What’s going on. More excitement has arguably happened in the Welsh Assembly in the last two days than in the previous 5 years.
Yesterday, a coup happened in the UKIP group. However, today we saw the
coronation a blocking of Carwyn Jones as the confirmed First Miinister of Wales. Rhun ap Iorwerth nominated his party leader, Leanne Wood for First Minster. Surprisingly, bith the Tories and Kippers voted for Leanne, giving her the backing of 29 AMs. The exact samr as Carwyn.
What’s it all about?
Of course Plaid don’t aim to govern with 12 AMs. There is no agreement for a rainbow coalition either. This is a nessage to an arrogant Labour party, who wouldnt talk and compromise for support. a minority government that acts like one that has a cleate mandate. with 30% of the vote, they will have to learn to listen. The events of today might remind Labour that its good to talk.
In one of his many reinventions, Ed Miliband outlined his idea of creating a Public Prime Minister’s Questions where the public will be given the chance to question the Prime minister on any issue. Sound’s like a good and progressive step forward for democracy doesn’t it? The problem with this of course is that the current PMQs, where MPs question the Prime Minister every Wednesday is already a sham. The weekly question time is nothing more than a public relations exercise where the Government and the opposition try to one-up each other for the cameras, and back benchers try to make a name for themselves.
I can’t see how a Public Prime Minister’s Question time will be an extension of this, where it will be a well rehearsed show rather than a true opportunity for the public to scrutinise the Prime Minister. The second issue I take from this plan is that we live in a representative democracy. We give a mandate to MPs to carry out three primary functions, to represent, to legislate and to scrutinise. Why would allowing the public to scrutinise the Prime Minister as well as our representatives revolutionise our democracy? It won’t.
Unfortunately, like many things with Labour and Ed Miliband, this is another gimmick; pure electioneering. Why not announce that we will have referenda on all legislation? Why not hold a raffle to give a different member of the public a chance to be Prime Minister for the day as a way getting them more involved in politics? Although the latter idea of mine might increase Ed Miliband’s chance of being PM!
It was the usual anti-eu blabber on the radio this morning by the chair of the 1922 committee, then came a pearl of an argument for holding a referendum,
“it is right to hold a referendum on EU membership because millions of people weren’t able to vote in the last referendum on Europe”
This argument strikes me as weak. To this logic, we could argue that there should be a referendum on the monarchy, the role of Prime Minister or even Wales’ membership to the UK, after all, no one alive today were able to vote for these!
As I am out of the country on the 5th of May, I have voted with a postal ballot for the first time. And I make no bones about it, I voted yes in the AV referendum. People are, at best confused about what is on offer, and at worst, uninterested.
Why then have I voted yes? Well, for the simple reason of it being a fairer vote. Now, before anyone says, “it’s not the fairest way to elect” or “won’t AV hand the election over to the person who came second?”, I will say to them you are correct… in a way.
At the moment, unless a candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, then I would argue that they haven’t got a mandate. True, they do have the largest number of votes, but they do not have the backing of the majority. In an area where a winning candidate gains 40% of the vote, that leaves 60% of the electors opposing the winner – where’s the majority there?
Under AV, although a candidate might not have most votes in the first round, they might very well have so by the final round. It is human nature to have more than one preference, and so why should electing our representatives be any different? Ok, you might have a favorite candidate who you would always vote for, but there might very well be a second candidate, or a third candidate you like.
Under AV the winner WILL have to win 50% of the electors vote – and so a true majority will then back the winning candidate.