Well we now know we have 119 people to choose from. I am not claiming this is the best way to consider voting but I thought I would write down some of my thoughts. It may give you some ideas on how you can look at the candidates.
Firstly remember that you are voting for individuals. The Guernsey party system is about how people campaign. It is not about the two sides across the despatch box arguing. So vote for people you want in the States.
I created a spreadsheet to help me work out who I would vote for. You can find it here – https://www.merrien.me/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Election-2020-1.xlsx
I am going to use highlighting or shading to help me work out people that I may or may not vote for. I use a traffic light system. Red for a no. Green for a yes. And amber if I have a concern.
If I am voting for the person I will highlight their name in Green. If a definite no, I will highlight in red. If they are in a party I am not aligned to I will mark the party name Red for every person in the party or Green if I agree. I would do the same against issues of the candidate. Just because I have marked one item as red would not mean writing off a candidate as a whole. Each row will have a mix or red, green and amber. It is just trying to mark them on certain criteria. Of course all reds should be a no!
Follow the issues
I am definitely not going to vote for a single issue candidate. I am keen to track a few key issues which are important to me that I want to see in the manifestos. Mark a yes or no against those issues. Highlight them in Red or Green. Make sure you are looking at things that matter to you. When the next States meet, I know that not all the key issues will go my way but at least I will have voted for people to give me a voice.
How many votes should you use?
There is no real good answer. When voting in the parish a vote for 6 people and maybe not voting for 2 meaning you vote for 75%. Of course under island wide voting you may vote for say 12 people which is actually 33% of the deputies. You could vote for 38 people but you risk putting your favourites at risk too. There is no magic number to vote for but it may require a critical mass. I honestly don’t know if I am going to vote for about 15 (my initial thought) or 35. I do know that I want to vote for a core that can make a difference so probably need a balance in the middle. The challenge may be to vote for 20 without compromising quality.
I always look for fresh blood. For someone who is looking to challenge the status quo and help us move on. To change the thinking. This election gives us a chance to bring in new blood. To change things for the better in the island. Of course we need a mix of old and new as it takes time to understand how things work. Look for some and vote for some.
I always look for people who contradict my thought process. I don’t like an echo chamber so I also look for someone who would be different than my thought process. Under Island Wide Voting I am considering voting for more. I want a few people who are considered, that I think will be fair but can challenge things and hold people accountable. Accept diversity of candidates.
Parties, Partnerships Alliances and loose affiliations
These have always existed over many years. The last term these have been seriously divisive. The big question is how those will now play out after election. It is very unlikely that any group will have total power. Some groups may be looking to promote their candidates more than the best candidate from the floor. With a mix of strong minded people there will be a number of options and there will be friction, the question is whether that friction can be harnessed. Parties alone are not going to change the dynamics. The complexities of creating a settled house will take a while to resolve. Remember you are voting for individuals. Look at both the party line and the individual.
Don’t write off the independents. They are really important to politics in our island. If you want a balance for our island, make sure you look at the independents with a keen eye. Look at their skills and if you get a chance have a chat with them. I have always found out more by talking!
I have updated the spreadsheet to include groups. https://www.merrien.me/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Election-2020-1.xlsx