The Beginning…

The main aim of Falklands ’09 is to stimulate interesting and informative debate between prospective Assembly Members and you the electorate. I will be offering no opinion on what candidates have to say, however I will be forced, I imagine, to moderate some comments, I simply have to reserve the right to do this.

Tonight, all candidates will receive the following message from me as the Blog Co-ordinator;

Dear Candidate,

This evening a new Blog was launched, Election ’09 – Falkland Islands. The blog can be visited at

The general idea of the blog is for you as a candidate to both share your manifestos on the World Wide Web with your future electorate, as well as answer questions from the people of the Falklands.

All candidates and the electorate will have equal opportunity to contribute towards the blog, and, like the electorate you can comment on any post that you see fit to.

I am also very interested in the use of Facebook as a communications tool. If you are keen on taking your campaign to Facebook, please e-mail me on this address. I recently saw a statistic that 90% of West Falklands households are registered on facebook, what would be the statistic on the East or in Stanley? Can we afford to ignore this useful communications tool?

Please understand I am not acting in any of my public roles in administering this blog, I am simply very keen to explore new ways of communicating within the Falkland’s.

I do hope that you contribute to this blog, it is a unique opportunity to interact on a different level with the people of the Falklands, and I hope, a unique way for them to interact with you.

Please e-mail me your manifestos, your photo’s and your contributions; I will post them one and all. I have one manifesto in an electronic version already, if that candidate could please confirm that he is happy for me to post it on the blog I would appreciate it.

I look forward to an exciting next few weeks and I look forward to stimulating debate on the world wide web…

Steve Dent
Election ’09 – Falkland Islands – Blog Co-Ordinator.

So, Election ’09 – Falkland Islands is born, it is now up to you, the electorate to share this with your friends, your colleagues and to stimulate the debate, maybe the candidates will not contribute, once you the electorate speak out, they may not have a choice. Want to offer a post for the blog, e-mail me on and I will post it on the blog, I reserve the right to moderate and edit any posts as I do not wish to expose myself to legal action by any candidate…



12 Responses to “The Beginning…”

  1. Dick Sawle Says:

    Steve…an excellent idea and one which I wish FIRS would employ on their website which I note is very out of date. I recognise the importance of blogs etc in my manifesto (you must have had a preview!) – which is not yet finished as I still have various groups to visit and talk to. I am happy to engage in any comment here as long as it is properly moderated by yourself and am happy to exchange views with anyone.

  2. dent632 Says:

    A quick note from the Blog Co-Ordinator…

    On request of the Editor of PN, I have removed the reference to the PN contributions to the offer above, PN is keen to preserve their exclusivity and not allow candidates a chance to view other’s contributions before publication.

    Fair point and one I had not considered last night… once items have been published, they are your words and I would be happy to put them up following publication…


  3. Jonathan Butler Says:

    The candidates have all now been disclosed, we have 12 for Stanley and 5 seats available, so the competition is on, thus far we have seen Glen Ross and Andrea Clausen issue their manifesto. For me and my vote for what it is worth, I am wanting to see the Government Finance to be controlled and a group of Councillor’s who are wishing to create policy and direction rather than be lead by senior figures into a spiral that in a few short years will bankrupt the Islands.

    I would also like to see a robust stance on Foreign Policy and someone to look at the current shortage of employment for those under the age of 18 and belong to the Islands. This is just a couple of issues that I am looking for in a manifesto.

  4. Dick Sawle Says:

    My manifesto is on its way…just takes a long time to print it off and I hope that you find it interesting when you get it next week. Control of Govt finance..I agree, and the Public Accounts Committee should prove to be a very useful tool to give feedback here. I hope that I would, if elected, bring some business sense into Govt, but we have to increase income and let the private sector make the progress that they request. Govt has to enable, not finance the whole enterprise, and to do that it needs to relax a little and let the private sector flourish for the good of the Falklands in general.

    I agree with your sentiments, but it is up to elected members to create the right environment – to prepare the ground for others to take things forward (like the new port for example). Govts are no good at running a business (Mt Kent ?? and a list too long to mentione here)

    foreign policy…is in my manifesto (next week…apologies agin for the delay). Argentina has to be answered and called to account at each and every opportunity that we have.

