Saturday, 3 December 2016

Unionist makes comparison of number AM with that of US Federal government.

David Taylor former Labour Special Adviser.and failed Labour candidate for North Wales Police Commissioner (Despite being endorsed by Dafydd El) has been commentating on the proposal to  raise the number of Welsh AM to 82
Unlike John Dixon at Borthlas  or Owen at Oggy Bloggy Ogwr who take a open and critical view of the proposals  Taylor is completely hostile 
The title 

"This Is No Time To Bloat Welsh Politics Even More" 

Shows from the start that it was not going to be balance critique.

He writes 
.... there is now a serious risk that continual moaning from Cardiff Bay about not having enough AMs, or powers, or money to do the job effectively, and to excuse poor performance, will ultimately lead people in Wales to the conclusion that devolution just does not work.If the events of 2016 teach Welsh politicians anything, it should be that there is nothing inevitable about the future of devolution.

Mr Taylor is perfectly entitled to express  opinions and some of his points are valid.

But he completely loses the plot 

For he writes

....However Some AMs are saying they can’t do that and provide adequate scrutiny. Well here’s something they should have known before standing for election: politics and being an elected representative can be hard work – it’s meant to be. The best way of proving their worth would be to get on with it.
The United States, with a population of 320 million, has 100 senators, 435 voting members of the House of Representatives and is generally considered to do a pretty effective job of holding the leader of the free world to account.

 Mr Taylor seems to be unaware that the USA is Federal Nation  with 50 states each with their own Legislature.

Utah  Population 2,995,919   for incidence has 104 members consisting of 29 Senators and 75 Representatives,

Iowa Population 3,123,899 has 150 members 50 Senators and 100 Representatives.

Mr Taylor could argue these states have much more powers than the Assembly  but he  doesn't instead he uses a totally  superfluous example.

What of my own views 

Well the fact that the 82 number is based on the the proposed 29 Westminster Constituencies  electing  3 members is rather a lazy approach.  

There is no reason for the Assembly Constituencies  to mirror the UK .The  Scotland  has   73 MP  elected to represent first past the post constituencies  whilst thre are 59 Westminster  Constituencies   and of course a similar  disparity would occur in Wales if the Westminster proposals go through.

As a supporter of STV  I wonder if three is to small a number to see true proportional elections  

The chances of a Party winning more than one seat in a Constituency seems slim and we could three parties all on 29 seats .

Although that would be  unlikely the largest party would have no more than 35 (out of 82) seats in a very good year which could mean the largest part are never in power as others form a coalition.

We need about 20- 25 constituencies electing 4 or 5 members in a 80-100 member Assembly to get a real working Proportional  Assembly or Parliament.

The number of AM is a Chicken and Egg thing in that what comes first increase members or increased  powers . Personally i would prefer the former if the latter was to follow quickly

Lets have a proper debate and see decent proposals. But lets not of comparisons  with the Legislatures of Federal Legislatures rather than the member states until we are an Independent nation ourselves 


Anonymous said...

It's such a shame the way the IWA has gone downhill. It is now simply a mouthpiece of the Labour Party. David Taylor is widely regarded as a joke.

Anonymous said...

Saw the author was David Taylor and didn't bother.

Leigh Richards said...

Like all blairites taylor would hang his own grandmother if he thought it would serve his own ambitions, so the fact he's chosen to mount an attack on the senedd that would make even the liars of true wales blush comes as no surprise. Still was nice of him to take time out of his busy Manhattan schedule to advise us in Wales where we are going wrong, how on earth have we managed all these years without him? I'm sure the good people of north wales must spend every day ruing the fact they overlooked this genius when it came to selecting their police and crime commissioner last may.

Course this ultimate political insider - he's never had a proper job in his life - made his name firstly by smearing tony blair's critics in the labour party, and then for mounting similarly dubious operations against plaid cymru for his masters in welsh labour like lord hain.

And whilst Taylor's hopes of a political career have long since gone up in smoke judging by this hatchet job he's put together for 'hate street' - and a hatchet job it surely is - he's clearly lost none of the 'skills' which earned him the attentions of nulabour architect peter mandelson in first place.

This link gives a flavour of Taylor's 'handiwork'

Oh and apparently Taylor gave the world this cinematic and musical gem too (eat your heart out rogers and hammerstein).