How do I deal with vested interests?

When you are canvassing, you may meet people who clearly have some kind of business or financial interest in the States making a certain decision. You may be invited to presentations by organisations who have or want a commercial relationship with the States.

Remember that, if you are elected, you will be part of the States – that means you’ll be responsible for making sure that taxpayers’ money is handled with probity, and that we get good value for money from the contracts we have. It helps to bear this in mind when canvassing, so that you remain impartial and don’t make promises you may not be able to keep.

With people who have clear vested interests, as with anyone else, listen and learn. Treat people with respect and hear them out. During the campaign period, you are educating yourself as much as you are sharing your views with others. But remember that you are only hearing one side of a story. The States may not get things right as often as it should, but it probably also doesn’t get things wrong as often as those who would like a different outcome might say.

So listen; apply your own judgment; be cautious about what promises you can make while you are still a candidate; but if you come across anything that doesn’t seem right to you – an unfair relationship, or an opportunity missed – make a note of it, and look into it further once you have been elected.

Go back to Getting Into Guernsey Politics
Go back to Section 1.2: Getting Elected