- Date published:
11:12 am, May 12th, 2016 - 20 comments
Categories: elections, electoral systems, International, journalism, Media, MMP, Parliament, political parties, social democracy, uk politics - Tags: fixed term parliaments, labour, minority government, MMP, plaid cymru, Wales
The Welsh Assembly is deadlocked. Labour have 29 seats while Plaid Cymru, the Tories, UKIP and the Lib Dems have 31 seats between them. As reported by the Guardian, two people stood for the position of First Minister – Plaid Cymru’s Leeane Wood and Labour’s Carwyn Jones. That’s the first piece of poor reporting.
More accurate reporting would have centred on the fact that Labour were unable to gain a parliamentary vote of confidence in order to lead the Assembly.
Wales operates under the auspices of a fixed term parliaments act. That means that Labour failing to gain a vote of confidence is no problem. Unfortunately, the Liberal Democrat’s Kirsty Williams is locked in an old school and irrelevant view of how the Assembly works. She’s quoted in the Guardian piece as saying “I was not re-elected to support a “a ragtag coalition made up of Ukip assembly members who at the moment can’t even agree with each other,”.
Here’s the problem with her reasoning. There is no coalition. The need for coalitions belongs to a governing environment that no longer exists in Wales.
Plaid Cymru understand this. A spokesperson for the party has said “On 5 May, Wales chose not to elect one single party to govern Wales with a majority. As is the convention, the biggest party were given an opportunity to reach an agreement on forming a government which could lead Wales with the support of the majority of members in the national assembly. They took the decision not to pursue that option and were not prepared to give the process of negotiation any further time.”
So what comes next?
Well, under a fixed term parliaments act, if the largest party can’t get a majority of members to give it a vote of confidence, then the next largest party tries to secure a majority and importantly there is no need for coalitions or confidence and supply arrangements; the government is a minority government that reaches out to any or all parties to pass whatever legislation it brings to the house.
Someone needs to have a wee word in Kirsty William’s ‘shell like’ and get her up with the state of play.
And while they’re at it, maybe they could have a wee chat with UK Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn and drag him into the political reality of the 21st Century. he needs to drop his apparent insistence that one world under Labour is the only possible world for a Labour Party. He really ought to be reaching out to the more progressive political parties across the UK (the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru) and working with them positively and constructively instead of carrying on with his delusions that one fine day he will be ‘ruling the roost’ from on high…it isn’t going to happen.
In terms of NZ, our parliamentarians need to stop playing silly buggers; trying to shove the round peg of mmp into the square hole of fpp is an exercise of frustrating stupidity that’s delivering something far less democratic than NZ deserves.