Well, the excitement of the Isle of Man 2021 General Election has now translated into 24 MHK taking their seats and getting down to hard work over the next five years.
Many issues were highlighted during the island-wide election campaign, including getting the island back on the road after the pandemic, housing in general, but in particular ensuring that we We have affordable housing and good jobs to encourage our young people to come back after their studies and broaden their horizons and experience elsewhere.
Waiting list times that have been negatively impacted over the past 18 months.
The new green economy and other emerging niche sectors we can forge future opportunities for our nation.
We have always had to reinvent ourselves and now seems like the right time. However, the importance that more traditional industries such as tourism can play should not be overlooked.
I’ll say it again, but I think the sector deserves more priority, with obvious strengths such as our heritage, our trail system, our adventure experiences, our rail systems, our biking and an increased focus on sports and activities. specialized cultural activities.
Plus I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to hosting the TT and the Manx Grand Prix again.
An emphasis also on professional skills, which will always be valued, training and retraining for a constantly evolving environment.
There is no doubt that this was a historic election for a number of reasons, including the election of 10 women and, for Douglas South and Douglas East, having two representatives for the first time.
I’ve said here before and still believe that we need to have the best representatives with a diverse skill set, regardless of gender, but House of Keys and Tynwald need to represent the diverse nature of our population.
Women and men often think differently on some issues and I am sure the need to modernize and update some social issues such as maternity and paternity benefits, family friendly facilities and childcare services Better and affordable will now rightly be in the spotlight to have our best people available to play their part in promoting a sustainable economy.
I have to say that my two former colleagues on the Legislative Council, Jane Poole-Wilson and Kate Lord-Brennan, are exceptionally talented and I believe they will play an important role in shaping policy in times to come.
I felt that the election of five women members of the board enhanced its composition and more accurately reflected our people.
Sadly, there have been occasions when they’ve run into obstacles, but now, as directly elected members, there will be no stopping for Kate and Jane.
Much has been said about the fact that the directors general of departments have more to say than certain ministers.
I think the allegation is sometimes exaggerated as public servants can be an easy but inappropriate target for some politicians.
The clue is in the name, the elected member is responsible for the political direction of the ministry and the director general must take care of it on a daily basis.
The elected representative holds the general manager responsible for any failure in this regard.
It is very important that both parties understand the role of the other and my experience has been that this is the case much more often than not.
This does not mean that my relationship as minister of several ministries for 18 years has always been happy.
Indeed, one officer expressed concern about my demands on him, but this, in my opinion, was due to the fact that he did not understand the difference between the two roles and that ultimately the responsibility had stopped on me.
The MHKs are elected by a jury of several thousand interviews for a fixed-term contract of five years and, in the end, even in the event of disagreement of the general manager, the demands of the minister prevail.
But there are rightly rules in place to protect CEOs from abuse or malpractice by politicians.
I think the only thing that has been able to play a role in the last five years was the lack of experience in certain circles and with a high turnover it will be important that the respective roles be clarified to avoid any misunderstanding.
The outgoing President of the House of Keys once again performed exceptionally well in Rushen where, for the fourth time, he received resounding endorsement.
Juan Watterson was also chairman of the influential public accounts committee which has repeatedly held the government to account and a staunch supporter of an independent auditor general from Tynwald.
If experience elsewhere is anything to be done, the Post would easily exceed its cost in terms of financial savings to government.
David Ashford after 18 very difficult months leading, understanding and communicating the health service’s response to the pandemic and he would be the first to admit that in this unprecedented situation looking back some decisions would have been different.
His North Douglas voters kicked him out with 80% of all the ballots cast and double the votes of his closest rival.
Other exceptional performances and each of the 24 elected among the 65 candidates deserve our congratulations, in particular Alf Cannan returned with a vote substantially increased, from 1,839 in 2016 to 2,117 in this election.
Currently favorite of the Chief Minister, I hope the new House of Keys will force him to also highlight the social reform required in any program for the government.
Jason Moorhouse increased his support despite falling participation from 1,006 in 2016 to 1,988, almost double this time. It was also a very credible result for first candidate Tim Glover, with less than 200 votes behind Arbory Castletown and Malew.
So how have political parties behaved?
Well, Lawrie Hooper was the only successful Liberal candidate for Vannin. He led the polls in Ramsey, closely followed by Alex Allinson.
The Green Party, despite in my opinion a very strong candidate in Andrew Langan-Newton, obviously facing stiff opposition, did not win any seats.
In 1985 I was elected to the House of Keys along with two other members of the Labor Party from Manx who, along with two MLP members in the Legislative Council, made an impact by working with others on the big issues of the day, including the 3,500 working people and no real financial reserves.
We have worked pragmatically with both sides of the industry.
In 2021, the MLP had three very credible candidates.
Sadly, Gareth Young was unsuccessful but pulled off a formidable first attempt at Garff.
In Douglas East, MLP leader Joey Faragher dominated the ballot dramatically and Sarah Maltby dominated the ballot in Douglas South.
Sarah has had the ambition to represent Maison des Clés for a very long time and obviously, as a father, it was a very proud moment for me to see her achieve it.
Joey is known throughout the island for her work on environmental issues and Sarah has a keen interest in social justice.
I obviously wish the newly elected House of Keys the best for the times to come.
One last point. With two vacancies in the Legislative Council to fill now, I strongly disagree with a former MHK on radio.
In my opinion, candidates not elected in the elections should not be considered.