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Party politics? No, but it could be a step in that direction

Party politics? No, but it could be a step in that direction

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Party politics? No, but it could be a step in that direction

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Deputies involved in the Charter 2018 group have emphasised that the arrangement is not the formation of a political party, but rather just a group of like minded politicians.

But Deputy Carl Meerveld, former Vice-President of Education, Sport & Culture, and one of the 11 signatories, said the group could be a step towards a middle ground between what the States is now, and party politics.

Carl Meerveld

Pictured: Deputy Carl Meerveld

"This is a loose affiliation where likeminded politicians can sit around a breakfast table and have a chat about issues facing the States - just as how when we walk into that assembly room, we leave behind our committee positions and vote as an individual, we will go away and vote how we want," he said.

"Some deputies in this group would be nervous to give up that right to vote as an individual and join a party with a manifesto. That is the difference - we are a ground of likeminded individual politicians. The next step could come with a change such as islandwide voting, if that were to go through. It would change the whole dynamics of the States, because no longer would a deputy be able to walk house to house and pitch themselves to the public, they would have to have a higher stage.

"That is where a new formal structure could be used. Political associations would be a middle ground between what we are doing now, and a political party, where there would be sub committees, and members of the public would be brought in as in a party - the difference would be you would still have the individual deputies, not in a party. I think that kind of system would almost be necessary for Island Wide Voting to work, so yes, this could be seen as a step towards that."

The Charter 2018 group was announced on Monday, with the group of deputies meeting island media yesterday to go into more detail about their plans.

Neil Inder

Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder

The 11 signatories all claim to be similar in their voting patterns and ideas, and "believe that a successful Bailiwick is dependent on a strong economy, sustainable environment and respect for community needs".

While it has no leadership structure, the deputies who have signed the charter will work "much closer together for the joint benefit of the whole of the Bailiwick". More deputies will be invited to sign the charter at a later date.

As a document, it has nine principals, the economy, fiscal conservatism, enterprise, taxation, efficency, direct democracy, family, environment and tradition & culture.

"Now we are all signatories in a group we might be able to help each other in different ways," Deputy Neil Inder said.

"I know, for example, that Deputy Paint has his problems with the Hydrocarbons strategy, now we can come together and speak to those of us who have experience with it and maybe help him."

Deputy Inder said the principles they had produced had come from a brief conversation between all of the deputies involved.

"We sat in a room and I scraped some ideas together and we shared our thoughts and agreed on them pretty quickly. Off of the back of that we have a Requete we are taking to the States as our first group action, and that is to reduce the salary of the SACC [States Assembly and Constitution Committee] president."


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