Comment - page 2

Polling place is now an irrelevance

THERE was political chatter on general election night about the best-performing deputies having ‘the mandate’ for a top role in government. The implication was that by doing well in their district somehow the newly-elected deputy had a greater right to a senior position in the States.

States goes in search of leadership

FROM poll-toppers to past politicians, a single strong message came out of last night’s general election: a huge responsibility rests on the shoulders of the 38 newly-elected deputies. This is no caretaker government, doing little other than keeping the island tidy. This is a States whose decisions will have real consequences for every islander of this generation and the next.

Let’s set the wash to all-white

We’re not expecting stubborn stain removal from States Plus – just a better life.

Our new States members have no baggage, the second-time-arounders’ baggage has been forgotten and the returning deputies have been absolved. The all-new States of Guernsey, States Plus, may not wash our shirts whiter or eliminate stubborn grass stains but it can fill us with hope that it will indeed be better than States Minus, says Horace Camp. Just a few pointers...

Thousands miss out on election day

MONTHS of effort and tens of thousands of pounds were poured into getting as many people as possible on the electoral roll. In the end, the campaign can be counted a success, if only because almost 600 more people signed up than four years ago. That took the total to 30,320 who can vote today (or already have through postal ballot).

Invisibility cloak taken off – for now

WHEN nobody is responsible, everyone is responsible. Sitting deputies up for re-election tomorrow have to hope that voters do not saddle them with all the ills of this States. For that is the temptation. With collective government the actions and decisions of individual departments and deputies are laid at the door of ‘the States’ without distinguishing between those directly responsible and the rest.

Big decisions that brought four years to a conclusion

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In the final part of the round-up series looking at the key votes taken by this States, Nick Mann looks at an almost frenetic period for the government – deputies revisited and said ‘yes’ to island-wide voting, rejected the introduction of a reciprocal health agreement with the UK and approved the scrapping of the 11-plus and closing a secondary school

Government change on the horizon

IN A memorable phrase, States chief executive Paul Whitfield explained how his 10-year plan for public sector reform was a gradual process. ‘There won’t be a big bang in 2025 when it all slots into place, with fireworks at the Yacht Club and a 21-gun salute at Castle Cornet. There will be change, incremental change, over the next ten years.’

Search steps up for pride of islands

TODAY we launch our final category in the Guernsey Press Pride of Guernsey Awards. As the community’s newspaper, people are the lifeblood of our business. Over the years we have shared millions of your stories, including those of islanders who have faced and beaten some of the most challenging situations that life can present. With this in mind we were determined to include the Overcoming Adversity Award within the Pride of Guernsey.

The lessons of school hall hustings

IT HAS never been easier to engage in island politics. Information about the 80 candidates standing in next week’s general election is everywhere. With personal websites and hand-delivered manifestos, running a local election campaign might not quite be Trump v Clinton but it is more professional than ever before.

A chance for a true rebirth of the States

IT IS a time of major upheaval in how this island will be run. Changes in the political structure will see fewer deputies and fewer departments with different responsibilities. Underneath that will be a civil service that aims to be fleet-footed and nimble, not stuck in the rigid structures that caused the silos of the past.

The big issues tackled before the end of term

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As the States started moving into its final few months there was a noticeable upturn both in the number and importance of the issues that were being debated. In the penultimate article looking at key States votes of this term, Nick Mann goes through a period which included same-sex marriage

Change long overdue for legal advisers

THE unsatisfactory relationship the island has with its legal advisers was summed up in one sentence of the Pfos report. ‘The Law Officers were not formally engaged, but their role in assisting the States in such matters is generally understood…’

Meeting was an insult to Alderney

ONE of the aspects of island life that impressed MEP Daniel Hannan, writing in the Daily Mail last week, was the accountability of its government. ‘People know they are in control’ he was apparently told.

Park and ride

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The new States are going to have to sort out the transport links, that’s for sure, says Neil Ross’s Emile. After all, the present lot were supposed to put in a transport strategy, but look what’s happened. We’ve ended up with a short runway, an unreliable ferry and a toy train going round Town...

Rubbish may never find its way to Sweden

MUCH has to be taken on trust when it comes to the announcement that Guernsey’s waste should be sent to Sweden. Public Services say that it is not only the cheapest of the options on the table, it is also the most environmentally friendly.

Braving challenge of change

IT is hard to decry the ‘brave new world’ message coming from the new president of the Association of Guernsey Civil Servants – yet just how much clout such rallying words will carry in the weeks and months ahead is another thing. While a commendable mission statement – to move away from the ‘them and us culture’ perceived to exist between civil servants and their employer –it is, nevertheless a big ask.