Falkland Islands' lawmakers discussed on social media and in the Legislative Assembly late in 2020 a need for a ‘pre-election program’ to encourage members of the public to stand for election as a Member of the Legislative Assembly late in 2021.
The aim is to ensure that there is adequate knowledge as to what challenges and responsibilities the office represents.
A Legislative Assembly Press release confirmed that a pre-election program will be run for those who have an interest in standing to be MLAs in 2021, or those who have a general interest in Falkland Islands politics.
Monthly public workshops titled ‘Your Government and You’ will be held between January and September 2021, the first two at 1800 at the Chamber of Commerce – on January 20 and February 25 respectively – and one at the Fox Bay Southern Cross Social Club at 10am on March 20.
Following this they will continue monthly until September on dates to be announced. The meetings will include, according to the press release: “a general overview to being a Member of the Legislative Assembly, barriers to representation, camp challenges, functions of government, roles of the MLAs, portfolios, committees, Executive Council and Legislative Assembly”.
MLA Roger Spink, portfolio holder for matters of the constitution, said: “We’re keen to get people involved, get people who are thinking of standing for election to understand what the role involves, know a bit more about government.”
He continued, “It might be interesting for other people who may be not even wishing to stand to come along and listen, to hear how government works and to hear the opinions of people who’ve been in government, like myself, for the first time.”
The workshops, the format of which will “primarily be an informal discussion” will not only take place in Stanley and Camp but will, where possible, have an option for virtual attendance provided.
The next Legislative Assembly Election is expected to take place in November 2021 - four years after the previous election. Following UK convention, an election is normally held on a Thursday.