National Left - Wales needs a progressive left future.
Sunday, 11 December 2016
A wee pretendy Welsh Parliament?
I don't want a pretendy government in Edinburgh and a rush of carpetbaggers along the M8 to join it. It is just another expensive layer of government.
I think the vast majority if Scots would not agree when looking a Holyrood today would agree with Connoly.. Indeed the tendency is to make a Parliament of asn Independent Nation not a quasi-federal one,
The Welsh public are being asked to have their say on what the National Assembly for Wales should be called
In July, the National Assembly unanimously agreed that “the Assembly should change its name to reflect its constitutional status as a national parliament”.
The word ‘parliament’ derives from the French, ‘parler’; so there is a sense in which ‘talking shop’ is a reasonable alternative description. For reasons which escape me, there seems to be a general belief that an Assembly of the people is somehow a less important establishment, or has less status, than a talking shop. But the idea that it isn’t a proper legislature unless it’s called a parliament strikes me as being a strange one, placing rather more emphasis on the name than on the function or activity.‘Assemblée Nationale’ is good enough for France, for example, and worldwide, the title ‘Assembly’, in one form or another, seems to be more prevalent than the use of the term ‘parliament’, as this list indicates. It’s true that many former possessions of the British empire do still use the term ’parliament’, but being a former possession of a specific empire doesn’t seem to me a particularly good reason for choosing one word over another. There is also, I think, a degree of correlation between the source of sovereignty in a country and the name of its legislature; monarchies, where power stems from god through the monarch, tend to prefer the talking shop word, whilst republics, in which power (in theory at least) stems from the people, tend to prefer the concept of an assembly of the people".
The problem is however that the term Assembly was deliberately chosen to show that we did not have the same devolution as Scotland and that it was far weaker. It is in fact meant to be a second class designation , something the Labour Party who have run the Assembly for all of its seventeen years have been content with. We appear to have being given the following options
National Assembly for Wales/Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
Parliament of Wales/Senedd Cymru
Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru
I have argued in the past that maybe we should consider seeking a unique Welsh Name as they did in Ireland, The Oireachtasis thenationalparliamentofIreland.There are three parts of the Oireachtas:
The President of Ireland
Dáil Éireann - The lower house. It is similar to the House of Commons in the United Kingdom or the House of Representatives in the United States.
Seanad Éireann - The upper house. It is similar to the House of Lords and the Senate
Only the Irish names are used, never the English The problem with Senedd which apart from its obvious Latin origin ( Senatus) ) .Is that it currently refers to the building . but it since its a unicameral chamber it does would cause to much confusion.
A new name for the National Assembly will mean a new name for Assembly Members and the options are:
Member of the Parliament of Wales (MPW)/Aelod o Senedd Cymru (ASC)
Wales Parliament Member (WPM)/Aelod o Senedd Cymru (ASC)
Member of the Welsh Parliament (MWP)/Aelod o Senedd Cymru (ASC)
Welsh Parliament Member (WPM)/Aelod o Senedd Cymru (ASC)
Member of Senedd Cymru (MSC)/Aelod o Senedd Cymru (ASC)
Member of the Senedd (MS)/Aelod o’r Senedd (AS)
I can see the argument that we have more important issues for the Assembly to deal with and arguably only when we get true parity with the Scottish Parliament maybe we should accept the second class designation.
But maybe a change of name could be an indication that we are no longer accept second or rather third class devolution and shows ambition.
After Brexit Wale will need to sell itself to the World and maybe the first step would be a re-banding that signifies , we are looking to a future.