Island-wide voting: What can Guernsey learn from other territories with similar systems?

As Guernsey approaches its first election under island-wide voting, we are taking a virtual trip around the world to find out what can be learnt from other territories that use similar systems. Credit: PA Images

As Guernsey approaches its first election under island-wide voting, we are taking a virtual trip around the world to find out what can be learnt from other territories that use similar systems.

  • St Helena

St Helena also uses island-wide voting and, like Guernsey, it does not have established political parties. But it only has a fraction of our population.

I think the real issue to look what the policies are and look for trustworthy people who will deal with issues on their merits rather than for any other reason.

Cllr Anthony Green MLA, St Helena politician
  • Falkland Islands

Now, we will take the nearly 4,000 mile journey to the Falkland Islands. Here, they have two constituencies rather just just one. But with no political parties at all, the eight elected independent politicians - including Teslyn Barkman - come together after the election to work on a joint plan.

We set a four year plan document which is like a collective manifesto because the real strength about a party system is that you've got a party manifesto that ties it all together. We all have individual manifestos so we spend the first few months knitting it all together and this is why representation is important because you need to get all of those views in.

Teslyn Barkman MLA, Falkland Islands politician
  • Guam

On to the United States island territory of Guam in the Western Pacific . Every two years, it elects 15 members of parliament on an island-wide basis, and has the Democrats v Republicans battle.

You need to gain their confidence. We need to establish the reputation that we can run honest and fair elections and you go from there. What you are doing in learning from across the world because we're island folks that's the best thing.

Maria Pangelinan, Executive Director of the Guam Electoral Commission

So there are different examples around the world, but ultimately - according to one politics expert - Guernsey is a unique case.

It's certainly odd to have a constituency that's as large as 38 people because you're hearing from voters that very few people know all 38 candidates that they want to vote for. A famous political scientist used to say you needed three elections to judge how a system was bedding in with an electoral system it takes some time for candidates, parties, MPs to adjust.

Professor Jon Fraenkel, Victoria University of Wellington

  • WATCH Hamish Auskerry's report...