Guernsey Press

‘I would not touch a party with a barge pole’ - Kazantseva-Miller

Anyone thinking of standing for election to the States is being advised to do themselves a favour by avoiding political parties.

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Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller and Matt Fallaize at Port Soif speaking on our summer Kiosk Politics podcast series. (Picture by Tony Curr, 33408375)

At the 2020 general election, Sasha Kazantseva-Miller was elected as part of the Partnership of Independents party led by Deputy Gavin St Pier.

But she told the latest Guernsey Press Politics Podcast that she, and the States generally, had been damaged by political parties.

‘My experience of the way parties worked, say the Partnership, left a lot to be desired. I would not touch a party with a barge pole. I know there are people thinking about parties and I would caution anyone from joining a party.’

  • Listen to the full interview with Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller on the latest Guernsey Press Politics Podcast Kiosk Politics episode

Deputy Kazantseva-Miller was one of 10 candidates elected from 21 who stood on the Partnership of Independents ticket. The Partnership took seven of the first 16 seats elected, and in total made up one-quarter of the Assembly, but the party disbanded less than a year after the election.

The Guernsey Party, led by Deputy Mark Helyar, stood eight candidates and got six elected, but it fell apart after being split by differences of opinion on proposals for a goods and services tax.

The Alliance Party, led by Barry Weir, put up 11 candidates but won no seats in the States.

For decades before the introduction of full island-wide voting four years ago, candidates stood for election as independents, without any party affiliation, and Deputy Kazantseva-Miller believes that parties created tension from day one of the Assembly elected in October 2020.

‘At the time, I was thinking I had nothing to lose by standing in the Partnership. I thought it was a good group of people and it was the right thing to do,’ she said.

‘I really did benefit from it and from the insights many of the members shared. But I think that division that’s immediately created whenever you create groupings inevitably and immediately creates a divisive situation.

‘I feel it had an effect on me. Certainly, I didn’t expect the repercussions of that one choice to stand as a party. I feel I have been significantly negatively affected by that.

‘I think straight away it kind of puts you in a position where you are inevitably in opposition to each other.’

She said that she started to change her approach 18 months to two years ago and since then had been more open to listening to all sides of a debate and different points of view.