Posted by: Deputy Ogier | May 10, 2012

Membership Elections

It’s been a funny time this week. We had the ministerial elections on Tuesday followed by a bank holiday, giving ministers one furious working day to find a good fit of four more members for their department or committee,  eight in the case of scrutiny committee before elections on Friday.

One Minister expressed dissatisfaction at the process which gave him so few precious hours to fill a team which had to get on together for four years. He wondered whether the Ministers should attempt to sit down together and allot spaces for Deputies after the Ministerial election and inform colleagues where they had been placed.

That’s perhaps taking things too far, but is it right that Ministerial choices are challenged? As former Deputy Peter Roffey writes, on one occasion the Assembly voted for none of his choices. Should a Minister be sent to run a department without any of the tools he or she feels they need?

As the day draws to a close however, most departments have published their nominations. We haven’t heard from any of the committees as yet. The Committee elections come towards the end of business after the Departments and usually act as a sponge to soak up those who did not find a departmental place or those who only found one of their first choices. As such, the committees tend to suffer from poor member selections, ill fits and mismatched skill sets which doesn’t start them off on a strong four year footing.  The departments by comparison look like solid units of matched skill sets which will give them a fighting chance.

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