It was a piece of Labour Gerrymandering intent on preventing senior opposition leaders who failed to get elected by the First Past the Post System getting another chance via the regional list.
To be fair Labour had a point In the 2003 election . Three of the defeated candidates , Brynle, Williams, Janet Ryder and Elaenor Burnaham
|Welsh Assembly Election 2003: Clwyd West|
|Plaid Cymru||Janet Ryder||4,715||21.3||−6.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Eleanor Burnham||1,743||7.9||−5.8|
The argument that this made a mockery of the Electoral System had merit t. But it must also be considered that Labout , who have dominated the the constituencies in living memory in UK parliamentary election and heave no real need to ensure top people are elected by the list system. . Which is demonsreared by the fact have never had more than 2 seats from the regional lists.
But the argument would hold water if Labour had also introduced the changes in Scotland which was odd since they tended not to use the regional list to give their candidates a "Second bite at the Cherry" . Though they may regret this as they lost Constituency MSP to the SNP and had to themselves rely on the top up system where the candidates may not be of the same standard a the defeated experienced constituency member.
The fact that it was implemented in Scotland is sure proof that Labour were using a measure in Wales that came from Westminster and not the Assembly itself even though it may have had a point is clear that was a clear piece of Gerrymandering aimed at reducing the quality of the opposition members.
Actually to a large extent it didn't work only a few like Helen Mary Jones in 2011 who would have been returned via the top up after being defeated at Llanelli were probably be really missed from the assembly.
For Plaid Leanne Wood who had announced that she was prepared to gamble on fighting the Rhondda seat it means she can chose to stand once again on the list and virtually making sure of her election.
So Plaid are not set to lose their Queen in the next Assembly Election in 2016 . Though Labour may make much of this.
Of course the whole problem of a Democratic Deficit would be solved if the STV was adopted for 2016 .
There's still time.