Paul Weatherall, Candidate for Ayre & Michael on Government Reform

There are always proposals to improve the way Tynwald and our government works—or doesn’t. There are pros and cons for them all and it is always difficult to get agreement for any particular course of action.
I am open to change, but not change for change’s sake. I am a strong believer in the saying: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

Areas that I think are worth looking at are:
• The relationship between our Island government and our local authorities — and between the local authorities themselves;
• The role of the Legislative Council — and how MLCs are elected;
• The relationship between the Island and the UK;
• How our Chief Minister is elected, who gets to decide on the Programme for Government and how our Council of Ministers operates;
• Should voters be able to recall MHKs more easily than at present?

I don’t have all the answers to these issues, but I believe that they are all worthy of attention and should not be dis-missed as too difficult to resolve or because we have other priorities. Perhaps a constitutional commission is the answer, with recommendations put to voters at the next general election?

Whether any of these reforms take place or not, I will press for more honesty in government; for government to be more open and transparent. Our trust in government depends on those in government trusting us.