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28 October 2014

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You are in: Jersey > Inside the States > Other Business > Election spending limit

Candidates outside the polling station

Do wealthy candidates have an advantage?

Election spending limit

New regulations have been proposed that could limit the amount of money candidates can spend on election campaigns.

"We just want people to know exactly where the candidate’s money is coming from"

Constable Derek Gray

They say it pays to advertise, but does having an unlimited budget give you a better chance of being elected into the States?

Some islanders believe the wealthy have an unfair advantage when it comes to the democratic process.

At the moment we have no idea how much candidates spend on their campaign.

However, new regulations that limit the amount candidates can spend are being brought to the States by the Privileges and Procedures Committee.

Ballot Boxes

Ballot Boxes

The limits

The new rules say senators could spend £2,500 plus 10p for every person on the electoral roll.

Constables and deputies would have an initial allowance of £1,500  plus the additional 10p for each elector in their district or parish.

This would amount to a maximum spend of about £8,000 for senators, and £1,600 for a candidate standing in a small parish, such as St Mary.

If the new rules get accepted candidates will be asked to submit evidence to the Greffier of how much they spent on their election campaign.

Anyone who has exceeded their maximum spend could be liable for prosecution.

No more anonymous

The proposed regulations also state candidates can no longer receive anonymous donations.

“We just want people to know exactly where the candidate’s money is coming from,” explained the head of the Privileges and Procedures Committee, Constable Derek Gray.

“The only way to do that is to ensure all anonymous donations are actually remitted to the Treasury, and then sent on to charities, so that people are quite clear where candidates are being funded from.”

Have your say

Do you support Constable Gray’s proposal to cap candidate’s campaign budget?

Do you think candidates who can afford to spend more on advertising have an advantage?

last updated: 03/06/2008 at 15:14
created: 03/06/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Manx Bean
Who would 'police' this? How much would that cost? How many new jobs would that create?In my mind, the REAL way to make an impact as a potential States Member is to put in the hard work - i.e. slog around the Parish talking to people and LISTENING to them. And for that, it doesn't matter how much money you have. People don't vote for you because they like the look of you on your posters..they vote because you appear to be credible, a 'person of the people' and actually care about whats going on around them - both within the parish on the Island in general.

Sid the Cynic
Phil,You have a good point, but then don't forget who owns the JEP, or used to...YES! It's our old friend and the nemesis of democratic systems, Frank Walker. This is the same person who came last in the popular peoples vote and then was voted in by the council of Ministers as our glorious Leader. It gets very hard to trust the media to be objective in the face of such anomalies. Putting restraints on the money each candidate can spend is one way, but the media cannot be totally trusted to give unbiased information. Even the UK press can be segregated into Labour, Tory and Liberal affiliations because there are so many publications. What can we expect when there is only a single newspaper?

Perhaps the media should be limited on coverage as well!

Bob the bean
This is pointless, we already have the best politicians money can buy! Why cap their campaign funds when its a lot simpler to just restrict when and who can vote? Make it so that only people making over £40,000 a year are eligible to vote and forget those losers without the brains to make money! Better still...have a clean sweep of the corrupt, elitist and blinkered buffoons who rule us and bring in a government of the people, by the people and FOR the people!

Good luck. We all know its about the money, we all know some candidates are bankrolled, we all know theres a massive element of 'unscrupulous' behaviour and we all know that this will never change.Next boring pointless and never to be implemented story please.

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