Friday, 17 October 2008

More Election Stuff

I forgot to mention on the previous post: The Incredible Conservatism of Jersey

Consider for a moment the United States. Their candidates are trying to win over voters for the presidential elections. Obama is doing very well and I hope the US gets its first black President. Also, Sarah Palin is a very popular figure. Personally, I don't like her beliefs and her policies are pants. But can you imagine for one moment the Jersey electorate openly supporting a female candidate with young children? It is the kiss of death to mention the existence of a young family to Jersey voters if you're a female candidate. They condemn you for doing anything other than staying at home and looking after the kids, as if that was even an option. Jersey is demonstrably more conservative than republican America.

Now on to a list of our election candidates:

Ian Le Marquand
He looked good and spoke well. His promotional material - the colour leaflet in the JEP looked very good. I saw it being left out in different offices, homes, etc, and that was purely because of the presentation. He announced he was "centrist" Brilliant. This man really knows how to read the people. He is an establishment figure with high status. I expect he had a load of votes from the god squad too. He couldn't lose

Alan Breckon
Years of hard work paid off. This man got his votes from respect.

Alan Maclean
He looked good, wore the right suits, has a pretty wife, is rich and supported by the establishment. He can say one thing and do another and get away with it. He could be facing a hard time with the public next time round.

Paul Routier
Also supported by the establishment, he goes along with Frank Walker and his ilk. Look at his nominations - people who are working for the organisations he presides over. I think that's rather tacky. However, he got consistent support across the parishes, including the urban ones. It looks like it's impossible to get him out.

Philip Ozouf
He has a nice face and speaks confidently. Clearly voters do associate him now with GST, etc, as he has lost a lot of support since the last election.

Sarah Ferguson
She comes across as the voice of reason. She looks and sounds dependable. People want to trust her.

Geoff Southern
This man has worked so hard- not just for his district, nor the many propositions he has brought to the States, but also his efforts to bring party politics to Jersey. And he just keeps going. He is seen as a threat by the rich but well supported by the ordinary Jersey person, as can be seen by the variation in results between the rural and urban parishes.

Mike Higgins
He carries an air of efficiency and command due to his association with the Air Display, and has done nothing to dispel that.

Mike Vibert
Dropped by the establishment!

Montfort Tadier
No doubt he would have been elected in a smaller field of candidates. He is eloquent and publicises himself well.

Trevor Pitman
I saw Trevor walking from the car park towards the polling station at First Tower on Wednesday morning and he looked very smart. He has presented himself well and should do well in the urban parishes.

Peter Troy
Peter fell between two stools. He doesn't follow Frank Walker's lead enough to be one of the establishment's chosen, but his image of "rich man" will not win him any favours with the anti-establishment voter.

Cliff le Clercq
I don't know much about him and I think that was his problem generally - people just don't know him well enough.

Daniel Wimberley
He has long been politically active. I remember him at the first open committee meeting following Stuart Syvret's Freedom of Information victory. The only members of the public were me and Daniel. I was drawing them all. He is also a genuine environmentalist - he used to buy veg from me! He is intelligent, creative and committed. A good example of how suits are more important than principles to the Jersey electorate.

Jeremy Macon
Whether through ageism or genuine beliefs that he lacked experience - it was his age which counted against him.

Nick Le Cornu
Nick looks good and speaks well. And he is a lawyer. If he can lose the "radical" tag he could get in.

Chris Perkins, Mark Forskitt and Adrian Walsh
The reason I've put these three together is because they all offered the same problem for me - I could not find out enough about what they stood for. They need to develop their profiles., and get out and speak to people, get heard on the radio phone-in as Monty does, etc.

Nick Palmer
Nick has worked hard in the past for environmental issues and was quite well known. I think he needs to regain that support, perhaps from getting FoE going again.

Mick Pashley
Perhaps he should consider whether he wants to be elected or just have a platform for his views. In Jersey, supporting civil relationships, although admirable, is not going to be a vote winner.


Mark Forskitt said...

Your comments about not being able to find out any information about me are very interesting, and worrying.

I was the first candidate I think, to have a blog site up, I have long had a profile on the web at linkedin. I'm even an active member of the Jersey Organic Association, my name appears in most of the newsletters, and quite a few times on the web site. And then if you just typed my name in Google you would have found the top 100 hits + were me - companies pay a fortune to get that. But you managed to miss all of that!

The frightening thing is I am sure you are not alone - there were only 400 hits during the election on my manifesto site.

So exactly what else should a candidate do? More useful to future candidates, perhaps you could tell us what you did to find out about us.

ratleskutle said...

Hello Mark. I think perhaps you are ahead of your time. Maybe one day the electorate will look on the web to find out about candidates, but not yet.

Even people like myself, who do have internet access and know a little bit about finding info on the web, are either too busy or do not have the inclination.

And then a lot of the voters will not use computers.

Apart from the web, you mention the JOA, but their newsletters will only reach a small number of people.

A few ideas:

1/ Use the radio phone-in

2/ Organise something - if you are the spokesperson, the media cannot ignore you

3/ Write lots of letters to the JEP

4/ Write for your parish newsletter. If there isn't one, then offer to do it yourself.

5/ Get on lots of committees

For instance, Andrew Green has a profile in the jEP tonight. He is well known because he has been in the JEP, on the local news, etc, for being chairman of Headway and publicising events and campaigns. But he is also a youth court panel member, school governor, etc.

By doing things like that a lot more people will get to know someone. Another drwback with relying on the web is that it is impersonal. People might say "My uncle Bob met Mark Forskitt at the dinner to raise funds for ChildLine" but they wouldn't bother to say "My uncle Bob did a search on "Mark Forskitt" on google"

To be honest, though, with hindsight, I don't think anything that the new candidates did would have got them voted in to the senatorials. I think there was such a solid turnout by the pro-establishment voters that they couldn't lose. Either you have to appeal to them in some way or go for one of the more urban parishes.

But after all, this is just my opinion, and I didn't get in. Jennifer Bridge beat me and one voter actually said it was because she had such a nice little dog!