After travelling round the island for the last few weeks, the election hustings have reached our shining capital with the candidates for Douglas Central gathering at St Ninian’s school last night for a good grilling.
Those candidates are: Chris Thomas, Damian Ciapelli, Ann Corlett and Sarah Hackman. The meeting was chaired by former Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips.
As always we started off with an introduction from each of those standing.
Retaining Our Working Population
The first question of the evening touched an issue we’ve seen a lot in this election, with candidates being asked what ideas they have for keeping people living on the island instead of moving away to pastures new.
A simple question that you can always expect at any election, do you plan on raising taxes?
A supposedly easy question on whether the candidates approve of continuing the horse tram line to the sea terminal turned into a wider discussion on the island’s capital projects.
Are We Ready For The TT?
With the prom still in progress and other roadworks continuing around the Isle of Man’s famous road course, one attendee wanted to know if those standing thought the island and it’s infrastructure is ready for the TT. As with the previous question, some candidates also used their time to address previous points.
Your Manifesto Or Theirs?
A lengthy question saw the gov’s various departments called out for apparently overpowering the will of MHKs with the DoI named in particular, sparking one candidate to name drop a certain minister. From this point on the microphone stayed off so the audio is a little quieter.
Another population issue this election, a question on what to do about the Isle of Man’s housing ‘crisis’ saw a bit of back and forth between the questioner and one candidate on what the issue actually is.
As the Isle of Man is one of the richest places in the world, what can and should our gov be doing to help countries in crisis, like Afghanistan, should we be taking in refugees?
Natural Gas Or Renewable Energy
Rumours of a large natural gas deposit under our own land prompted a discussion on the island’s energy future.
It’s The Economy, Stupid
As the Clinton campaign famously stated, the economy is what can win or lose an election. The evening’s questions ended with candidates asked how we can create a sustainable, growing economy whilst addressing inequality.
After an impressive nine questions (in comparison to other hustings), they still found time to fit in a closing statement from each of those standing to close the evening.