Thursday, 19 May 2011

Could this be the shortest tenure of AMs?

I admit when I first read  recently elected AM's have not been allowed to take their seats because they had broken an aspect election law  this would be only a technicality and they would be soon reinstated although with red faces.

But as they reported at Jaxxland  this has not proven to be a simple case over a mere technicality and the fact that Subordinate Centre had seemingly removed their post on this subject is a  pointer to this being a bigger problem for the two AMs and the LibDems that a mere reprimand would put an end to and their return to the Assembly was not  justa simple question of not when they would be allowed to take their seats but if.,

Also it it is interesting despite an statement  call by Peter Black that ...

 "I think it's appropriate that there is a period of contrition because clearly this has put everyone through a difficult period and the members concerned obviously have responsibility to ensure that they are eligible to stand when they stand and so I think we need to sort those issues out first.
"It is a bit embarrassing and it is a bit of a distraction. It's very important that we sort this out.
"We have two very high calibre assembly members who need to be able to take their seats - I need to work with the other parties to persuade them to support that."
that hasn't  touched on this on his Blog  yet. So I can only assume he is considering the legal position. I am sure is not because he does not wish to embarrass his colleagues (or is it former colleagues) by criticising them and he and Subordinate Centre (who as Jaxxland point out removed the earlier comment ) would have been equally reticent if it were AMS from other Parties who were in similar trouble,
 The pair have been judged to have breached electoral rules by remaining members of organisations which bar candidates from taking office Mr Dixon was a member of the Care Council for Wales, which regulates social care workers. Mr Roberts was a member of the Valuation Tribunal for Wales, which deals with appeals about business rates and council tax.

As Jaxxland points out,
"The suspicion is that the two regional AMs were less than confident about their potential success as list candidates and were hedging their bets by hanging on to certain statutory offices – a disqualifiable offence as they have since discovered. Others cite plain incompetence on the part of Lib Dem party managers"
The latest news seems that according  to Winston Roddick QC, the former chiefegal adviser to the assembly,heir election was void.  and the two cannot return.

So it is highly possible  that the two will not be taking the seats and as they are regional AMs  they will be replaced by Eleanor Burnham  in the cas eof Aled Roberts and Eluned Parrott in the case of John Dixon.

This would  be Sweet for Burnham who had lost her lead place to Aled Roberts

If however they were constituency AM's there would of course be a byelection in which they might well have allowed to stand and be reelected..

Or the voters may have angry at being asked to vote again may have turfed them out . Which could have resulted in Labour gains and giving them an overhaul majority in the Assembly.

So it may well be that the Libdems may yet have more cause to thank the list system because without it and only 3 or 4 AM they would not be treated as an official part in the Assembly.

But whatever happens even if the two are reinstated it seems wrong that an elected member can be disqualified without the electorate having some say in this and is yet another example of undemocratic nature of the constituency and regional lists system


  1. We really need new elections and a chance to increase the number of Labour AMs.

  2. I suspect this story will run and run. In the meantime Labour enjoys a workable majority.