Senedd electoral reform ‘a gift for the Green party’ says Welsh leader
Plans to expand the Senedd and reform the way members are elected to the institution are a “gift” to the Green Party, their leader in Wales said at his party’s conference.
Anthony Slaughter said that the party had come “frustratingly close” to being elected to the Welsh parliament in the past but that the new reforms meant that they were much more likely to get a foot in the door in the future.
Under the plans announced in May, all members will be elected through proportional representation, making Wales the first country in Britain to abolish the First Past the Post system at a parliamentary level.
The plans also include expanding the Senedd to 96 members, from the current 60.
“The recent electoral reform announced for future Senedd elections is a gift for the Wales Green Party that puts us within touching distance of real influence in the next Welsh Parliament,” Anthony Slaughter said.
“While the reforms are not the fully proportional system we would choose, the next Senedd election will be the first in mainland UK with no element of first-past-the-post and offers a real opportunity for a historic Green result at a national level.”
The Wales Green Party leader added in his conference speech this month that “we are entering a new era of Welsh politics”.
“The entire devolution settlement is at risk, threatened by a UK government intent on clawing back powers from the devolved nations,” he said.
“The post-Brexit power grab of the Internal Markets Bill and the Shared Prosperity fund undermine any efforts of the Welsh Government to maintain high environmental and food standards and makes a mockery of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
“Westminster isn’t working. Wales deserves better.
“As a party that believes in the devolution of power to the lowest possible level, Greens in Wales will do all in our power to resist this attack on devolution, but defending devolution is not enough. Wales Green Party believes that an independent Wales is a vital and necessary step towards building a fairer, greener society.
“An independent nation working together with others to build a truly equal, sustainable future. A nation in control of its ample sources of clean, renewable energy moving towards a zero-carbon future. Our vision of an independent Wales is that of a diverse, cosmopolitan and internationalist nation, committed to equality.
“Independence could rid us of the toxic British class system, support for oppressive regimes, the international arms trade, nuclear power, corruption, and tax avoidance. All of which are hugely damaging both at home and internationally.”
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