Friday, 19 February 2016

Electoral Reform Society offer manifesto for change.

Although the "Informal  talks  between Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Greens for an electoral pact failed. I wonder if they might agree that they together can push forward electoral reform in Wales.

Yesterday the Electoral Reform Society Cymru (ERS Cymru) are launching their first manifesto – calling on parties to get behind votes at 16, online voting pilots and a monthly ‘Citizens’ Question Time’ in the Assembly in the run up to May’s Assembly election. 

Writing on the Left Foot Forward Blog  Josiah Mortimer communications officer at the Electoral Reform Society highlighted  a number of key reforms 

  • Make voting easier by piloting new methods like on-line and electronic voting, weekend voting and early voting;
  • Allow people to ‘vote on the go’ in any polling station in their county, not just the one in their local community;
  • Lower the voting age to 16
  • Ensure any directly elected mayors, health commissioners or NHS boards are elected via a multi-preference voting system
  • Support an increase in the number of Assembly Members to 100;
  • Introduce a monthly Citizens’ Question Time, whereby members of the public can submit written questions for answer by Welsh ministers
  • Reduce safe and uncontested seats and give voters more choice by introducing the Single Transferable Vote (STV) for local and Assembly elections;
I support all of these proposals though care must be taken in electronic voting and "vote on the go" to prevent fraud.

Labour according to the polls will find them in a minority  government , But will face probably a even more divided Opposition.

Plaid may be tempted to go into Coalition but that will not be popular with many of its supporters unless significant concessions are guaranteed.

Demanding that Labour accept  theay be worth Plaid or the Liberal Democrats offering a Coalition or supply and demand support. 

We should have the powers  granted to us under the next wave of Divo Dibynbach and it will be a golden opportunity to introduce reform of our Electoral system.

Especially as the duality between Parliamentary   and Assembly constituency seats is likely to disappear  .

With local Government changes with the merger of Councils likely to happen under the next Assembly , these reforms can be introduced there as well.

It would be useful if the Parties contesting the Election announce whether they accept Electoral Reform Society challenge now so we see which parties are prepared to as Josiah Mortimer says  as breath new life into Welsh politics

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