Senedd backs bilingual name change and votes for 16 years old
The Senedd has backed a name change from Welsh Assembly and votes for 16-year-olds in a historic run of votes tonight.
There was disappointment among some however that the Assembly backed the bilingual name, Senedd / Welsh Parliament rather than only ‘Senedd’.
16 AMs voted for the monolingual name, with 38 backing the bilingual name.
They also backed votes at 16 in Senedd and council elections by 45 to 11.
Plaid Cymru’s Bethan Jenkins AM said extending the vote to 16-year-olds would “cement in our young people the habit of engaging in our democracy”.
“Our young people are fully able to take part in the democratic process, and it is right that they should be able to do so, as the recent climate protests have shown.
“We, therefore, celebrate tonight’s vote and look forward to the day when our 16 and 17-year-olds take part in Senedd elections.”
Electoral Reform Society Cymru welcomed the move, saying that it was “great to see the Welsh Assembly yet again backing moves to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds. Significant debate today and some great discussion of how it’s implemented.”
The Welsh Language Society, which had campaigned for a Welsh-only name, expressed disappointment with the decision to bring in the name Welsh Parliament.
“It’s clear from the comments in the debate today that there is a lot of support across the parties for a Welsh-only name, ‘Senedd’,” Osian Rhys from Cymdeithas yr Iaith said.
“Politicians are only halfway through the law-making process, so there will be another chance to push an amendment to ensure one name for the Senedd in a few weeks. We will continue the campaign with that aim in mind.
“We strongly believe the Welsh language is something that unites everyone in Wales, like with the words of the national anthem.
“It was disappointing that some members of the Senedd spoke in patronising terms about people who don’t speak Welsh. We believe ‘Senedd’ is a name that can unite us all, and it’s clear that the people of Wales strongly support that too.”
Paid Cymru leader Adam Price also expressed disappointment at the result.
“Tonight, Plaid Cymru was proud to suggest the name Senedd for the democratically-elected representative body of Wales,” he said.
“Adopting that name would be a strong sign that the Welsh language, like the Senedd itself, belongs to everyone in Wales. We were pleased to receive support for that name from across party lines.
“It is disappointing that the government opposed that name – which the First Minister has stated to be his own preference – and whipped ministers to vote against it. It’s also disappointing that the First Minister wasn’t in his place in the Siambr to vote on this matter.
“Nevertheless, we in Plaid Cymru will take all possible steps to ensure a Welsh name for our legislature, and we call on other members in the Senedd to come with us.”
Former First Minister Carwyn Jones however said that a bilingual name would help with public understanding of the institution’s role.
He said it was “true to say Senedd is becoming more apparent among the public”. But it was not the case yet that “everyone understands that Senedd means parliament”.
Conservative AM David Melding said that a bilingual name would celebrate “the magnificent world we live in, in the English speaking world and Welsh-speaking world – that combination makes Wales an exceptional place”.
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“38 AMs voted against the monolingual name, with 38 backing the bilingual name.”
Surely the two are the same? Could you please explain what the voting figures were?
Under the same twisted logic we also need an English name for the Eisteddfod – except we clearly don’t . ‘Sitting down place’ doesn’t have the same ring about it somehow, does it? As a matter of information a ‘parliament’ is commonly used in countries that are current or former monarchies, a form of government with a monarch as the head. This may be true of the United(?) Kingdom; it’s certainly not true of Wales
I believe ‘parliament’ is of (probably Norman) French origin meaning a place where people ‘parle’ or speak. The term Assembly / Cynulliad seems much more democratic and open in my opinion than either Parliament or Senedd. The main problem with the uni-lingual Senedd name in my mind is the last letter dd. It is a letter depicting a sound not found in any other language that has adopted the Roman alphabet – making it almost invariably mispronounced outside of Wales. I chose the Welsh name Ara ‘Deg for my sailboat (that often travels in other countries) not just because it… Read more »
Welsh people know how to pronounce the letter dd. The few that don’t soon learn when they hear it on the telly or in the pub.
I hope that if, some time this millenium, Plaid Cymru show themselves worthy of forming a government in Wales, they repeal this decision of our Senedd.
“The last letter dd. It is a letter depicting a sound not found in any other language that has adopted the Roman alphabet”
Wrong. It is exactly the same sound as a soft ‘th’ sound in English, as in ‘there’, ‘this’, ‘that’.
Parliament comes from the French word ‘parlement’. It has nothing to do with whether a country has a monarchy or not. I expect most people will call it the Senedd because it is short and snappy and wont be confused with Parliament i.e. Westminster however as Wales is bilingual all official state organisations should have bilingual names. even though common sense will lead to some being shortened or favoured. Thankfully the Eisteddfod is an independent body and it is unique to Wales consequently no one is daft enough to translate the name. It would make as much sense as literally… Read more »
How ever did the Non Welsh speakers cope with cwts. / cwtch.. now in the Oxford Dictionary, we are not a poplace of twps despite the machinations of those who want to dumb this country down
Labour = wormtongue.
Congratulations and welcome to at last being able to take part in democracy (for devolved matters) in Cymru.
I hear that Carwyn Jones’s next proposal in to provide English language versions for the words Pizza, Chow mein, Tandoori, Croissant, Cornetto and many other words that cause those who only speak English to feel excluded and deprived.
You and those like you will have many more new experiences to look forward to.
Bon appetite or Good eating as Carwyn would say.
Judging by his shape Carwyn’s done a lot of that !
And by all means let’s bend over backwards till it really hurts to be inclusive to our monoglot English neighbours who can’t cope with the simplest phonetic variants of another language.
Such a shame that the vote was for a bilingual title for the Senedd.. to protect the English version
The same people recently voted against Plaid’s attempt to legally safeguard historical Welsh names, by voting against the proposal. The double standards is sickening.
What a great help to the proposal to increase tye number of Welsh to a million. Surely Senedd iis not diffucult for English speakers but too difficult for some politicians it seems