Labour has betrayed Wales’ youth on Assembly reform

Picture by George Martell (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Rhydian Elis Fitter , Plaid Ifanc

Most of Wales woke up on Tuesday thinking of the freezing temperatures, panicking about Christmas shopping, or generally dreading their journey to work.

However, in a small corner of Cardiff Bay, a panel of experts was presenting their findings to a not unimpressive (for Senedd events) sized audience.

Their recommendations were that Wales should have a significant increase in its number of Assembly Members, a change in the voting system, and – significantly for us at Plaid Ifanc – a lowering of the voting age to 16.

Plaid Ifanc, Plaid Cymru’s youth and student wing, has long campaigned for Votes at 16. We are not the only ones who have done so. We’re also not the only party political youth movement in Wales to have done so.

The Lib Dems’, the Greens’, and Labour’s youth movements have also pressed the case for lowering the voting age.

Labour had also committed themselves to introducing votes at 16 as early as possible in their 2016 Assembly manifesto. (p.20).

But their response to the report’s recommendations took us all by surprise.

Labour decided that rather than do the honest, common-sense, decent thing, and pledge their support to putting this report’s recommendations into practice as soon as possible, they will wait until 2019 before making their decision.

There is no logic to be found in this. The expert report which they initially supported has given them all the evidence they need.

The only conclusion that anyone can possibly gain from this decision is that this is a cynical attempt to derail the implementation of these recommendations until after the 2021 election.

As Simon Thomas AM said, this move “kills dead any hope of passing the necessary legislation before the next assembly elections”.

It would seem that Labour are doing all they can to lock in their unfair electoral advantage for one more election, even if it comes at the cost of their integrity, and at the cost of all those young people who relied on them.

Labour’s betrayal on this very issue is sufficient proof of why we urgently need to improve the scrutiny of our Government. This report represents a significant step in the right direction.

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jim Humphreys
Guest
jim Humphreys

60 members quite enough, thank you. Kiddies should concentrate on their studies
Consent should be at least 18 yrs, and voting age should be 21 yrs, or anyone paying tax.
A bar coded ID card should be introduced , with special ones for vets.

Benjiman L. Angwin
Guest
Benjiman L. Angwin

ID Cards are authoritarian, introduce state-imposed conformity up the individual and are morally wrong.

I don’t think we should join North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, Belarus, Isreal and Cuba on this issue. And would rather stay with Norway and Denmark, no ID cards.

jim humphreys
Guest
jim humphreys

No matter, your EU driving licence is one anyway,

But discipline will be required if we truly want Wales out of the shit,

Welcome, generation Z.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Thus spake the Welsh Alt-Right!

jim humphreys
Guest
jim humphreys

Actually centre-right of Suomi, where I learned their work ethic was the only way to break out of poverty.
I am very grateful to the Finns for this. No lazy anarchistic tosh has ever achieved anything but misery.

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

Why do vets get special treatment?

Rob
Guest
Rob

They’re out in all weathers looking after livestock. There have to be some perks.

Eos Pengwern
Guest
Eos Pengwern

I assumed he meant military veterans, like in the US.

Rob
Guest
Rob

comment image

Tellyesin
Guest
Tellyesin

Because Animal Medecine deserves an extra vote? “Kiddies” only need to take twenty minutes out of every four or five to vote, age of consent is designed to protect minors from pervy “adults” and since not everyone works or earns enough to pay tax.

Tellyesin
Guest
Tellyesin

Four or five years that is

Gwilym ab Ioan
Guest
Gwilym ab Ioan

Doing “the honest, common-sense, decent thing” is not in the ‘old brigade’ parties’ handbook – and that’s the handbook of ALL parties currently represented at Y Senedd. It is something that has been played out for hundreds of years in the case of some parties. Unfortunately ALL parties get dragged into this silly game, that has absolutely nothing to do with the well being and interests of Cymru and it’s citizens. The parties are divided into ridiculous pigeon holes labelled into a single axis ‘right’, ‘centre’ and ‘left’ paradigm. Policies are based on party doctrine and dogma, party advantage, and… Read more »

PUN
Guest
PUN

Good luck with the new party. Please be aware that, on the document in your link, the second word of the second (English) paragraph reads “deel” rather than “deem”, which is a bit off-putting because it hasn’t been corrected since the document’s publication a few weeks ago.

Gwilym ab Ioan
Guest
Gwilym ab Ioan

Thank you. I’m sure we could accommodate your talents at proof reading in the future PUN. I will personally see to it that the correction is made, as it may also irritate other proof readers in our midst. The thing with many proof readers though, is that they can home in on a ‘typo’ but often overlook the contents of a document.

Nice to see that you’ve visited the page on more than one occasion.

Edeyrn
Guest
Edeyrn

“there is no logic to this” There is much logic to why the Tories and Labour hegemony holds onto the old voting system. It keeps either or – in power

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

I do not see the point of Plaid Cymru posting point-scoring articles of this nature. They merely serve to show how the party has moved from being a campaigning group to an establishment party that avoids discussing the problems that really matter to Wales by focusing on minutiae? Politicians who read this site will be well aware of what those issues are. People are itching to get things done, and (apart from some progress in promoting the revival of our language) nothing is happening. I hope the new party gets the bit between its teeth and refuses to go down… Read more »

Gwilym ab Ioan
Guest
Gwilym ab Ioan

Avoiding that ‘cul de sac’ is one of our primary objectives Wrexhamian’. Be assured the bit IS between the teeth and will remain there until we achieve our goals. It’s time for a BIG change. Old fashioned politics are dead in the water. We deserve something new and potent to drive us forward as a nation.

jim humphreys
Guest
jim humphreys

Wrexhamian, do you mean getting businesses started, architects and engineers inspiring us to a better future?
Do things have to be politically engineered, or can people begin to crowd fund start-ups and so on?
Something new and exciting the new party could create, but as I say above this requires disciplined commitment.
Studies show the coming generations may possess these qualities. Could not practical people present their ideas
on this site, or in the new party.

Eos Pengwern
Guest
Eos Pengwern

The whole voting-age issue was well thrashed out in the comments to Ben Lake’s article on PR a couple of months ago. I’m not going to go through them again here (anyone who wants to can follow the link) but I hold to my view that the idea of a 16-year old voting threshold is arbitrary, ill-advised and plain wrong.

jim humphreys
Guest
jim humphreys

Eos, a parting word on something that was bugging me.
Richard Rogers brief for the Senedd was for a 60 -Place assembly.
Accordingly, he made the floorplan fit this requirement.

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

When ideas like this come from the party in power I’d see it as a step forward. When they do not I see it as opportunism of a party after more votes.