Sunday, 6 December 2015

Dual Candidates for the Welsh Assembly? Solve it with STV.

Welsh Conservative candidates are being stopped from running in both constituency and regional lists for next year’s Assembly election , it has emerged. 

In 2011 the Tory party lost its Assembly leader Nick Bourne after the party won an extra constituency seat in his region. 

Its rather curious in that the Tories had restored  the rules that allowed people to stand in both  a constituency and regional seat 

A Welsh Conservative source in the Assembly said: 

“It’s been our policy, since Labour a decade ago took a vindictive decision to ban dual candidacy, to oppose its removal.

“We successfully took that argument to the last UK Government and the Secretary of State.
“They agreed, and incorporated the restoration of dual candidacy in the Wales Act 2014.”
However the Wasting Mule claims that 

However, it seems that view is not shared by the Welsh Conservatives’ party board, which agreed the ban.
The source argued that people who took the decision understood how to fight a UK General Election, but did not understand the intricacies of an Assembly election.
In his Blog Liberal Democrat Peter Black writes

 Those suggesting that these two positions are incompatible are missing the point. The injustice was in restricting candidates from making a choice and preventing them engaging in what are two inter-related but distinctive electoral processes. In this case the Welsh Conservatives have made a choice. Others may decide otherwise.
Indeed there are members of other parties who will fight both constituency and list. I am not one of those. I will have represented South Wales West for seventeen years come next May. My role as a regional Assembly Member is as valid and equal to that of a constituency AM. I will be emphasising that by standing solely on the list.

To have stood as a constituency AM as well would have been to do a disservice to those of my constituents living in other parts of the region. That is my view and relates solely to me and the role I have carved out for myself. Others will have done the job differently and will wish to reflect that in their choices.

The last Government of Wales Act made all these options available. It was the right thing to do. So let us not denigrate anybody who chooses to do something different.

I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with Peter  in that it should be open left to Parties whether they fight both a constituency and list seat.

Though taking in account the Lib Dems position in the Polls Peter would be unlikely to gain many votes in a constituency within his region and his own regional seat may well be lost.

But surely the biggest problem is that a Party could avoid standing in all of the Constituencies in the Region and just have candidates on the Regional list .
Could we see Parties getting elected to the assembly who do not fight a single Regional seat .

But the Nick Bourne example is a lesson in point . we need to get the best possible of the various Party candidates elected .

Supposing for instance Leanne Wood was to fail in the Rhondda and was barred from the Regional List and Plaid did better in other constituencies  winning one or two .She could end up without a seat.

I don't know if  Peter Blacks Assembly Leader will fight a dual candidacy but even Kirsty Williams most furious critics should agree to lose "La Pasionaria" from the Assembly would be a pity.

but the real sad thing is all this arguing  and Party Games could be solved if we introduced Single Transferable Votes for Assembly (STV)and I for one am getting rather tired of pointing out the bleeding obvious.
In which case this is not a Top Up.


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