Monday, 31 August 2020

Having Delegates rather than representatives , could make the Senedd Family Friendly.

 The question of making the UK legislatures  family friendly as my las t blog reported is unlikely to change in the future.

Although more men do not automatically presume child rearing falls mainly on their female partner  the gender balance is still tilted to male representatives .

Prehaps the first way of tackling the problem is the looking at our elected polticians as "representative rather than delegates

As Bethan Sayed said when she announced (to the dismay of many) that she was standing down from the Senedd next year.

“Having had some time to think during lockdown, now is the right time for me to take a break from active politics, to spend time with my son during these precious early years.

“I do feel regret that, unfortunately, this is in part a decision that could have been different if we had a better set up here in Wales. Perhaps if there had been a job share opportunity – something that’s been discussed for several years – I may have felt more able and comfortable juggling my work as a politician and being a new mother.

“Perhaps if parties had worked to increase the size of the Senedd in time for the next term, so that the ever increasing workloads could have been better shared, my decision may have been different.

“But I want this time for my family now. It’s difficult enough for parents to juggle work and family life, and as much as many people wish to believe that Welsh politics is family friendly, I don’t think it is yet, sadly.

“There is still a long way to go.”

If we looked at our Senedd members as delegates , then the idea of having nominated  proxy voting  when a member is absent  if he or she ill, on maternity  leave or for a number reasons would not be so problematic.

All members of the Senedd and  Westminster employ staff and we should consider whether aone of these could be empowered to take part in debates and voting in place of the MS or MP  with the permission of the Llywydd​ (in the Senedd) or the Speaker (Westminster).

It might even solve the problem of members employing family members as they could be the nominated Proxy delegate, and yes it could lead to Christine Hamilton acting in place of her husband Neil representing  Ukip in Y Siambr.

The point I am trying to make is that if we want to introduce family friendly legislature , then we need to look at the whole role of how those elected is viewed.

It going to have to change our complete our whole mindset , the question is are we prepared to do it?

1 comment:

Gwyn Isaac said...

To paraphrase that Kenny Rogers song: You picked a strange time to leave, Bethan Syed.
Especially with remote working and Zoom being de rigueur in the Public Sector. And if Plaid do badly in the Senedd Election next year there may be a Leadership Election which Bethan could win and oust Adam because he will have failed to meet his objective of advancing the Plaid cause. Also, they should have kept Leanne as Leader. I haven't read Jac O the North on this yet but I bet he will be busy typing an article. Not fussy on his unwoke politics but he sometime has a Heinekin effect in what he writes about the Cardiff Bubble.