Campaign encourages four to stand for election

A NEW campaign launched by the Institute of Directors to help Islanders stand for election and boost voter turnout has already attracted four political candidates, its leader has confirmed.

IoD vice-chair Natasha Egre and IoD Chair Lisa Springate unveil their "stand and deliver" ad for their election campaign  (30917436)
IoD vice-chair Natasha Egre and IoD Chair Lisa Springate unveil their "stand and deliver" ad for their election campaign (30917436)

The organisation is aiming to encourage a greater number of capable people to enter the political sphere by providing advice and support on issues that could prevent them from standing, such as the ‘toxicity’ of social media and the potential impact on their career and finances.

IoD chairperson Lisa Springate said that no member of her team would be standing for office and the organisation needed to remain ‘neutral and impartial’ in platform, so was not looking to form a politicalparty. She added that four candidates had come forward within three weeks of the campaign launch and have been introduced to former ministers for advice and guidance on moving into a career in politics.

‘They found this invaluable because, from an outside perspective, some people think that they really don’t want to go into politics,’ she said. ‘The two main issues are dealing with social media and remuneration.

‘But actually when you speak to these former ministers it is clear that they thoroughly enjoyed the roles, even though they had the challenges and it was not an easy ride.

‘I spoke to a couple of the candidates afterwards and they said that it made them realise that they wanted to do it even more. They’ve got that real passion for wanting to do something for the Island and to give something back.’

Campaigns for next year’s general election are also set to be launched by the newly formed Progress Party and Reform Jersey.

Meanwhile, previous political candidate Mark Baker has announced his intention to launch the Jèrriais Party, which will focus on population issues.

Ms Springate said that the IoD’s 12-month campaign, which was being conducted through social media and an advertising campaign, would be split into two halves, starting with working on encouraging candidates to stand and then moving on to pushing for greater voter turnout after Christmas.

‘We’ve just come out of Brexit, just gone through a pandemic and in terms of building back better, we need to know what the vision for the Island is and also those leaders to take that vision forward,’ she said.

‘We’re trying to move away from blame culture, which seems to have developed across the world, and towards a ‘‘let’s work together for the benefit of the Island’’ approach.

‘This side of Christmas, we’ll focus on trying to get people to stand, because this is the time when people will need to start making arrangements with their employer or start thinking about how are they going to work in the States, if they did get voted in.

‘And then we’ll pivot at Christmas to the voting side. Before the extended election date of June, we will really focus on making people aware of why is it so important to vote in the Island.’

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