Tuesday 29 September 2020
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"Hold the election at the earliest, safest opportunity"

Thursday 21 May 2020

"Hold the election at the earliest, safest opportunity"


As the States decides how long to delay Guernsey's first island wide election for, a reader has shared her open letter with us - explaining why she thinks the time is now right for us to elect a "new and dynamic Assembly".

Jane Anderson and her family have lived in Guernsey for the last six year. She was an International Civil Servant for most of her career, working within both the UK and EU Parliaments.

She said they have been "delighted to be approached for advice by those in the (predominantly business) community who are wishing to put themselves forward as candidates in the first Island Wide Election. Guernsey is desperately in need of competent, forward-thinking, experienced Deputies and we would happily advise any (serious) candidate who makes contact with us".

Her views on the proposed year long delay to the June 2020 election can be read below: 

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Pictured: Guernsey's elected officials meet here for their meetings usually, but they are currently doing so remotely from their own homes.

Dear Fellow Islanders,

The States’ Assembly this week intend to ratifying the change to The Reform Guernsey Law, delaying the first Island Wide Election until June 2021.  Whilst there is no question that a postponement to this June’s election was necessary in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a delay of a full 12 months is neither justified nor proportional, especially when one considers we are fortunate to be in our third week with no new reported cases of infection and have entered Phase 3 of the exit from lockdown a week earlier than anticipated with talk of total elimination.  More concerning is the precedent it sets for a further post-June 2021 delay should Guernsey find itself unexpectedly re-infected.  Usually in such circumstances, a ‘caretaker’ government is temporarily installed, with limited powers to legislate or spend.  Our current Deputies have not only voted to remain in post, but have allocated themselves £650m to spend, much of which will no doubt be committed during this 12 month period.  

Many Deputies are already objecting to an August States’ meeting whilst others had no intention of standing for re-election but find it difficult to step down when this change in the Law does not allow for by-elections during the extension period.  All of these soon-to-be self-appointed Deputies will, regardless, be drawing their full salaries and claiming their allowances and expenses even though they do not have a public mandate to do so.

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Pictured: Some deputies had already made it clear whether they did or didn't intend to stand for re-election, before the pandemic.

The challenges for Guernsey going forward were considerable before Covid 19 (I refer to the 2020 Budget) and post-pandemic will require decisive professionals who can work together.  How exactly will hard-earned taxpayers’ money and the £500m the State’s have decided to borrow be best spent to aid economic recovery for the benefit of all Islanders?  The financial track record of the current Assembly is shocking and this in itself is reason enough to hold the election at the earliest, safest opportunity.  

Under the leadership of Dr Brink, Deputies St. Pier and Soulsby have been consistent and concise in handling this pandemic, however, the Assembly as a whole has not shown any dynamic, innovative or economic forward thinking during this time or indeed throughout its tenure.  Now more than ever we need a new and dynamic Assembly.

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Pictured: The front line of leadership recently has been perceived as the panel appearing at the regular live-streamed media briefings. 

With experience in the UK and European Parliaments, I have been approached for advice by a healthy number of Islanders wishing to stand as a Peoples’ Deputy at the first Island Wide election.  The calibre of these prospective candidates is phenomenal.  Experts in their fields they see the global picture, bringing with them vast experience, new ideas and solution-based policies to get Guernsey back on track after many years of stagnation and overspend.  

Therefore, a disproportionate and definitive 12 month delay to our first Island Wide Election is an unjustifiable assault on our democracy, denying us our freedom of choice at a time when we have such a large pool of talent and expertise now prepared to stand up and make a difference.  

The above is the view of the author and not Bailiwick Express. If you wish to have your own article, readers letter or other material considered for publication please email editor@bailiwickexpress.com. 

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Posted by Gary Blanchford on
I agree entirely on a most of Jane Anderson's comments and having listened to this morning's debate on when the election should be held, the answer must be ,the quicker the better. This States on the whole gets worse by the week and the prevarication by the usual members attempting to hold onto a June 2021 election using some of the weakest arguments makes it all the more important to get it done as quickly as possible.Then you have the last minute amendment, this time by Deputy De Saumarez who managed to waste another 45 minutes before being soundly defeated just before lunch. But just as general debate was about to start, up pops Deputy Trott who has just invented another amendment (he was on the losing end of the previous one) which he has sent to the crown officer for drafting. So all stop for lunch and they can look forward to another wasted hour while his delay tactic is debated after lunch.
The above is where I agree with Jane Anderson. Where her article causes me to be more wary is wondering who these people are who are looking to stand in the next elections. She has already mentioned business people and i am all for that as long as the States has a balance between the business side of the community and the domestic side and that I believe is the most difficult thing to balance. But lets get rid of the majority of this current lot and most people know who the usual suspects are.
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