at your proposer and seconder – and perhaps it will count for more in an island-wide election than it did in the past – but it is still only a tiny part of your overall campaign.
For me, the thing that would be most important in choosing a proposer and seconder is trust – do they trust me, and do I trust them?
As a potential proposer or seconder, I’d be glad to nominate or second someone if I know I can vouch for their good character. Of course I’d take an interest in their policies and principles – there are some things I could simply never put my name to – but the main thing I’d be considering is: “Do I believe this person is good, and sincere, and will serve Guernsey to the best of their ability?”
As a candidate, I would want the security of knowing that my proposer and seconder are people who really believe in me – something that runs even deeper than a shared interest on an important subject.
But just because that’s my priority, doesn’t mean it also has to be yours. Think about what you want your choice of proposer and seconder to say about you, and approach the right people for you.
The bottom line is simply that your proposer and seconder have to be registered on the Electoral Roll; that you get your paperwork in order for them to sign; and that you get your nomination in before 4pm on Friday 4 September. Good luck!