Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Three Wales, Two Wales, One Wales?

It seems that National Left predictions on the referendum  results made in January was close .Heres what I predicted

The Yes campaign will be won a though with less than 50% voting. there will be a Yes majority in Cardiff. Only Monmouth, Newport and Flint will vote No.
As I said close but alas  no cigar. Though I'm delighted to be wrong.

However there is a clear difference in the result for 2011 and 1997 and lets not forget the 1979 referendum which was rejected by every area of Wales by 79.7% to 20.3%

It may be possible that Wales has moved on from the "Three Wales Model " proposed by Dennis. Balsom in 1987.In this the  regions were the Welsh-speaking heartland of the north and west, Y Fro Gymraeg; a consciously Welsh - but not Welsh-speaking - 'Welsh Wales' in the South Wales Valleys; and a more ambivalent 'British Wales' making up the remainder, largely in the east and along the south coast.

I've bee searching  for a map of this model (I've mislaid my copy of the original article)but it doesn't seem to be on line  because it resembles so much the vote in the 1997 referendum Here where Y fro Cymraeg and Welsh Wales voted Yes and British Wales voted No.(Green-Yes Red-No.


But the Map does show the then divide in Wales and if we were to reproduce the Map for 2011 only Monmouthshire would be Red today .

It would be wrong to say this a permanent and decisive change but it does show that attitudes may be changing.and er may well have moved on from Dennis Balsoms Model though I think we are some distance from One wales. With polls suggesting that the majority of people are in favour of devolving policing and criminal justice together with the ability to vary taxes it seems that devolution is winning the hearts of the people.

The next assembly will see the first Laws for the whole of Wales made passed solely in Wales and it will be interesting to see the Party Manifesto's for the May elections to see if there are any Bold and exciting proposalscomining from the parties. I suspect a degree of timidity however from them all.

I would like to put a challenge to every candidate to propose in their main official leaflet. One law  the Assembly can pass they would like to see.

Perhaps these can then be placed on line for public comment and approval. The top one could then become the first Law drafted by  the New Assembly and the New Wales.

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