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Council to support National Democracy Week

Douglas Borough Council is to support National Democracy Week (July 2 – 8) with an open afternoon on Tuesday July 3.


Between 2 and 4pm members of the public will be invited to visit the Council Chamber where they will discover more about the democratic process, in particular landmark events in Manx parliamentary democracy.


On display will be relevant artefacts and information as seen during the Council’s participation in previous years of Manx National Heritage open days, while at 3pm there will be a short presentation on the Council’s role in democracy.


In support of the event, the Henry Bloom Noble Library will be displaying books on Manx democracy, while throughout the week the Council’s Facebook page will be releasing items of interest tracing the story of adult suffrage in the Island and developments in Manx democracy.


Council Leader Councillor David Christian MBE JP said: ‘National Democracy Week is an opportunity to celebrate democracy, something we should never take for granted. It is a right we in the Isle of Man are fortunate to enjoy, but not one which, even in the 21st century, is accessible to everyone universally.


‘The Isle of Man has played a significant role in the development of democracy as we know it today. In 1881 Tynwald became the first national parliament to give women the vote in a general election, then the House of Keys Election Act of 1919 introduced universal adult suffrage based on residency and women were able to stand for election. And in 2017 the Isle of Man celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first popular election to the House of Keys which previously was a self-elected body.


‘This celebration of democracy could not be timelier given the forthcoming Council bye election in Derby Ward on Thursday August 9 in the event of a contested election. I would urge everyone eligible to exercise their right to vote in this bye election. The right to vote has been hard fought to achieve over the centuries, one for which many men and women have made huge sacrifices, and one which can make a very real difference to determining a town’s or a nation’s future.


‘Democracy, though, is more than just about voting. It’s about encouraging dialogue and participation, listening to the views of others and, above all, ensuring every person’s voice is heard.’


The Council’s National Democracy Week open afternoon at Douglas Town Hall will be from 2 to 4pm on Tuesday July 3.


His Worship the Mayor of Douglas, Councillor Jonathan Joughin JP, will be in attendance to meet visitors.  


Entrance is free and complimentary light refreshments will be served.