The manifestos I’ve read so far are vague and filled with platitudes – candidates must offer more to Jersey’s voters

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DEAR elector,

It is with a sense of pride and determination that I am standing for election to serve you for the next four years.

I feel a lifetime of experience, working in both the public and private sectors, stands me in good stead to be your representative in the States Assembly.

Jersey is unique. I intend to build on those traditional values in a modern setting, making the most of our home-grown talent combined with the available global expertise we can attract as and when needed.

I passionately believe in a strong economy, a fit-for-purpose health service for all, world-class education for our children, and a safe community for all families.

If elected, I will work tirelessly for a brighter, better future for every citizen of this Island.

There are key issues to be addressed, from the new hospital to the delicate balance of the Island’s population. These are issues I intend to tackle with all my energy.

For those concerned about the environment, the cost of housing, fair taxation, and a skilled workforce, your concerns are my concerns.

A vote for me is a vote for you, your family and your community.

Vote Gary in 2018.

Yours sincerely, Gary Burgess

I’M just back from my honeymoon. After touching down in the blazing sunshine this week, I have been telling everybody that I’ve brought the weather with me.

As wonderful as it was to be away, it’s always a joy to return home. And this week, above any other so far this year, Jersey looks at her glorious best.

That is, except for the rogues’ gallery of election posters now adorning every other lamp post and roundabout in the Island.

Seeing them on the drive from the Airport to my home I was tickled to see people I know, as well as complete strangers, committing their best ‘this is what a trustworthy politician looks like’ pose for their posters.

The posters themselves currently look ‘strong and stable’. After a few weeks and perhaps a few gusty and rainy spells we’ll see whether or not they remain quite so pristine. If so, then ‘nothing has changed, nothing has changed’. Though, despite my best efforts, I always raise a wry smile when I see a poster that’s been creatively amended with a moustache or some unwanted text. All part of the fun of an election.

JUST in case you were wondering, the start of my column is my generic manifesto for any candidates who haven’t quite finalised their text. Feel free to cut and paste and use as you wish.

I’ve read a few so far and what’s notable is how wonderfully vague and platitude-filled they are. If the best you can tell me is that you’ll work hard and that a strong economy is important, then goodness help us all!

Come on, candidates, pull that splinter out of your collective backsides and get off the fence.

I think we can all take it as read that you want the usual basics, so spend your time telling us about how you intend to actually make a difference, if elected.

Opposing stuff and padding out your pamphlet with political clichés is a waste of your effort and a waste of my time.

Let’s hope that the hustings flush out the wannabes and throws up some decent candidates who have a real vision for what Jersey should look like four years from now – and a plan for making it happen.

At an election which will see lots of new faces entering the Chamber – given the number of politicians throwing in their towels – now’s the time to raise your game and fill us with confidence that you deserve our vote.

I look forward to finding out what really makes you tick.

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