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Consultation on Keys election law reforms

 

Manx voters are invited to comment on proposed new laws governing elections to the House of Keys, as an eight week public consultation is launched (30 April).

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill contains a number of recommendations from an independent review of the East Douglas by-election campaign in 2010. 

The consultation which runs until 27 June, continues the process of reforming election legislation after a previous amendment bill ran out of time prior to the 2011 general election.

Proposals place a requirement on candidates to declare publicly any campaign funding their receive and to refuse anonymous donations.

Registration would be compulsory for political parties intending to support or nominate candidates and there would be a limit on the sum spent on wooing voters.

The campaign cap allows expenditure of £2000 plus 50p per registered voter in the 12 months prior to an election, although candidates would not be charged to display their manifestos and election notices on the government web site.  

The term 'absent voting' would be replaced with 'advance voting'  making it clear the option is open to any elector, whether or not they can cast their vote at the polling station, a measure designed to restrict proxy voting.   

The East Douglas by-election was engulfed by controversy over the emergence of a blind trust in support of candidate Kevin Woodford and criminal abuse of the proxy voting system. 

The politician spearheading the consultation process is Minister for Policy and Reform Chris Robertshaw, the victor at the East Douglas by election. 

 

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