Sunday, December 12, 2010

What constitutes a credible Yes vote on March 3rd?

Not sure whether I offered a 'hostage to fortune' on the Politics Show today. The subject under discussion was the referendum concerning law making powers for the National Assembly on March 3rd. What turnout is needed to accord credibility to the result. I suggested that I hope 50% of the Welsh electorate will vote - though I have to admit I do not think this will happen. I added that if the turnout was not more than 35% of the electorate, credibility would be an issue. What do you think?

Two points to note. Churchill is supposed to have said something like 'one is a majority' - implying that nothing else matters. And secondly, even if 50% vote, its unlikely in my opinion that 30% of the Welsh electorate will have voted Yes - challenging credibility in some eyes, who believe there should be a threshold of Welsh voters voting Yes of 40%.

I did note that none of the other guests risked putting a figure on it.


Anonymous said...

I don't think there should ever be a turnout threshold. Otherwise if I was a "no" campaigner, the best thing I could do is just not turn up!

And I think a majority is a majority. Whether 80% turnout or 10%. If you don't use your vote, you can't complain as you haven't got a voice.

As long as the electoral commission and the Assembly do enough to generate publicity and send info to all in Wales, that is sufficient.

I believe in 2001 the UK Gen election only received 58% of the vote. Nobody really questioned the result of this, and this was for the "biggest" vote of the UK political world.

And to note, I am pro-Devolution and pro-more Powers and have an interest in politics.
Yet I'm not even 'into' this Referendum as we don't actually get any new powers- just speed it up. So I don't actually believe it should be done by Referendum- instead it should be just by vote of Assembly, rather than waste time on this. It's quite a dull subject to vote on!! (sorry!!).

If only the Wales Office had taken the initiative (not you but Peter Hain). And see there was demand for more powers and propose ANOTHER GovofWales Act on something e.g some tax powers, some extra fields THEN people would be interested!!! It'd give you "meat" to discuss on!!

Iolo Morganwg said...

Siônnyn said...

Churchill was right. A credible vote will be a majority of 1!

You appear to be pining for the sad old days of the 1979 referendum, where an arbitrary percentage of eligible voters was applied. It made no difference in Wales - but in Scotland where the majority voted for a yes for devolution, but did not meet the 40% threshold imposed ( for the first, and hopefully last time) to carry the motion.

People who don't vote must be assumed not to care - and cannot complain if things go against their wishes!

alanindyfed said...

I watched the programme here in Ireland on Sky TV. Let;s hope for 60% or more in favour to give a resounding Yes result.

Anonymous said...

50% of total electorate, plus 1.

Royston Jones said...

It's a known fact that all those who did not vote in '97 were opposed to devolution . . . so vehemently opposed that they couldn't be bothered to vote.

It will be the same next year. All those who stay home will be claimed as staunch anti-devolutionists by the No campaign.

Truly sad, but it's as close as the No campaign will come to victory.

Anonymous said...

@Royston Jones

That so not true!. You ask 'the lads' in the pub, do you want Wales to make laws that only effect Wales? You'll either get:

1) the whole pub laughing saying 'what a pillock'
2) Yes, we've had enough of "English influence". Will you vote?. When is it?. Thursday. Ah Nah, footballs on then. And these are the people we must bring out!

It's not that people dont get about the Assembly per se. They just dont care about anything, apart from the UK Gen Election. I'd be surprised if 20% turn up for AV- I know I wont bother! Can't see why it cant wait till the Euro Elections. Besides this Assembly Ref is very hard to get exited about, as very little will happen- its a wasteful exercise. If e.g law making was on the cards, it'd be something to discuss. Not just moving from Stage X to Stage X in Gov of Wales Act 2006!. What a farce!

And in 1997 I was in the Yes campaign but did not vote I was on holiday. Not sure if postal existed then, even it had I didn't bother..... thats why when I came home I thought- that was close!

Siônnyn said...

@Anon "that's so not true"

Opinion polls would contradict you. I suppose it depends which pubs you frequent - in many pubs the old rule of not discussing religion, politics or women still holds, so I doubt that you have ever really tried the experiment you describe.

I also doubt your claim to have been in the yes campaign last time, and then not bothered to vote.

As to the AV referendum - it doesn't really affect us, as we already have a better system for electing our Assembly Members, so I doubt that there will be much interest.