The closing date for applications to become Members of the Legislative Council was Friday.

MLCs are parliamentarians. They contribute to Tynwald debates and they vote in them – in the Budget, for example.

Then they help to frame laws and pass legislation.

We say we’re a democracy but these lawmakers are elected only by Members of the House of Keys (apart from the Bishop, who gets a seat by virtue of his position in the Established Church).

Not too long ago, Legislative Council was a kind of Home of Rest for Old MHKs.

Its members had stood before the electorate at some point in their careers. They had been politicians in a democracy.

They also had experience of law making and of the rough and tumble of a life lived in public.

They were, in a sense, our tribal elders.

But now who do we have as candidates? Not one of the 11 candidates has been an MHK at any point in their lives. Some have business backgrounds, some in the public sector.

Most of them, when announced, have elicited the question ‘who?’.

Some leave little trail on Google.

Many have had little experience of civic life and what it means to be in the public eye.

They might have experience in some areas. But politics is not one of them.

Legislative Council has, rightly, been downgraded in the last 20 years.

Members are no longer ministers. Their pay is less than MHKs’. It is more of a revising chamber now.

But with the recent dearth in legislation, MLCs’ thumbs have never been so twiddled.

LegCo needs members who know what it’s like to face an electorate and gain political nous.