Senators Hustings Meeting - St Saviour
Who wants to be Chief Minister? That was the burning question at last night’s Senatorial hustings in St Saviour.
Nearly 200 parishioners packed into the parish hall to hear the 21 candidates give their views on subjects ranging from whether the rainy day fund should be spent now or saved until later to how they would restore faith and social justice in Jersey’s system. But when one parishioner asked who of the candidates wanted to be Chief Minister and what one wish they would want fulfilled, there was a ripple of amusement from the audience.
Nick Le Cornu was first to answer. ‘I’m not so vain to wish to assume that position,’ he said and added that he would want to look at housing qualifications and build houses so that ‘people who live here are properly looked after.’
Deputy Alan Maclean said that having been in the States for just two and a half years, it was a bit early for him to consider being Chief Minister. ‘I do hope it is going to be a contested election,’ he said. He said that his wish would be for ‘an open, transparent government that seeks to cut expenditure as much as possible and keep taxes at a low level. Communication is not as strong as it should be.’
Mike Higgins said that he did not want to be Chief Minister. ‘I personally wish to become Senator to act on your behalf and your interests,’ he said.
Mick Pashley said that he had a lot to prove before he could consider the top job but that his wish would be ‘to see the Island have equality for all people.’
Senator Mike Vibert said: ‘I don’t want the job. I would prefer to stay at Education, where I believe I can contribute most.’ His wish would be to bridge divisions in society.
Chris Perkins said that he would rather be Environment Minister and added that he had already challenged current Planning and Environment Minister Senator Freddie Cohen to a fight over the job. ‘I would make it Environment and Planning, not Planning and Environment,’ he said. ‘I would want everybody working together for the good of everybody and listening to other people.’
Senator Philip Ozouf ran out of time before he could give his answers.
Cliff Le Clercq said: ‘I was going to say “Who wants to be a millionaire?” It’s the same sort of thing, really.’ His wish was to ‘restore the trust and respect and honour to the community that we all really love’.
Senator Paul Routier said that although he was not keen to have the top job, he hoped another candidate would come forward. ‘It’s an onerous, thankless task,’ he said and added that his wish was ‘for the Chief Minister to end up being a respected person in our Island’.
Deputy Peter Troy said: ‘I have always been ambitious, so I would say yes – one day I would consider it, but I would get support from the other politicians in the Chamber. ‘I want an Island where we can all enjoy living. I would like us all to enjoy our lives, to enjoy Jersey and to be content.’
Montfort Tadier said that he was ‘far too young’ to be Chief Minister and would wish for ‘a more representative government and democracy’ with fewer millionaires and more women, Portuguese and Polish people in the States.
Nick Palmer said no one should vote for anyone who wanted to be Chief Minister. ‘It would be the height of vanity,’ he said and added that his wish would be to work for ecological and sustainable policies and find the answers to energy problems.
Deputy Geoff Southern ran out of time before he could answer.
Trevor Pitman said: ‘I thought everyone up here would say “Of course I want to do it”. No one could do a worse job. But my second thought was ‘‘Hmmm, Terry Le Sueur’’. I hope some more people put themselves forward. ‘What I really want is for Jersey to have a government that works for its people.’
Deputy Sarah Ferguson said that nobody would take on the role of Chief Minister if they were sensible. ‘I know there are things that need reforming in Jersey but we live in a fabulous Island. We are so lucky compared to living in some other parts of the world. Let’s be positive.’
Jeremy Maçon answered: ‘No, I don’t want to be Chief Minister. My one wish is that politicians would stop saying we need to listen to people. They need to do their jobs and start listening to people.’
Adrian Walsh said that he would not put himself forward for the role this time but would consider running in the next election. ‘I would like to take over Freddie Cohen’s job,’ he said and added that he would not have planning and environment in the same department. ‘I would like it to be Transport and Environment,’ he said. His wish would be for a full general election in the Island.
Ian Le Marquand said that he was not the candidate for Chief Minister. ‘I think my skills are in the Home Affairs area,’ he said. ‘I would like to do something about the drugs situation. We need to help these people turn their lives around to get over their terrible addictions.’
Deputy Alan Breckon answered: ‘I am not convinced about ministerial government being best for the people. There is an element of secrecy I am not comfortable with.’ His wish would be for a Social Security elderly care scheme that protected family homes. ‘It’s achievable,’ he said. ‘For heaven’s sake, Guernsey has got one.’
Daniel Wimberley could not answer because he ran out of time.
Mark Forskitt said: ‘I am not interested in being a minister, let alone Chief Minister. ‘I want a proper and full apology for the failings of the care system and the abuse that happened to victims and survivors.’
[ Source : This Is Jersey ]