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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Human rights for politicians

I always wondered if I would get a chance to sue the government for breaching my human rights. Sure, there have been times when I have been outraged by their illiberal tendencies, but never have I been motivated enough to empty my bank account and reach for a lawyer.

Now it appears that the Government's White paper on devolution may be a prime candidate for a law suit. The Assembly's Presiding Officer believes that plans to stop candidates standing for the Assembly elections in both constituency and regional seats, could be a breach of human rights. He may well be right and I am sure that it will be contested vigorously in the House of Lords, not least by him.

My problem is that if you were to ask any normal human being (that is somebody not involved in politics), whether they believed that politicians have rights or not, they would inevitably answer in the negative. That is why I cannot see anybody going to the wall to stop this particular provision of a new Government of Wales Act, especially when there are many issues contained in it.

It would be nice if they did and I am sure that the PO will do his best, but at the end of the day it is the powers the Assembly will get, how quickly they will get them and who writes our standing orders that will take priority. Still if we had a sensible voting system that treated all AMs equally whilst ensuring that the outcome reflected the way people voted then we would all benefit.
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