Thursday, 18 September 2014

My First Nomination Night

Procureur Peter Norman keeps proceedings in order.

It may come as something of a surprise to those of you who think I am a political animal, but I have never actually been to a nomination meeting for an election, whether for Constable, Deputy or Senator. So this was my first!

If you have seen the blog heading, and thought I was being nominated, I've caught you out!

All the supporters turn up at the Parish Hall, along with the candidates themselves, although strictly speaking their presence is not required.

In the case of St Brelade, Procureur Peter Norman took the chair , with the Parish Secretary beside him, and he guided proceedings from start to finish very well, actually making the reading of the standard blurb about proceedings sound interesting. Peter himself did actually face a contested election for Procureur earlier this year, which he won by a landslide.

Julian Bernstein and his bow tie proposes Steve Pallett. 

The first position was that of Constable, and Julian Bernstein proposed Steve Pallett. It was a good heartfelt, speech, and done without notes [apart from reading the nomination paper] which was extremely impressive. No one else was nominated, but we had to wait for a few minutes in case of a last minute nomination.

In the break, Steve Pallett, chatting with Margi Holland Prior

There will be a lot of criticism about unopposed Constables, but if the critics cared that much, they would find a candidate to stand against him - or him and her in other Parishes. Instead, expect the usual comments on Facebook and Twitter. Incidentally, there was a Constable's election in Grouville earlier this year; it is hardly likely that another would take place.

Actually if a Constable was really unpopular for various reasons, the chances are they would probably stand down anyway. Both Len Downer and Graham Butcher decided not to stand because for different reasons, each had alienated the electorate, one by dividing the Parish, the other by abusing the trust of his office. Others, like Peter Hanning, have fought a campaign, but lost because in his case, he had promoted a property development that most of his Parishioners did not want.

But there is nothing to stop any critic standing, just doing hustings and online, and taking their vote as a measure of the unpopularity of the current incumbent. The fact that they don’t suggests they know there is little point in standing for the sake of it.

Now it was time for the Deputies, and as the Constable had signed a Senatorial nomination paper, he though it more impartial to let the Procureur continue in the Chair.

Nominations came for St Brelade No 1, and these were for the following:

Angela Jeune
Mike Jackson
Murray Norton

Monty Tadier discusses his proposer's speech.

Then came St Brelade No 2

Beatriz Poree
Graham Truscott
Jane Blakeley
Jeff Hathaway
Montfort Tadier
Natalie Duffy
Peter Troy

The proposers spoke, and both listed the people on the nomination form, as well as saying something nice about the candidate and why they would be an asset to be in the States. They handed the forms to the Procurer. They had 3 minutes, after which a bell told them they had 30 seconds. Only Mr Truscott’s proposer went past the first bell, past the second, and looked likely to carry on for another ten minutes when the rather annoyed murmurings from the crowd shut him up.

Peter Slater proposes Jeff Hathaway

After each proposer, the Procureur read the relevant piece on the form about how the candidate is to be known, how they have signed the paper saying they understand article such and such of the election law.

The candidates, after all proposals, took the opportunity to thank their nominees and anyone else who has supported them. This was not meant to be a political speech, as the Procureur reminded them: this was not a hustings. Most of them were pretty short and to the point.

Peter Troy was humbled that his friends had said thee were privileged to sign his paper, and I thought for a moment, he might burst into tears. Jeff Hathaway mentioned in addition to his proposer and nomination, thanks to his wife, which was rather nice. He was the only candidate to thank a partner. And Graham Truscott, evidently taking the lead from his proposer, launched into a cut down bullet point version of his election manifesto, naughty man!

Beatriz Poree thanks her proposer and nominees

There were two extra speakers, outgoing Deputies John Young and Sean Power. They each thanked those who had voted for them, said how they were privileged to have served their districts.

Sean said: "I thanked the Parishioners of St. Brelade for the privilege of serving them as a Deputy for Quennevais and La Moye for nine years and told the seven prospective candidates of that privilege."
Sean Power thanks St Brelade No 2

And there was a get together of each district’s candidates for a photo shoot., which enabled me to get one of my own, unfortunately only for St Brelade District 2.

More pictures of the whole evening can be seen at:

St Brelade No 2 Candidates

 Some other photos:
"Murray's Phone In" as someone's mobile goes off.

Exchanging Secret Handshakes

Sara Ferguson shares a joke

John Young

Peter Troy and Angela Jeune

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