Friday, October 07, 2005

Watchdog slams change that would hand an unacceptable advantage to Labour

It was reported in the Western Mail today that the Electoral Commission is very unhappy about British Nationalist Nu Labour's plans to change Welsh Assembly election rules. Peter Hain and his Labour pals want to exclude candidates from fighting both a constituency and the list at the next Assembly elections.

In a submission responding to Labour's devolution White Paper, the Electoral Commission states:

"this may impact adversely on the quality of some constituency contests, where opposition candidates may be perceived to be 'second string'. This in turn is likely to favour sitting candidates... the change proposed favours incumbency and the current party of Assembly Government that holds the large majority of constituency seats."

They also state:

"...we would caution against any change that is perceived to be partisan and could add to the prevailing distrust of politicians."

Tory Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach, a strong supporter of devolution, said:

"Coming from an independent watchdog, this is a damning indictment of the proposal to ban candidates from standing in both sections of the ballot. The Government must be shamed into withdrawing it... it's not a matter of public policy, it's about giving an advantage to one political party."

Our website has strongly criticised this proposed change of rules. On the 25th of September we criticised the bill saying that it proposed to:

"change the electorate system, not for the benefit of Wales and democracy, but for the benefit of the Brit Nat Labour party."

We hope that this is the beginning of the end of this unjust clause, and that Peter Hain will be man enough to accept that he was wrong, and scrap it.

1 comment:

sinik said...

"this may impact adversely on the quality of some constituency contests, where opposition candidates may be perceived to be 'second string'. This in turn is likely to favour sitting candidates... the change proposed favours incumbency and the current party of Assembly Government that holds the large majority of constituency seats."

This doesn't seem to be based on any evidence, which applicants for Constituency seats are the Commission baing their opinion on