Monday, 16 May 2011

I think you may regret this Jonathan.

At the last Welsh Question Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards suggested that the cut in Welsh MP's at Westminster, from 40 to 30, be used to shake-up the voting system used in the assembly.  In a question to Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillian he said....
"Considering the opposition of the Labour Party to decoupling Westminster and National Assembly constituency boundaries, would it make sense to make the next make-up of the fifth National Assembly based on 30 regionals and 30 constituency AMs?"
Cheryl Gillan replied...
"That's a very interesting thought. I'm taking his question
 as a recommendation and I will look seriously at his recommendation we have 30
 first-past-the-post seats and 30 on the list system."
Jonathan makes it clear that his and Plaid's preference would be for STV on his website.Sso why make such a ridiculous suggestion.?

OK he is intention was probably pointing out that Labour still feel Assembly Constituencies should Mirror Westminster ones despite the CON/LibDem coaltion plans which will clearly happen to cut the latter drastically

As Blog Menai has pointed out the new proposed  boundaries for Welsh Westminster  constituencies  may look fine on a map but have no real connection with actual communities and I commented on this when the  first drafts appeared .

In a recent debate on Radio Wales with Labour MP Owen Smith Jonathan Edwards mused on this point where Owen Smith made the suggestion that "There could be two AM's per Assembly constituency.

This would simply reinforce Labours Hegenomy.

Based on the constituency vote at the recent Assembly election  the result in number of seats if proportional would have roughly resembled (actual in brackets)

Lab  25/6 (30)
Tories  15 (14)
Plaid 11/12 (11 )
Libdem  6 (5)

Clearly despite the  Topup procedure then the result was s biased towards Labour.

 Jonathan 's proposals may have been intended to point out Labours  that they are still only thinking in Westminster constituencies. In Scotland after the number of MP's were reduced ,the Scottish parliament  constituency seats no longer resemble those at Westminster and since then the boundaries of the Scottish parliament  seats have been redrawn.This after all was under the last  Labour administration

So there are no reasons if the Welsh Westminster seats are cut and the boundaries redrawn for the Assembly seats to mirror them. .

But surely anyway It should be the Welsh Assembly not Westminster that decides how Welsh elections should be conducted and clearly there will come a time when increased powers means that we will need to increase the number of AMs

Labour already changed the rules via the Secretary of State to prevent candidates standing for constituencies and the regional list (but did not do so in Scotland where they benefited from this) and for a Plaid MP to argue that Tory secretary should intervene in the way he as is making himself a hostage to fortune.

What would Jonathan's  reaction be if  Cheryl Gillan  was to follow up on this link the Assembly seats to the redrawn  Westminster boundaries which have no Historic or community connections and claim that he was the inspiration?

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