A call to all!
Why not stand as a candidate in the Local Authority Elections taking place in April this year?
The opportunity to represent your local community as an elected Commissioner is both a huge privilege and a great responsibility.
Good democratic decision-making needs local politicians who reflect the range of experiences, insights, connections and networks that exist in their local communities. The most effective Boards are ones that have Members from a wide range of backgrounds, whether, caring, engineering, business, or agriculture, etc.
It is important that anyone from any walk of life feels encouraged, empowered and confident to step forward to make a difference in their community.
There is one particular area of under-representation at all levels of our democracy on Isle of Man. The ratio of women to men in elected positions is very low: in the House of Keys the ratio is approximately 80% male and 20% female. This ratio is also reflected on the current Garff Board.
It is important to encourage all candidates irrespective of their sex, but in these circumstances, and with women making up just over 50% of the population, these are facts that are worth noting and perhaps addressing – as is being done elsewhere in the UK and Ireland. Countries like New Zealand and Finland are great examples of how balanced representation aids democracy…and remember Lonan was the birthplace of Sophia Goulden! One of the most important influences on universal suffrage, and on the suffragette movement itself.
Go on, take the challenge, and stand this April.