Is this blog for me?

I want to be clear from the beginning that these blogs are for anybody who is interested in Guernsey politics. There are no party lines, and I’m not trying to push a particular argument or agenda. Well, except one …

I believe that a small community like ours will only flourish if all of us who live here take a turn at being involved in looking after it, and making decisions about its future.

I happen to think that we in Guernsey should think about government like other nations think about jury service – a duty that we owe to each other as citizens; a responsibility we all share, and which we should all be prepared to set aside time and disrupt normal life for, when it’s our turn.

Yes, a four-year political term is rather longer than a couple of weeks on a jury, and standing for election is very different to being randomly selected.

But I am sure that if more of us were willing to give it a shot, the whole Island would benefit from the insights, the variety of life experiences, and the professional skills that each of us would bring to government. We wouldn’t be so dependent on such a small group of stalwarts being willing, for better or worse, to stand for government year after year.

So that’s my agenda. I’d like to persuade you that you can run for the States – you’ve got what it takes, and you will rise to the challenge – and that it will be far better for Guernsey if you do, than if you choose to sit it out.

Of course I’ll talk about values and priorities – that’s unavoidable. And I suspect that everyone will find something here to disagree with!

But please believe this – I think your integrity is far more important than your ideology.

We may come from entirely different political perspectives, but 90% of politics is problem-solving – and for that, a good heart and fair judgment is far more valuable than belonging to the ‘right’ political philosophy, whatever that looks like.

If you truly care about Guernsey, and you are prepared to put the Island’s interests ahead of your own, then I want to see you succeed and I hope some of the information here will help you to do so. My aim in writing this is to pay forward what I’ve learned over the past four years – as much as I can – in the hope of helping others to hit the ground running and get the best out of Guernsey politics.

Go back to Getting Into Guernsey Politics
Go back to Section 1.1: Making the Decision
Register to Vote

Getting into Guernsey Politics

If you are taking the time to read this, you are probably already the kind of person who understands that government is not “someone else’s business”. You probably already know that democracy is at its best when we all play an active part. You certainly know that the States is only ever as good as the people who stand for it.

You know all that, but you are still asking yourself the question: “Does it have to be me?”

I think the answer is Yes. You are good enough – and you are needed.

That’s why I’m writing this post, and all the posts that follow it. I am writing to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past few years in politics, in the hope of encouraging and reassuring new candidates and new States Members, and demystifying some of the working of Guernsey politics.

It’s not an official guide! If you’re thinking of becoming a candidate in the next Election, and you are looking for good and reliable advice on what this will involve (and what the rules are), please check the Election website. Guidelines will be posted there as soon as possible – perhaps they will already be up by the time you read this.

It’s also not the only version of the truth! You can get really interesting and diverse perspectives on life in Guernsey politics from current Deputies and former States Members. There are also some great non-partisan organisations, like Women in Public Life, which have been set up to provide information and support to people who are interested in politics and other forms of public service here. Read around, and make up your own mind. I’m just trying to do my little bit to help.

I have written these blog posts as a series of questions and answers, so you can dip in and out on any subject that interests you. I’ve grouped them into themes, as much as possible – these links will take you through to the list of questions under each one. There’s no right order to read things in! If you find this kind of thing useful, then this is the post to bookmark and keep coming back to.

Part One: Standing for Election

Part Two: In the States

Part Three: Everything Else

I have started by trying to answer questions about the Election. We are aiming for a date of 7 October 2020 now, and people are starting to think about whether they should stand, and what it might mean for them. So those questions are a priority right now. But I’m going to try and cover the whole lifespan of politics – from the election campaign to the end of term, and all manner of things in between. Some of that will be too much information right now, especially for new candidates – but I want to make sure it’s there for you when the time is right.

It will take a little while to build this up, but I hope you will find it useful, especially if you’re thinking about politics, or you’re just starting out on a new political career.

Remember, this blog is in no way official or authoritative. This is just one person’s take on politics in Guernsey. I’m not speaking formally as a representative of the States, or of any Committee. It’s just me. So, please, take everything I say with a pinch of salt, and above all seek out the views of others who may see it very differently from me!