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As we observe those that put themselves forward, take the bold step of stepping out in the service of others. I speak of those that choose to stand for 'Office'. We all need to see their courageousness, their willingness to serve. "It's not the critic who counts".

Deputies, stand up, contribute, collaborate, take ownership and show the world how to govern.

Frank Herbert noted that “Good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern”.

This of course applies to all organisations, not just governments. But, perhaps now, given the Electoral process we are about to embark on in Guernsey, this is more relevant than ever.

He went on to say,

“The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.”

As a population, which finds itself in a unique position in the world we now live in, the present moment is a turning point. It‘s a juncture where we all have a choice, 38 to be precise.

Our decision-making will set us on a path towards a particular future, a future which will then be largely influenced by the quality, experience, beliefs and integrity of those we vote for.

Their values, their purpose, their willingness, resilience and openness to collaboration will be at the heart of Guernsey’s success at carving a way forward.

Our choices, however, are not easy ones. The multitude of candidates, the complexity and innocence of the new system of voting, along with the emergence of party politics makes for a challenging navigation.

An ‘intray’ of manifestos to beat all work backlogs, and the different approaches of the parties, creates yet more uncertainty. For many, this will simply be too much, for others a relished opportunity to dig into the personal and professional lives of those brave enough to step in the arena.

We all need to act with integrity and courageousness, not just those who are now candidates.

It was Theodore Roosevelt who said,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Our candidates have ‘dared greatly’, we now need to do the same and put in the hard work of reviewing, turning up and deciding.

Our future depends on us all playing our part, all daring, all taking the opportunity that befalls each of us.

Let us not be the critic,

Let us be those that lead ourselves with values,

Let us be those that do the hard work,

Let us be those that dig deep for wisdom, and

Let us be those that are guided by compassion.

Let us be those that dare greatly.

Published in the Guernsey Press on 8 September 2020.

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