Does it matter if I’m not from Guernsey?

No, it doesn’t matter. So long as you meet the basic residency requirements (check the Election website if you’re not sure), you’re entitled to stand for the States.

And why shouldn’t you? You love Guernsey enough to have chosen to make it your home. You chose to become part of this community; to contribute your work and your taxes to this economy; to educate your children in this Island’s schools. You may not have seawater flowing through your veins, but you chose this place, and that counts for something.

Of course, not everyone feels the way I do about this. There are plenty of people who will criticise Deputies who were not born in Guernsey for being “foreign”. But then, even States Members whose Guernsey roots can be traced back for generations have been told off for not “acting local” when they make decisions some Islanders disagree with.

That, if anything, tells you how meaningless this dislike of “outsiders” really is – it’s hardwired into Guernsey political commentary as an acceptable way of calling out politicians you disagree with, but it’s not OK, and you don’t owe it a moment of your time.

I suppose the only practical point to mention is that if English is not your first language, that’ll make some parts of the job harder. But you know what you’re capable of, and you’re already here – working in an English-language environment – so that alone is no reason not to go for it.

Besides, some of the most important things the States does – such as voting! – are done in French, which is almost no Deputy’s first language. So there’s a language barrier which affects more people than you’d realise, but we make it work, and so will you.

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