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READER LETTER: The real question is, do WE have confidence in the Government?

READER LETTER: The real question is, do WE have confidence in the Government?

Monday 15 January 2024

READER LETTER: The real question is, do WE have confidence in the Government?

Monday 15 January 2024


With the vote of no confidence in the Chief Minister set to take place tomorrow, a reader has reflected on whether on we – the electorate – have confidence in our Government...

The Council of Ministers talk too much "about themselves" and have "no focus on the real issues", Caritas CEO Patrick Lynch said in a recent interview.

Mr Lynch went on to say that, "after the very difficult year that 2023 proved to be for so many islanders when poverty escalated and food bank use increased exponentially, we hoped that 2024 would see a positive change and a real focus from our politicians on the real issues for islanders. Instead, we are being treated to another unsightly bout of in-fighting and evidence of a clear lack of concern or empathy for the everyday struggles that so many of their fellow islanders are enduring at present".

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Pictured: Patrick Lynch is the CEO of local charity Caritas.

It's difficult to disagree with Mr Lynch, and the waste of States Assembly time that will no doubt be dedicated to Deputy Tom Binet's Vote of No Confidence (VONC) in Chief Minster Kristina Moore when so many more pressing issues need to be addressed is frankly shameful!

Caritas and other charities in the island who are stretched like never before in providing support to struggling islanders should be listened to.

I wonder how many people for example noted the queue outside the office of Citizens Advice Jersey when they reopened after the Christmas holidays or indeed the other community organisations who provide so much valuable support?

The real question here should perhaps be, do we, the electorate, have confidence in our Government? Judging by the shockingly poor turnout at our elections, it seems reasonable to surmise that we do not.

A number of commentators and letter writers have recently declared their lack of faith in our political system altogether and not least the lack of a true party political system whereby the electorate are at least given a clear choice and a selection of manifestos they can study before making their decision at the ballot box.

Currently, we only have two such political parties, the Jersey Liberal Conservatives with two sitting states members and Reform Jersey with 10.

To their credit, Reform Jersey not only provided a clear manifesto in advance of the general election they have continued to press hard to bring the necessary changes in the way the island is run and focus on the real issues of the day as outlined in their manifesto.

I suspect they will be the only beneficiaries of this pointless VONC once the debate is over whilst we the general public will see no benefit whatsoever regardless of the outcome.

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Pictured: "To their credit, Reform Jersey not only provided a clear manifesto in advance of the general election they have continued to press hard to bring the necessary changes in the way the island is run and focus on the real issues of the day as outlined in their manifesto."

What causes many of us to shy away from local political discourse and indeed turnout to vote is that we see no real change or definitive action in tackling the elephant that has been standing in the room of this and previous Council of Ministers for years. The cost of putting a roof over your head and the cost of living in Jersey in general.

If you add to this the appalling waste of public money by this Council of Ministers and its predecessors, not to mention the lack of transparency over the true cost of replacing our tired old General Hospital, and it is not at all surprising that so few bother to engage with our politicians or indeed politics in general or even contemplate casting their vote.

There is simply nothing to vote for when we cannot even choose who we want to occupy the top job of Chief Minister, let alone a political party with the exception of course the only one that at least provides a genuine choice, Reform Jersey.

It seems to me our island politics is too parochial, too limited to a tried and failing system, personality-led, inefficient and too costly. If we continue in this way, nothing will encourage those who choose not to vote to to turnout next time an election is held. So much then for the claim we are a true democracy!

Perhaps one day a leader will be elected who recognises that we need to change how we are governed and the focus will finally rest upon a manifesto that provides for the common good.

As Mr Lynch from Caritas correctly stated, treating islanders to yet another bout of infighting will do absolutely nothing in meeting the needs of so many, and we all deserve much better leadership than that!

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