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Westminster Elections Bill will ‘harm democracy and voter freedoms’, Plaid Cymru warn

26 Jan 2022 2 minutes Read
Rhys ab Owen MS in the Senedd

Westminster’s controversial Elections Bill will “harm democracy and voter freedoms”, Plaid Cymru has warned.

Rhys ab Owen MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on the constitution and justice, said Wales must defend the voting rights of its citizens and commit to creating a fairer system itself.

The Elections Bill, if passed, will bring in major changes to a number of Westminster-controlled elections, including the introduction of compulsory photographic identification to vote.

Mr ab Owen was speaking ahead of a Senedd debate held today (Wednesday 26 January) which calls on the Welsh Government to formally oppose the Bill.

Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for the Constitution and Justice Rhys ab Owen MS said: “From curbing the right to peaceful protest, threatening the future of public service broadcasting, curtailing a judicial review and weakening the Human Rights Act and now an attempt through this Elections Bill to undermine the foundations of democracy itself.

“Voting is the foundation of democracy here and everywhere, it gives the people a voice, and the power to hold politicians to account. Any curtailing of this not only threatens to undermine all our rights, it threatens to harm our democracy and voter freedoms.

‘Increasing chasm’

He added: “If ever there was proof of the increasing chasm between the approaches to politics in devolved nations and Westminster it is the Elections Bill. Not only scrapping a more proportionate voting system by changing the way Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to a First Past the Post system, it also introduces a requirement for photo identification to vote that is proven to reduce democratic participation.

“In Wales, we must do all that we can to reject this attempt to disenfranchise our citizens. Instead, we must pledge to create better system in Wales, where elections are fair and accessible for all voters.

“Westminster may not be working for anyone right now but we in Wales can choose to do things differently – and better.


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Mick Tems
Mick Tems
3 months ago

The Tory enemy is attacking The Welsh Nation’s legal rights with sheer derision, disdain and just plain hatred. It’s high time that we booted the Evil Empire out and hoisted Y Ddraig Goch for independence.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
3 months ago

Almost agreed with you, Rhys. But “undermine the foundations of democracy itself” is OTT. Let me help you on the left to get this straight. In the USA there is a long tradition of electoral corruption eg Joe Kennedy was “too mean to buy JFK a landslide” Democrats particularly hot on vote rigging in the big cities NY, Chicago etc. Read any US history book. Oddly though, the FBI and Courts don’t like to look into it because, if they do, they put the Supreme Court in the position of reversing the result of an election. Look at Bush v… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

In the 2017 general election there were 46.8 million registered voters. In that election 8 people were cautioned and 1 person convicted of electoral fraud. Where is the fraud problem here, why do we need to change the system when we have no problem ?

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
3 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

We don’t. I was simply asking Rhys why he opposes ID (which makes sense in fraud-ridden US elections, but NOT here) when he and the muddled left are so fond of ID for other things.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jonathan Edwards
Paul
Paul
3 months ago

It is the right that is obsessed with control. The right also believe they have total understanding of everything. They also believe they are inherently superior forms of life.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
3 months ago

Our aim now should be to get as much information out to the Welsh public as possible. This should highlight the benefits of Welsh independence through, amongst other means, leaflets, articles, banners, public consultations and marches (quick, before this Bill is imposed upon us). There must be less focus on bashing the many faults of the UK Government and more on building up how Wales can do things independently.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
3 months ago

Why is Plaid Cymru yet again getting agitated about Westminster?

The party’s performance in the Senedd election was laughable and no doubt there’ll be a another pathetic effort in May.

But…..it seems our democracy will be harmed because of a few less Westminster snouts in the gravy boll.

I do enjoy Plaid Cymru’s priorities.

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 have got to stop being little Englanders and start fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and don’t be afraid of upsetting the English people in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Cymru ar wasgar
Cymru ar wasgar
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

What about other nationalities in Wales are you worried about upsetting them or are you particularly targeting the English. Seriously biggoted comment at best.

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Plaid Cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 are letting wales down by still being involved with British politics and afraid of upsetting the English people in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 no more second homes in wales 200 percent taxes on second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 that’s what we the Free Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Party is standing for and fighting for the people of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Cymru ar wasgar
Cymru ar wasgar
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

What about Welsh people who want to live and work in England. Should they be taxed and treated differently. Or is it just the English who should be treated differently.

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