Introduction to Manx Politics
The Isle of Man has its own political system and parliament, Tynwald. This allows the Island to have political autonomy from the UK and control over domestic legislation with the only areas outside of its responsibility being immigration and defence.
Democracy is at the very heart of the Isle of Man Government. Everyone has the same rights and the same opportunity to be heard. We even have a day every year (Tynwald Day) when any Isle of Man resident can directly petition parliament with any issues or grievances they may have.
General elections are held every 5 years, with the next one taking place in September 2016. Anyone aged 16 or over can vote in general elections.
Tynwald holds debates on key Isle of Man issues and passes laws. It consists of two branches: the House of Keys and an upper chamber, the Legislative Council.
The Queen is Lord of Mann and is the Isle of Man's Head of State. She is represented on the Isle of Man by the Lieutenant Governor.
House of Keys
The Members of the House of Keys (MHKs) are elected every five years. Political parties play a very small role in Isle of Man politics, with the vast majority of MHKs elected as independents.
Members of the Legislative Council are elected by Members of the House of Keys.
The Chief Minister
The Chief Minister is the executive head of the Isle of Man Government . They are voted for by fellow members of the House of Keys following a General Election.
The two branches have joint sittings once every month between October and July. Each year on the 5th July (if this falls on a weekend, the date will be the following Monday) Tynwald meets outdoors in St John's, a village in the west of the Island. This is a Bank Holiday on the Isle of Man and any citizen can raise a petition to the members of Tynwald for debate.
The Isle of Man has its own national anthem that is often performed alongside the British National Anthem.
O Land of Our Birth (First Verse)
O land of our birth
O gem of God's earth,
O Island so strong and so fair,
Built firm as Barrule,
Thy Throne of Home Rule
Makes us free as thy sweet mountain air.