Students take over for Junior Tynwald

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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Same-sex marriage, toilet tax, improving driving safety and government spending priorities are among items listed on the question paper for Junior Tynwald when the court sits on Monday.

Organised by the Isle of Man branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in association with the Department of Education and Children, Junior Tynwald invites Year 12 students from the island’s secondary schools to serve as elected politicians for a sitting of the court.

Each school will ask three questions to be answered by a Tynwald member and two motions will be moved and voted upon: the legalisation of marijuana and the legalisation of assisted suicide.

CPA Isle of Man branch chairman Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘Junior Tynwald always succeeds in tapping into those issues that exercise young people the most. For my part I find it illuminating to be able to gain an insight into young people’s views on the Manx political scene and also to witness their accomplished grasp of parliamentary proceedings.

‘At its heart the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is about developing innovative parliamentary outreach initiatives and advancing democratic representation to all sectors of our society. In this Junior Tynwald is a powerful medium.’

Education Minister Tim Crookall MHK said: ‘The Isle of Man has led the way in giving young people the vote at 16 and it’s important those making choices at the ballot box for the first time understand how Tynwald and its branches work, how laws are created and how policy decisions that affect the population are reached.’

Before the sitting the students will receive a tour of the Legislative Buildings followed by a pre-briefing session, after which the formal proceedings will take place.

The sitting will not be open to the general public but observers from each participating school are invited to watch from the public gallery. Additionally a number of students will be acting as members of the local media under the supervision of reporters from Isle of Man Newspapers and Manx Radio.

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