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Proposal to create Jersey test for non-British election hopefuls

Proposal to create Jersey test for non-British election hopefuls

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Proposal to create Jersey test for non-British election hopefuls

A proposal to test non-British residents wanting to stand for election on Jersey’s culture, instead of having them apply for citizenship, has been put forward.

The proposition, put forward by Deputy Inna Gardiner, suggests that instead of applying for British citizenship, non-British residents wishing to stand for election should be allowed to take a test on life in Jersey to prove they are eligible.

In a report accompanying the proposition, Deputy Gardiner says that “there are many reasons why an individual might not want to apply for British citizenship, not least because some countries do not allow dual citizenship, and this proposition provides an alternative option.”


Pictured: A vote in the States in September made it so that if an islander wants to stand for election, they must have lived here for five years and be entitled.

Instead of citizenship, eligibility for election would be determined by a process split into two sections:

  •              A test detailing the history of the island and its customs
  •              A ‘swearing in’ ceremony in the Royal Court

The key source of information for the test would come from the Jersey supplement of the ‘Life in the United Kingdom’ test for British citizenship, but added that additional approaches could also be taken in developing the test. 

Though the Deputy noted the test would not be free, she added that “any cost will not be prohibitive.” 

In September, the States voted against allowing non-British citizens to stand for election, instead voting in a five-year requirement and a need for those standing to hold ‘entitled to work’ status. 

The move to tighten the rules divided the States Chamber, with a 22 to 20 result. Senator Sam Mézec slammed the decision at the time, saying on Twitter that: “The States of Jersey has just voted to make it HARDER for people (including British citizens) to be allowed to run for election.

"You couldn’t make this stuff up.”

The proposition will be debated on 9 February.

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Private Individual on
Absolutely NOT!

If non-British wish to stand for an elected position within our government they should also acknowledge and adhere to our customs and formalities. They should not try and change them to suit their own agenda.

Take the citizen test or don't stand for government, it's as simple as that.
Posted by Jon Jon on
What’s needed is a leaner states assembly attracting people with a far better iq than the current bunch,it’s a deplorable assembly that gets worse at every election.
Posted by Paul Hadikin on
How about giving british the chance
Posted by IanSmith97 on
NO WAY. I object most strongly to foreigners making laws which govern me. If a person feels that strongly about standing for the parliament of a state they should at least hold the nationality of that country. I voted for this lady last time out, not next time.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
It cannot be right that Non-British citizens could be allowed to stand for our Government.
I don't know why such States time, in the middle of this Covid crisis is even being allowed. Is this yet more soft, inadequate States members, wishing to change Jersey, to satisfy their personal wishes .
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