NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
ELECTORAL CHAOS – AT BEST A BANANA REPUBLIC?
A total of three local authority Councillors have had to resign from two authorities on the Isle of Man in the last ten days.
They are all long serving members so what can the reason be? Some personal indiscretion or malfeasance in public office? No, it is nothing as serious as that for them personally but it is of vital democratic significance to public life in the Isle of Man.
It seems changes earlier this year to the electoral system meant people had to register to be on the list rather than their name be automatically retained.
It has already had a major impact in that it meant there were around 2,000 fewer voters registered in time for May’s (two) House of Keys by-elections. Other by elections are due later this year.
The latest ramification of this ill managed change to the electoral register see three long serving people unceremoniously ejected from public life.
Local authorities already have difficulty attracting interest both in terms of candidates or percentage vote so the latest development is another nail in the coffin for local democracy.
The Isle of Mans democracy already tarnished by its unelected upper chamber (the Legislative Council) is further degenerated. At best the place, democratically, is becoming like a ‘banana republic’ at worst it’s like ULSTER in the good old days of Unionist ‘gerrymandering’ where people from the wrong camp mysteriously found themselves ‘lost’ from the electoral register.
One hopes that all the current crop of MHKs and MLCs have checked there positions on the electoral register – let’s be honest one of them quite recently had difficulty remembering if he paid his occupational pension contributions!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues