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‘Stronger Senedd an absolute must’ say Plaid ahead of ‘historic’ vote on expansion and voting reform

08 Jun 2022 3 minutes Read
Rhys ab Owen MS in the Senedd

A stronger Senedd is an “absolute must”, Plaid Cymru have said ahead on a ‘historic’ vote on Senedd reform later today.

The Welsh parliament will vote later on today to endorse recommendations made to expand and change the voting system for the Senedd and implement them in time for the next Senedd elections in 2026.

Last week’s report from the Senedd’s Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform endorses a plan set out last month by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price for a 96 member Senedd using a proportional voting method.

If today’s vote passes the Welsh Government will begin work on a Senedd Reform Bill – making Senedd reform by 2026 highly likely.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the constitution, Rhys ab Owen MS said that today’s vote was an “opportunity” to deliver a parliament that would work for Wales and to “boost” Welsh democracy – making it “more powerful, fairer and more representative”.

“Just like the Wales football team, we’ve seen a growing confidence in Wales over the past couple of years. A confidence in our national parliament – in our capability to do things differently. So, it’s not about more politicians. It’s about super-powering our parliament – making it fit to represent our people. A stronger Senedd isn’t a nice to have. It’s an absolute must.

“I hope we take that step today, just like the team took a step on Sunday, towards that game-changer moment.

“And, while Plaid Cymru will continue to make the case for Wales to become an independent nation, building a stronger, more representative Senedd fit to serve the people of Wales is something we can all surely agree on.”

‘In the hands of the public’

Yesterday the Welsh Conservatives called for a referendum on expanding the Senedd before it was put to a vote.

“It will be the most significant shake-up to elections to the Senedd since it was founded back in 1999, scrapping the current system whereby 40 Members are elected on a first-past-the-post basis,” Clwyd West Senedd Member Darren Millar said during plenary.

“Now, when such significant changes to voting systems have been presented in the past, they have been put to the public vote, for the public to have a say via a referendum.

“Back in 2011, when there was a proposal to scrap the first-past-the-post system for Westminster elections, quite rightly, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, put that decision into the hands of the public via a referendum.

“Given that there was no specific mention of an increase in Members of the Senedd in your party’s manifesto for the last Senedd election, do you accept that there is a need for the public to have a direct say on the package of proposals that is being put forward before this Senedd and will be debated tomorrow?” he asked the First Minister.

Mark Drakeford replied that the public had “already had their say”.

“They elected Members to this Senedd in a sufficient number to bring about, as Darren Millar said, the greatest reform of the Senedd since its inception,” he said.

“Those of us who stood on manifestos in favour of reform look forward to taking this to a conclusion.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
23 days ago

As the Tories in England do all they can to destroy democracy across the UK, our Senedd seeks to expand it.
That is the stark difference between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru when compared with the Welsh Conservatives and many of the political parties that jostle for power in the English Establishment System (including Starmer’s Labour, which is a VERY different party to Welsh Labour): Those who would see democracy and those who would use the word “democracy” to hide their own weakhearted greediness and sinful minds full of adoration of money and power and hatred towards those unlike them.

Ianto Ffrainc
Ianto Ffrainc
23 days ago

I could not be more proud of being Welsh. At a time when Westminster consistently drops the ball, our Senedd is picking it up. We got this. We don’t need the Westminster circus.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
23 days ago

Exactly, we have had our say. It was one of the reasons I voted Plaid and not the tory scum.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
23 days ago

It seems that Priti Patel is happy to change the voting system for London Mayor to FPTP without a referendum. Maybe Darren Millar should contact her to promote his pro-referendum views.

Geraint
Geraint
23 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

This Tory attack on expanding our democracy is basically dishonest. No referendum for Patel’s changes to the way Police and Crime Commissioners are elected or all the extra Lords the Tories regularly make, but a referendum for changes that a number of detailed reports have proposed to improve how our democracy works. Even with the super majority bar crossed the Tories would still be against these proposals.

Phil
Phil
23 days ago

All for it…. providing they strip away or merge the layers of government below them. We’re well overgoverned.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
23 days ago

Just in: ___________ Dear W_S, Today is a historic day. A majority of MSes have just voted in favour of strengthening our Senedd – taking us another step closer towards building a stronger, more representative parliament for the people of Wales. Much like the historic victory to the Wales football team on Sunday, the vote to strengthen our parliament is a game changer and marks a Wales growing in confidence and independence.  Set this against the toxicity of the Tory chaos currently raging in Westminster, our ability to be able to take a step away from the pantomime politics of the other parliament is not just… Read more »

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