If your potential Deputy, Senator or Constable didn't know their Apple from apples, AI from aye-ayes or realise that fintech wasn't fishing-related technology... Would it change the way you voted?
A new ‘hustings’ with a difference will see political hopefuls prove that they’re up-to-date with one of the island’s (and the world’s) fastest growing sectors.
Jersey’s first ever ‘Digital Hustings’ will see candidates probed on their knowledge of the island’s fastest growing industry in a series of questions chosen by digital professionals in a recording that will then be posted online for islanders to watch.
Championed by Digital Jersey, and launched exclusively in Express today, it is hoped that the initiative will encourage candidates to put technology on the political agenda.
Video: Islanders called for "open-minded" politicians who aren't stuck in their ways.
That ambition was mirrored in the responses of the public in a video survey on the streets of St. Helier. When asked what they’d like to see in their future politicians, the interviewees overwhelmingly called for their new representatives to nurture talent and not “try to deny the future.” “It’s going to come and get you anyway,” one mused.
Another islander added: “I think we can all be prone to being set in our ways, so be open-minded and explore.”
Digital Jersey CEO Tony Moretta commented: “Technology is revolutionising our workforce and altering the way we do our jobs; so it’s essential that digital is on the agenda of those who will be representing us as decision makers. Not everyone can make it to parish hustings, so we wanted to enable electors to be able to watch from the comfort of their own armchairs, while also allowing every candidate for the 49 seats a voice.”
His comments came after the organisation launched its ‘Digital Manifesto’, which outlined what the sector feels are its most “pressing” issues, including: cooperation between public and private leaders, investing in local innovation, and enhancing the use of tech in higher education institutions.
Video: Islanders explain why they think the digital industry is important.
The Digital Hustings endeavour also follows a markedly more ‘digital’ election so far. This year, islanders were able to register to vote online for the first time ever via Vote.je.
They can also visit the Vote.je website for a full list of candidates standing for election and information on how to vote in English, French, Polish and Portuguese.
Meanwhile the more traditional styled hustings also get underway to tonight at the Royal Jersey Horticultural and Agricultural Society at 19:30.
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