A Key To Tynwald by Sara Goodwins
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Did you know that the Isle of Man was the first country in the world to grant votes to women? New Zealand is usually stated to be the first country to enfranchise women, but Manx women were voting twelve years before their Antipodean sisters.
Tynwald is also the oldest continuous parliament in the world. Once a year, as its Viking founders intended, Tynwald still meets outside on a small hill to announce new laws to the waiting crowds. If it’s raining then the dignitaries get wet! In keeping with the Viking idea of hospitality and truce visiting their homestead must be treated with respect) Tynwald Hill is said to contain earth drawn from all seventeen parishes
on the island.
But Tynwald is more than merely pageantry and processions. The lower house is the House of Keys, the upper house is the Legislative Council and the two houses sitting together make up the Court of Tynwald. Together they are responsible for running a small but fiercely independent nation. The Isle of Man government is a highly successful fusion of old traditions and modern politics.