With the election creeping ever closer, Gef hit the road and headed to the former mining village of Laxey to see how the candidates of Garff fared when fast with the electorate.
Through the evening constituents quizzed the candidates on topics ranging from Covid and sewage to cannabis and what one policy do they believe would make the biggest difference to the Isle of Man.
As ever the evening began with candidates given the chance to introduce themselves to the electorate.
It Flows Downhill
Laxey, like Peel, has a decades old problem of sewage being pumped into the sea. But the situation goes far beyond just Laxey and includes much of the valley with other outflow pipes also contributing to the dumping of untreated sewage. But what is the best solution and can the constituency’s MHKs realistically convince the Treasury?
To Govern or to Hold to Account?
The next question came from a familiar face to the people of Garff, the recently retired President of Tynwald Steve Rodan who as well running his chemist in Laxey, represented the constituency as MHK from 1995 to 2016. Mr Rodan asked the candidates a simple question, do they want a position in the new administration and if so, which dept do they think they could best serve?
If You Were Chief?
Many of us have looked at the gov’s response to Covid and thought that while they largely handled the situation very well, there are things we think we could’ve done better. One constituent asked the candidates what they would’ve done differently if they had’ve been Chief Minister.
Policing Mental Health and Cannabis
The island has a mental health crisis and much of that falls onto the boys and girls in blue. The panel were asked whether they think the police get enough education on mental health and what the legal status of cannabis should be on the island.
One of the few constants in this election is an understanding that the island’s housing market is failing many locals who are unable to buy and stuck in a rental market that drains their income. Here’s what the candidates of Garff had to say.
Did You Inhale?
To political nerds of a certain ilk former US President Bill Clinton’s answer that he tried marijuana but ‘did not inhale’ hold a special place as a badly dodged question and on Wednesday night, the panel of candidates were asked whether or not they have smoked cannabis. This was also followed by a more serious question about the dangers posed by people under the influence of drugs
What can be done about the island’s ageing population? Or are we all asking the wrong question?
The final question of the night, if you could make one policy change that would make the biggest difference to the people of Garff and the wider island, what would it be?
To read more about the Garff candidates, visit Gef’s dedicated election website.