He said -
"Even more importantly for the long term, there needs also to be grassroots action to develop a Jersey version of party politics which, by imposing quality control and clear mandates on candidates, can start to close the widening gap between the governing and the governed."
This is definitely a welcome shift in the JEP editorial line, which has normally been hostile to the idea of party politics.
In the past they have trotted out the line that you hear from time to time about how Jersey isn't suitable for parties. They often say how Jersey is too small for parties, despite how many smaller jurisdictions have healthy party systems, like Gibraltar or even Monaco which has a tiny population. They talk about how parties have failed in the past, despite the fact that in the last election contested by a party, they had a success rate of 80%. They also ignore the fact that Jersey has had a party system several times (though not since our current electoral system was devised).
So I thought now would be a good time to publish some more historical manifestos and get them on record.
I've also included a poll at the bottom, so readers can indicate how they would have voted back then. A pretty useless exercise, but why not?
The J.D.M Election Manfiesto
THE JERSEY DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT is a polical organisation whose determination it is to establish speedily in this Island a more progressive, democratic mode of life and administration.
Its adherents are not confined to any one class of society, yet, without doubt, it is pre-eminently working-class in sympathy and outlook. This is naturally the case, because it is among the lower wage-earners that progress to-day is most necessary and desirable.
Human Society is like an organism, where, if normal progress be stopped at any point, either cancer or decay begins its ravage. Hence, if progress, whether industrial, social or political, comes to a standstill at the bottom, the higher ranks are more and more isolated, democracy becomes a mockery, and the class struggle is likely to be intensified.
The Workers before the War.
Here in Jersey, from the worker's point of view, we think of life as it was before the war; of those low wages and long working hours; of the high proportion of Rents to Wages; of the large number of working-class wives who were forced to work to augment the family income; of the almost complete lack of aids to technical and cultural development - in short, we think in terms of squalor and lack of opportunity.
We remember, moreover, that the workers had no true representation in the control of Island affairs, no voice in Parochial management, no freedom from fear in ill-health and old age, no compulsory compensation in case of accident - in short, we remember that life for many of us was lacking both in security and in the sense of responsibility.
Turning to the present, we note that the States have recently been compelled to extend the Franchise so as to bring within its scope all British subjects over the age of 21, and we are not unmindful that large numbers of workers are now being granted considerable increases in wages.
But concessions along these two lines are not sufficient. The deplorable conditions which existed in pre-war days still remain substantially the same.
In these circumstances we therefore propose the immediate supersession of the present States Assembly and its replacement by a House which shall more fully represent the communal will and shall be more amenable to public control.
More particularly, we are in favour of an Assembly from which Jurats, Rectors and Constables shall have been removed and which shall consist solely of 34 paid Deputies, viz., one for each 1,500 of the population in every Parish. Jurats shall remain as Magistrates only, in accorance with their Oath of Office.
In Parochial affairs also we stand for a more democratic system of administration. It is surely intolerable that the Honourary Officials elected by the people should immediately pass out of the control of these people into that of the Principaux. The general public thus has no further voice in the management of its own financial interests. We submit that control should remain either in the hands of the people as a whole or of their own elected representatives.
Social and Industrial Reforms.
Following the establishment in these ways of a more democratic form of government in Island and Parochial affairs, we place next in order of urgency that of lifting from the backs of the ages poor those burdens and anxieties which the community alone has the power and the duty to relieve, and relieve, moreover, in a sympathetic yet sensible manner. We stand for a Contributory Scheme of Old Age Pensions.
We declare that the care of home and children is work done for the community and is deserving of communal recompense. We therefore believe in, and will strive to introduce, Housing and Rent Controls, Family Allowances, a full Health Insurance Scheme (including Maternity Benefits), Compensation for industrial injury, and improves Educational facilities.
In the industrial field, we submit that the successes already achieved by the local Trades Unions must be consolidated and extended. We shall not be satisfied until every employer has accepted the principle of "a wage which shall always afford a decent and progressive standard of life" for all employees.
With respect to agriculture, we maintain that the only proper use of land is to assist in raising the standard of life of the whole community, and not merely to enlarge the banking accounts of a privileged few. As between farmer and consumer a reciprocal duty should exist. By and large, the only lasting security for the farmer lies in a guaranteed price. The community must help the farmer to achieve this. But then the farmer must acknowledge his duty to the people, including his own employees. The satisfaction of Island requirements, with, if necessary, control of production by a combined Farmer-States Committee, should precede any concern for his own interests.
In the realm of finance, we are wholeheartedly in favour of a Graduated Income Tax and Death, or Estate, Duties, together with an Equitable Rating Scheme.
A New Standard of Life.
These are our proposals in brief. They represent our first contribution towards a new standard of life in Jersey. We regard them as necessary, not only because of their own inherent rightness, but also to lift us nearer to the level of our fellows in other lands.
