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Pass 'Life In Jersey Test' To Stand For Election?

A St Helier politician has proposed creating a 'Life in Jersey' certificate to prove a non-British citizen's commitment to the island rather than the UK.

Deputy Inna Gardiner says anyone who passes it should then become eligible to stand for election as a States member.

She says there are many reasons why someone might not want to apply for British citizenship, and this provides another option.

The British-Israeli, who was born in Kazakhstan, says passing the 'Life in Jersey' test would prove their knowledge of Jersey's customs, traditions, and day-to-day life.

Another part of the test would be taking the oath in the Royal Court for allegiance to the island of Jersey, which Deputy Gardiner says will show that they would swear an allegiance to uphold those traditions.

She has also suggested the certificate be introduced in schools, given that 16 years olds can vote, which may encourage the younger generation to get involved in politics earlier.

"In summary the Certificate will provide a simple, straightforward route for an individual to show a willingness to understand the Island’s identity and confirmation of their allegiance to supporting and maintaining it.

"The importance of diversity and inclusion in any Parliament cannot be understated – no more so than in Jersey where the population includes a variety of ethnic groups. The Certificate will allow a wider selection of candidates to stand for election which can only be of benefit."

If approved, the Council of Ministers would have to introduce the new test, based on the existing Jersey aspect of the British Citizenship test, by October 2021, along with an appropriate oath or affirmation for the allegiance to the island of Jersey.

Deputy Montfort Tadier lodged a proposition last year to try and remove the requirement that Senators and Deputies must be British Citizens. It was rejected by a single vote.

The assembly ended up making the rules around standing for election even stricter.

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