Sunday, November 20, 2016

Should we increase number of AMs to 80.

Watched Welsh Sunday Politics today. Sensible comments from the two sensible Assembly Members in the studio, one Labour and one UKIP. Neither convinced that an increase in AMs is needed, but both open to a discussion about it, which is approximate to what I think. I thought UKIP's Mark Reckless was particularly sensible. While realising there may be little support for an increase, they were both clearly impressed by the force of argument put forward by Elin Jones, the Presiding Officer, who supports more AMs. Plaid Cymru would have been a real force if she had been chosen leader. I too  consider her to always worth listening to. 

I've phrased the the 'question for discussion' on an increase in number of AMs from 60 to 80, because the new debating chamber was built to allow for easy expansion to accommodate 80?  Others will advocate a greater increase. I just can't see that idea flying. Some will advocate no increase. Expect the usual trick of presenting options, with the favoured one being 80, in the middle! What the public think is another matter altogether.

Key to this issue will be The Wales Bill which gives the power to decide number of AMs to a new Welsh Parliament. I can comment as a mere observer from the sidelines. It will have nothing to do with MPs at all. Anyway, we will be debating the position soon after the Wales Bill has secured Royal Assent next spring.

I do not see any logic in considering numbers in one tier of Govt to justify numbers in another. They stand on their own. I accept others will not see it in the same way. Firstly, at the next general election we expect to see a reduction in Welsh MPs from 40 to 29 (though I don't yet rule out 33 if number of MPs is not reduced). And of course we expect to see the disappearance of Members of the European Parliament altogether by 2019. The biggest anomaly of course is the massive increase we have seen in the unelected House of Lords. The blame for this unjustifiable position deserves its own post.

 In the context of all this, consideration of number of AMs is entirely logical. My guess, and it's no more than that, I think AMs will move quickly on acquiring the power to increase their number to 80. Which will lead to a debate about how to do that!


Anonymous said...

Another 20 AMs, especially if they are elected as regional AMs would completely change the electoral dyamics of the assembly. The membership of the assembly would more accurately reflect the national vote of parties and would make it more likely that a non Labour administration could come into power.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Should we, should we, should we ...

Here's another "should we", well not quite, but on top of the 'should we have predicted' one about Russia deploying nuke capable missiles etc. to Kaliningrad (yes, we should have, actually I pointed out this move on Putin's part on your fb page; the predicted 2008 mess (on this blog); that 'The Man from Estonia' (well, c/o Estonia), your predecessor, will become a man of world level influence after several transformative steps that he must suffer; etc; that the USA will end its tolerance of free-loader nations (vis-à-vis deliberate lack of defense spending among many nations in Europe and around the world).
Here’s a new warning/prediction: a whirlwind is coming that will envelope millions in terrible devastation. The cauldron of power and intelligent chaos is fermenting. Out will come a lightning strike that will bring much of Europe to its knees and that won’t be c/o Putin or any world power or terrorist nation like Iran, that won’t involve the political fiction of global warning. It will be a harbinger of what is yet to come.
Really, your government should make use of me especially as I have an independent eye on what’s going on inside ‘The Beltway” (i.e., interstate 495 that envelops Washington, DC), but won’t of course.
PS What do I know, I’m just some wannabe Hollywood writer, but like that fictional character John Locke in “LOST” you didn’t do something you should have done Glyn, Secretary State of Wales. So your county’s status with its own MP is now in jeopardy. You might well be “the last of the line”.