The Island has often been called "a Paradise." Is it not strange, then, that there should be lacking in our lives so many of those things which elsewhere are regarded as the very minimum essentials of the democratic way of life?
We demand to-day, therefore, the recognition of the rights of the common people. We demand the removal of everything that debars us from a free, healthy, and worthwhile existence. We demand vigour, intelligence, vision, and sound planning in the direction of our common affairs.
In the past, progressive thought and action in Jersey have been denied their rightful outlet. That is no longer the case. The J.D.M exists to secure the greatest possible unity among the progressive forces in the Island in the support of the aims set out above. It accordingly urges all those of progressive views to join its ranks in the realisation of these aims.
Finally, to the so-called Common people we would say: You whose lives have been so long restricted, whose development has been so much frustrated, now is your first big chance to choose your own representatives and to ensure for the first time that your wishes shall be voiced. Stand by the Movement which has already dome something for you, which has even stirred the States into a strange new semblance of life.
You know well that the renewed activities of the States are not based upon any real concern for you. Were this the case, your present representatives would have acted many years ago. You know rather that it is fear that is driving them into a struggle for self-preservation.
What You Must Do.
Let your reply therefore be determined and to the point. Make it clear to the existing Members of the States that you are tired of their dilatory methods, that you are ashamed of those who are too timid or too fearful to express their views in the public sessions of the Assembly, and decide to give your votes to the J.D.M Candidates, the men who bring you a new hope and the promise of a future which shall be free both from insecurity and from fear.
The JDM manifesto ends with a brief statement about the JEP and their refusal to publish their manifesto. I may post that at a later date, along with the correspondence between the JDM and the JEP's editor.
Jersey Progressive Party
1. To reconstitute the States in such a way as will provide that those members who are elected directly by the people to act for them, namely Deputies, shall hold a fair majority of all the seats in the Assembly and this so as to make it reasonably probable that the will of the people shall at all times prevails.
We should seek a newly constituted Assembly made up of:-
Jurats - Twelve elected for a period of six years, subject to re-election. We regard it as a matter of principle that to the extent to which the Office of Jurat remains as an elective office for legislative purposes, the holders of that office should at intervals seek a renewal of public confidence by public re-election. A period of office of six years is considered to be the best maximum. The ultimate aim being a separation of the Judicial from the Legislative functions of the office of Jurat, this separation should be considered and decided upon prior to the end of a period of three years dating from the first assembly of the States after the 1945 election.
Constables - Twelve as now.
Deputies - Eleven to represent the eleven country Parishes, making no Change. Eighteen elected by the whole town to represent St. Helier, being an increase of twelve.
Assembly - An Assembly of fifty-three members so allocated should provide a more workmanlike machine and be adequate to the needs of good Government.
Administration - In view of the problems facing the Island some alteration in the Committee system will be inevitable. increasing the Deputies will involved that Deputies undertake a greater share of the work of administering Departments. This in turn places on the Electors the clear responsibility of scrutinising with greater care the qualifications of all who offer themselves as candidates and to elect only those of wide experience and proved ability.
2. To devote all efforts to restoring a prosperous Island. In particular:-
(i) To have all possible scientific and other assistance given to Agriculture, so that it may surmount its present serious difficulties and become again adequately profitable for Farmers.
(ii) To encourage Residents who have always been a great, steady, and necessary asset; and
(iii) To overhaul the existing machinery which seeks to develop the Island as a Tourist Resort and to have in mind that from that industry town and country alike may progressively benefit.
3. In recognising how much the future prosperity of all depends upon the Island's possession of an adequate labour force, to devote ourselves to the provision of steadily expanding schemes which aim at Social Security and betterment, and in particular to support at all times to provide Old Age Pensions and Health Insurance with Maternity Benefits on sound lines, and to continue to help, by giving special Family Allowances, those who earn wages which are not sufficient to enable themselves to provide for all the needs of growing children. A clinic for expectant mothers is another aim. Rent control is another.
4. To keep up to the highest possible levels our standards of Education and Training, so that our young people shall always have good chances in the world.
5. As regards the men and women returning to the Island after serving in H.M. Forces and the Merchant Navy, to make provision so that, for the first ten years at least, 75% of all future appointments in uniformed services, such as Paid Police and Prison Staff are filled by such men, and that in all institutional and Departmental non-technical jobs, controlled for the States by Departments, to see a preference is given to such men and women who deserve so well of their country.
Another piece of history.
Andy Sibcy is right in that the (re)introduction of party politics in Jersey will inevitably lead to better candidates being put forward and better and more comprehensive manifestos that contain realistic aspirations in them.
This is the way forward for Jersey politics and I hope people can look back at these manifestos and see that it is something that is more than capable of fitting in with Jersey culture.