    Jobs for young people..also a key point of mine. We have to have a properly set up careers centre for young Islanders so they can register their interests and enable them to get a foot on whatever rung they choose…not just under 18’s but young people and adults as well. Adult training should not be dismissed – it offers opportuntiy for qualifications to everyone- qualifications that are vital to our success.

    We need to encourage and let Islanders develop into key jobs within Govt rather than simply employ a recruiting agency to provide us with what we need. There is a lot of talent, experience and local knowledge here which we should be encouraging, not removing.

    I would end by simply repetaing that this idea of a blog on issues here is an excellent one, and I hope that everyone, candidates and voters and others will join in and debate issues, but do so both before and after the election….complacency in these times is one of our biggest enemies.

  5. Karen Lee Says:

    This is a great idea and it is a shame that FIRS have never exploited it as Dick says, the MT did set it all up for them!

    I think the main thing I want to see is a Government that realises the state of our economy. One that doesn’t make decisions and then when the going gets tough change their mind and spend the money they have saved. Decisions should be well made in the first instance, considering all of the potential options. Nobody expects perfection, but I personally struggle to think of a decision that has been made that has not been reversed in some way (except holiday credits).

    I would like to see candidates justify some of their bigger spending ideas. Everyone can say spend money on this and that, but how about telling us which project they would take it away from.

    Finally I would like to see a government with lots of local employees that have the good of the Falklands at the heart of ALL decisions. We need to break away from the short termism that comes with constant changes of posts held by expats, and consider proper appraisals that let people know when they are doing well and when they are doing bad and reward them accordingly.

  6. Corina Goss Says:

    As a side issue, I would like to clarify that although the FIRS website has been offline for quite some time after suffering a technical failure, it has had to be completely rebuilt and is not yet finished. For various reasons, that process has been ongoing and very lengthy and I understand that the chat feature was lost completely. The company working on the site is currently investigating alternative options, however without the site working properly, we are unable to provide an online discussion forum. Had the site been working, we would have been more than happy to use our chat forum to promote debate on this important issue.

  7. Cathy H Says:

    I have read 3 manifestos so far by candidates who omit or skirt around the issue of Argentina and their sovereignty claim- an issue dear to my heart.
    Is the issue of Argentina and their claim less important these days than of previous times? I have no need to remind people how many servicemen lost their lives so we do have the freedom to vote.
    There has been talk of ‘ shared sovereignty ‘ which I do not believe will work. I want to be sure that nobody that would even consider that gets my vote.

  8. Dick Sawle Says:

    Hi Cathy….I hope I have been clear in my manifesto. Their claims are absurd and based on ridiculous notions. This is not less important these days, and needs always to be at the forefront of our thinking and approach to foreign affairs. Personally, I am delighted that we have here in the Falklands a large military presence that will continue to defend our rights and freedoms. I am saddened by the lives lost in ’82 and the disabilities and traumas caused. I note how every request for help with SAMA meets with every possible assitance from all of us. The visit last year (for example) was amazing. It was a moving experience escorting the guys around the Falklands, and I felt very humbled by their spirit of cameraderie and fortitude – they did this for our freedom, and we should never forget that – I won’t. I don’t think any candidate would disagree with these sentiments by the way.

  9. Mark Pollard Says:

    I am disapointed by the unavailability of some of the candidate’s manifestos. Some of the prospective councillors may be reluctant to use this blog, the penguin news etc to publicise their beliefs. However one thing I am certain of is that I will not be voting for anybody who is reluctant to speak up in a public forum. Even if it is just to publish their manifesto. This is the chance for free publicity and most definitely will not contribute towards their election costs.

  10. Dick Sawle Says:

    Hi Mark – I have assumed that everyone received a copy of mine via the post office or off this website, but if you would like me to e-mail you a copy, all I need is your e-mail address…I am on 52141.

  11. Corina Goss Says:

    Mark, why should the media publicise the beliefs of specific candidates?

  12. Corina Goss Says:

    Every candidate has had their opportunity to participate in public debate. I only think that it is a shame for all inlvolved if this is not utilized, nothing more, nothing less.

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