Perhaps equally unsurprising as it was disappointing to hear today that our new MLCs chose to accept positions as departmental members (for the avoidance of doubt this excludes Jane Poole-Wilson who most honourably has chosen not to accept any departmental membership or salary uplift). As I will be highlighting in a future blog, accepting a position in a government department does two things:
1) it gives our representatives a hefty increase in salary.
2) it obligates our representatives to use their vote as the departmental minister dictates rather than vote with their conscience.
Failure to toe the line usually results in the representative losing their role and the enhanced salary that goes with it. The representatives, MLCs in this case, now find they are conflicted between their duty to the people and their duty to the department.
Under this block vote system, diversity of thought fades and group think prevails. Surely, that can't be in the best interests of the people of the Isle of Man.
Perhaps the unelected bishop in our legislature will remind his fellow members of Tynwald of Luke 5:33-39:
"No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins."