In Ramsey we love a good public meeting and there have been some absolutely brilliant ones over the years:
Remember how uncomfortable the Post Office were trying to defend their decision to close down the Courthouse office?
Or how the Department of Health couldn’t look people in the eye when discussing the awful way they’d handled the transfer of the endoscopy service away from Ramsey Cottage Hospital?
Even the discussion up at Mountain View Innovation Centre about the proposed private marina got pretty lively
Public meetings are a really good way for us to all engage directly with decision makers, to make sure that our voices are heard and to ensure that the people making these decisions can see the real impact their decisions will have on our communities
At election times, Ramsey has always held a public hustings – where we sit all the candidates in one place and spend 2 hours relentlessly grilling them on everything under the sun
This is an important part of the democratic process. Anyone can write a manifesto and sound great on paper, but it’s much easier to get into what a candidate really believes, and figure out how they will really act if elected, by putting them on the spot and seeing how they react.
Will they avoid the difficult questions?
How do they respond when challenged?
Do they know what they’re talking about? Or will their responses just be pre-canned political gobbledygook?
Will they just say anything to get elected? Or will they speak honestly and perhaps tell us truths we don’t really want to hear.
Ultimately all of us have to make our own minds up about who we vote for and I believe that public meetings are a great tool in our arsenal to help us make this decision.
Up until now these meetings have always been requested locally – using the time honoured “requisition meeting” process.
As part of the updates to election law in 2020 Tynwald has now made it so the Government has to organise at least one meeting in each parish as part of the run up to the election. We can still request additional meetings under the usual requisition meeting process if we want, but these are the minimum that have to happen.
A full list of all the meetings can be found at https://www.gov.im/categories/home-and-neighbourhood/elections-and-voting/2021-general-election/public-meetings/
The Ramsey meeting information is as follows:
Thursday 9 September – Bunscoill Rhumsaa
7pm to 9pm, with doors opening at 6:30pm and seats allocated on a first-come first-served basis.