The general election of Deputies for the States of Deliberation on 7th October, 2020 will be quite a departure from our traditional way of voting for our island representatives. It is innovative, not only in Guernsey terms, but virtually worldwide as we know of no other democracy having 38 candidates to vote for in one single constituency. This has the advantage that we all, as voters, can vote for all our representatives but there is a distinct disadvantage inasmuch as very few of us voters will know the candidates well or indeed at all.
The government of any jurisdiction, and Guernsey is no exception, is a complicated operation with many facets of community life to administer, not least the passing of laws which restrict the freedom of the individual, albeit for the good of the whole community, as well as spending every year £480,000,000 of our money as taxpayers. This calls for the election of a team of 38 deputies with complementary skills who between them have the experience, skills, knowledge and competence to oversee our island affairs.
Consequently, in order to cast our votes wisely, we as voters need as much information as possible to evaluate the competence of those who are putting themselves forward to take on these onerous responsibilities.
Manifestos, by their very nature cannot give to the voters the information they need in an organised format. Furthermore, there will be no hustings meetings at which to ask candidates questions. Therefore, we believe that it will be helpful to many people to have, in a standard impartial format, what the various candidates bring to the table in terms of their experience and competence.
To enable us to do this, we shall be inviting all candidates to complete a standard questionnaire providing particulars of their career and other information which will be useful for the voters to be properly informed of their experience and competence before they cast their votes. There will be NO questions on their political views. Their responses will be published on this site. We shall give no indication as to whether we approve or disapprove of any particular candidate. That is for the voters to decide.
In presenting this information, we embark on this project as a public service for the assistance of voters, without any political intent except the good of the island. Our objective is solely the good governance of the island, to identify candidates who are experienced in various fields and competent to govern this island. We do not present ourselves as experts but are people with many years’ experience of Guernsey life, who have had an opportunity to observe what needs to be done so that the electorate can make the very best choice they can from the candidates offering themselves for election. Our website www.2020esg.gg will be a completely political issue-free zone.
We wish to emphasise how important it is that every eligible islander registers on the electoral roll to ensure that on polling day they have the right to vote. We then wish to emphasise the importance of all voters acquainting themselves with the candidates’ competence, experience and qualifications to ensure that they know against which names on the ballot paper to place their vote. It is in your hands whether we shall have Deputies with the experience, skills, knowledge and competence to govern us wisely for the next four and a half years.
Jurat Alan Bisson, MBE
Lord de Saumarez
John Langlois, OBE
Sir Geoffrey Rowland, QC