I have spent the last three days in Jersey with three fellow members Tim Crookall MLC, Bill Malarkey MHK, Jon Joughin MHK and our Chief Clerk Roger Phillips representing the Isle of Man at the 46th British Isles and Mediterranean Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Annual Conference hosted by the States of Jersey.

The Commonwealth seems remote to the Isle of Man and I have in the past been somewhat sceptical about such conferences as they tend to be a talking shop but I have to say that the networking opportunities and ability to learn how things are done in other jurisdictions has been a real eye opener. I will bring back some useful ideas. There were delegates from as far as St Helena and Falkland Isles.

There were five plenary sessions where we covered Voter Engagement in Parliaments, Social Media in Parliaments, Engaging with Young People, Improving the Public Impact of Committee (Scrutiny Reports) and Exploring Different Electoral Voting Systems.

Some of these sound fairly boring but in fact it was interesting to hear the views of the different delegates and in particular about the different voting systems around other jurisdictions.

System simplicity and access seem germane to voter engagement and looking at the systems in Jersey and Guernsey which are quite complicated, leads me to believe that whilst we complain about Tynwald and our Parish system it is probably on the right track.

There is talk of a single legal entity for Government in the Isle of Man but it is plain to see from experiences in Guernsey and Scotland that this does not remove intergovernmental competition for funding nor result in any real savings and in fact probably involves a major expenditure in changing the system.

We had a presentation on E-Government and Digital Rollouts, the tell us once philosophy sounds very attractive in principle but its application is likely to be more difficult with concerns over security and confidentiality of information.

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Published On: May 19th, 2016 / Categories: Uncategorised /