A year ago Phil Gawne was refused, by his Keys colleagues, leave to introduce a Bill to abolish the Legislative Council. He likened LegCo to an old settee, past its usefulness, unelected and unaccountable. He believed it was time to simplify parliamentary structure and tackle parliamentary expenditure largely left untouched by cutbacks.
Well the old settee remains.
Four members of LegCo retire at the end of February. They are Messrs. Braidwood, Butt, Crowe and Downie.
None of them has, yet, declared whether they intend to stand for election to serve for another 5 years.
What we do know is that long serving Douglas South MHK, David Cretney, intends to offer himself for election "It has been made clear that my name will be one of those going forward for election to the Legislative Council".
Mr Cretney,who has fought seven general elections, also says he won't be standing again as an MHK in 2016.
Since resigning as a Minister, nearly a year ago, Mr Cretney has taken on his role as a backbencher with refreshing enthusiasm. This was evident over his persistence in uncovering the background to the perceived conflict of interest in Children and Family Services procurement.
With the next General election in September 2016 we urge Mr Cretney to remain as the only Labour Party representative in Keys and honour his 2011 manifesto exhortation "On 29th September I would ask you to give me five minutes of your time to go and vote for me. In return I offer five years of commitment to you, South Douglas, and our lovely Island."
If Mr Cretney becomes an MLC a vacancy will be created in Keys, incurring the expense of a by-election. This happened in 2013 when Douglas West MHK, Geoff Corkish, was elected to LegCo.
It is not evident whether any other MHKs intend this year to offer themselves for election to the Legislative Council.
PAG urges them, including Mr Cretney, not to.
Rather, in the coming months, support Peter Karran's draft Bill to make new provision for the constitution of the Legislative Council: to require Members of the Legislative Council to be subject to popular election on an all-Island basis.
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