Author Topic: Has the time come for real Party Politics?  (Read 1917 times)

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« on: October 02, 2011, 06:09:58 PM »
I can see that we are going to go nowhere while we have 52 States Members all independent. Well so they say but we all know that there is a Party called the "Establishment" and one can see that they vote as one on most things hence they get what they want through the house along with some members who wish to be in the Establishment Party and hoping for a ministership or assistant.
If only the rest of the members could come to some agreement and form a Party and put up their manifesto for all to see and if they fail then we can vote them out.
Now i know this is spoken about all the time and that Jersey is not ready for Parties but as i have said there is a Party so we are having Party Politics but they will not admit it yet it is there for all to see. So surely there must be enough other members who could form a party to fight against the establishment. Maybe they do not really want the responsibility being ministers etc. but just like to argue for the sake of arguing and picking up their £45,000 per year.

Offline Calimachon

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Re: Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 06:32:16 PM »
I can see that we are going to go nowhere while we have 52 States Members all independent. Well so they say but we all know that there is a Party called the "Establishment" and one can see that they vote as one on most things hence they get what they want through the house along with some members who wish to be in the Establishment Party and hoping for a ministership or assistant.
If only the rest of the members could come to some agreement and form a Party and put up their manifesto for all to see and if they fail then we can vote them out.
Now i know this is spoken about all the time and that Jersey is not ready for Parties but as i have said there is a Party so we are having Party Politics but they will not admit it yet it is there for all to see. So surely there must be enough other members who could form a party to fight against the establishment. Maybe they do not really want the responsibility being ministers etc. but just like to argue for the sake of arguing and picking up their £45,000 per year.

I would love to rename the Establishment party and have them called the Brown Nose party!

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Online Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2011, 08:50:44 PM »
My only flirtation with an openly political party was when I joined the Jersey Green Party in 1990, with high hopes that the young candidate they were putting forward at that year's election would finally make a difference...

Well it only took me until January 1991, when I actually got to meet the new Deputy in person that  I realised what a huge mistake I had made. He was totally unsuitable for public office and had just used this convenient 'party' wrapper (the Greens were actually very popular across the UK in the late 80's) to help get himself elected. I don't know what actually became of the Jersey Green Party (and don't care much either) but I definitely know what became of that new Deputy, who went on to top the island poll and had a career in the States spanning two decades and was only destroyed by his own ever-inflating hubris, principally characterised by a complete inability to accept that he could ever be mistaken on anything (I wonder what became of him?  ;) ). So I made a promise to myself- no more political parties... and given that rotten example, who could blame me?

Since then, I have seen regular attempts by States Members and wannabee States Members to launch similar fake 'parties', seemingly every election year, designed to draw in gullible voters. They are then elected or re-elected and immediately the party wrapper is discarded so that the new party rank and file can't tell them how to vote on particular issues, although I think many of these parties never get as far as having paid members in any case.

Then there was the total farce of the 2005 JDA launch. I saw through it at once, realising that the motley crew who had been hand-picked by Ted Vibert shared no common values whatsoever. Some of them appeared to have no prior record of political activity, some were clearly pro-union while others seemed ambivalent, others were strongly involved in ATTAC's tax justice campaign, and others like Paul Le Claire and Judy Martin were just looking for a convenient party wrapper to help get them re-elected. In the case of Le Claire and new know-nothing candidate Kevin Lewis, their loyalty to the new party didn't even last until the election- negative press publicity towards the JDA led them to stand under yet another fake party wrapper: The Centre Party (ideology = 'liberal conservatism', whatever that means). It worked! They both got elected in '05 and immediately threw away the Centre Party wrapper.

And while I am on the subject of failed party wrappers, does anyone still remember The Rainbow Alliance? I seem to recall that was another Le Claire re-election wrapper but when I tried to google it, nothing came up. Did I just dream this one up?

So judging by the above examples, it would appear that no political party could ever succeed in Jersey. Our dilemma is that unless we find a way of making it work, we will continue witnessing the States Assembly passing into law extremely controversial government proposals with no opposition or, at best, token opposition. Examples from this year include the introduction of long-term care benefit for the elderly (approved by 48 to 0) and using the smokescreen of new housing laws to introduce an all-powerful ID Cards/ Population Register, which will be utilised for the detection and prosecution of petty crimes (approved by 46 to 2 and 47 to 1 with no single States member voting against both parts of the legislation).

The current state of affairs is completely unacceptable and if the only hope of real change lies with political parties then we must try yet again. However, in the future, we have to ensure that the people who form these parties actually share the same views on matters that are of relevance to islanders- housing and immigration for starters. We also have to accept that there are now clear social divides within the community so, for example, a party formed to represent those on low incomes, in receipt of benefits or those who have no choice but to rent rather than buy is simply going to self-implode like the JDA in 2005 if it tries to increase its chances of electoral success by appointing States members and other well-known faces who quite simply have no sympathy for those less fortunate than themselves. They will either try to subvert the party's core values or will simply abandon it and denounce the organisation as 'too left-wing' when elections draw near.

This means that a successful party will have to enforce strict party discipline, be rigid and dedicated towards what it believes in (ie. no sudden policy flip-flopping at the first sign of negative publicity) and be prepared to remain small and not universally popular, rejecting membership to those who it suspects do not actually believe in the party's core principles and who may be agent provacateurs in disguise, or just looking for a £45k p.a. seat in the States.  If you study the example of the Jersey Democratic Movement in the 1970's and earlier, I believe it shows how a party can survive and make an important contribution to society if its members are totally dedicated to the same set of common beliefs. Unfortunately, the JDM had great difficulty persuading the electorate to vote for its members every 3 years but what it lacked in legislators, it more than made up for in credibility and persuasive long-term influence.

We could do a lot worse than to go back and look more closely at how the JDM survived for so many years and then ask ourselves why we now seem incapable of finding a small group of like-minded individuals, similarly dedicated to fighting for those who have little or no voice in our community.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 09:04:19 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 10:28:08 PM »
That is what the Establishment party did to get elected in1946, once in you never heard of the party again they all became independent but really secret establishment party.

Offline man in the street

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Re: Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 11:03:09 PM »
funny  you should mention , 1946, cb.
 i was lucky to pick up a little book called" jersey looks forword " its a great little read , and  is a history of the  the working man,and how the monied  have had it good  for years , nothing much has changed .
 in 1943 the jdm published a leaflet(illegal) with a summery of its programe .
 to say the least  some of the ideas are very good and have come to pass , some have not( heel dragging)
 a reconstruction of the states assembly , various political measures , legal measures , industrial and economic measures , farming and rural measures  , tourism and a  finacial policy.
 reading these old ideas it struck me that none of them were bad for a working chap like myself , and  that they were fairly even for all.

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Has the time come for real Party Politics?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 04:29:57 AM »
Quite but the money men wanted the power just like today. They will use anything to keep that power. We have seen in the last few years what happens when you rock the boat and try to bring justice to people who have covered up wrong doings. Look at Syvret,Harper & Power. The trouble is that they are getting away with it by using spin until the people get feed up with the issue and just want to put it to bed. It needs people like Syvret etc to show just what the establishment will do to keep there members and friends from justice. Just look at Ozouf and the trouble he is in but spin spin and spin some more but never ever admit you got it wrong. T. Le Main became a problem and embarrassment to the establishment so he had to resign because he knew that they would not try to help him with spin etc because he really is not one of them, to common for their likes and not rich enough.
If all the working class ( i do not like using that term but that is the way the establishment see us ) voted for the people who are not of the establishment party we could get them out or at least hold the power so that we could make things so much better for the people of this Island.