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​Alex McQuarrie - February 2017

Moving into the second month of my internship in the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, I have begun to settle in. School tours have taken a large share of my time as we opened our doors to students from Onchan, Laxey, and Braddan. I was delighted to lead scripted tours of the Legislative Buildings for these schools, where the students played the role of MHKs, and debated pressing issues such as the abolition of homework, the establishment of an Isle of Man football club, and the termination of the spring term. Unsurprisingly, each House voted for school to end immediately! To learn about the tours that we offer please see here.

Aside from school tours, preparation for the 150th anniversary of the first democratic elections of the House of Keys has become a major part of my workload. That said, exploring the history of democratic reform on the Island has not really felt like work, and it has been fascinating to familiarise myself with some of the key individuals and events that tell the story of reform. The ongoing research that I have been undertaking for this will be going on the Tynwald website, where among other things, you will be able to familiarise yourself with some of the Members of the House of Keys in 1867, and can also learn about the many reform petitions that sought to change the House of Keys in the decades leading up to 1867. Learn about the anniversary here.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the continued work that I am doing with the three committees of which I am Assistant Clerk. The SAPRC has been busy on a range of issues of public importance, including the investigation into personal capability assessments, the examination of the adequacy of nursery place provision on the Island, and the scrutiny of the provision of mental ill health on the Island. OOGE are equally preoccupied with a matter of great public concern, and have recently been drafting the report of the Committee on the Organization and Operation of the General Election. Reading the many submissions that have been sent to the Committee has been particularly eye-opening for me, and it is reassuring to know that in an age where there seems to be a widespread apathy towards politics and government, that many people across the Island remain deeply passionate about the importance of the General Election.