The Island is a Crown Dependency which, through its ancient parliament, Tynwald, enjoys a high degree of domestic legislative and political autonomy. The United Kingdom Government is, by convention, responsible for the conduct of the external relations and defence of the Island.
Dating back over one thousand years to Viking origins, “Tynwald is the oldest Parliament in the world in continuous existence”. It comprises two branches - the democratically elected House of Keys and the Legislative Council. The majority of Members sit as independents, and the virtual absence of party politics encourages a high degree of consensus. This has contributed to the remarkable stability of the Manx system. (Click on the image for a larger view)
External issues such as foreign representation and defence are administered on the Island’s behalf by the UK Government.
The 24 members of the House of Keys (MHKs) are elected every five years and represent the following ancient Sheadings of Mann - Ayre, Castletown, Douglas, Garff, Glenfaba, Malew/Santon, Michael, Middle, Onchan, Peel, Ramsey and Rushen.
The 11 members of the Legislative Council (MLCs) or upper house, generally act as a chamber which revises Bills initiated in the Keys. The royal assent to Tynwald Bills is given by the Queen or, now more commonly, by his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor on the Isle of Man.
The political head of the Manx Government is the Chief Minister, who is chosen by Tynwald from within its own ranks after each general election. The Chief Minister selects his ministers who have responsibility for the major government departments and, with the Chief Minister, form the Council of Ministers (the Manx Cabinet).
The image was captured on my Sony HX20V camera, resized and cropped in Adobe Photoshop CS6.
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