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Friday, March 09, 2007


The Western Mail yesterday carried a two page feature on possible coalition permutations after the Assembly elections. It has got to the stage now where none of the parties really want to talk about who they will or will not work with on May 4th. The important thing is that we maximise our votes.

As I told an interviewer earlier this week, the more votes and the more seats that the Welsh Liberal Democrats get then the stronger will be our hand when it comes to getting our policies implemented. That is what really matters, not bums on limousine seats.

As the paper points out there has been speculation as to whether the Welsh Liberal Democrats will ditch PR for local government so as to secure a deal:

It's also interesting to note that no one on the Labour side has explicitly ruled this out (although plenty of AMs and activists would not be over the moon, exactly), while the Lib-Dems have toned down the rhetoric on PR in local government. Mike German, leader of the Lib-Dems in the Assembly, suggested not so long ago that Mr Morgan "shouldn't even pick up the phone" unless PR was on the table. Now it would "certainly not a very helpful way of negotiating" to put one policy at the top of the wish-list.

Mike German however, made it clear on Dragon's Eye last night that PR was very much a priority for us. It will form an important part of any deal which involves the Welsh Liberal Democrats, and that is how it should be.

On Waterfront Jenny Randerson was quite right to also highlight the other issues we will want to put on the table, including our policies on health, education, crime and the environment. She downplayed the PR element but she knows full well that it will have to be part of any package.

If there is a deal then it will need to be ratified by party members at a special conference. They will want to see a whole raft of our policies in any partnership agreement we negotiate but if PR for local government were not in there, as it has been implemented in Scotland, then the chances are that the deal would be rejected outright.
I'm not sure yet if this is turning into a political farce or is a political manifestation of Mendel's First Law ... maybe Mendel's Second Law, maybe both ... maybe neither ... perhaps something else, maybe the AMs will agree, some might agree, if some AMs are classified as tall and some as short maybe the tall ones will ... verses the short ones ... maybe some AMs have small pea sizes, and others large seed sizes, still others ...
Dr. Christopher - let's tissue culture - Wood
Keep pushing. There are Labour party members who also support PR in local government and believe that it will revitalise a moribund system.
I, too saw Mike on Dragon's Eye last night. Shamelessly backing off his committment to PR in local Government. It is clear to those of us who do not want Labour propped up in Government after May that we do not want to see the combined Labour/Lib Dem number of seats exceeding 30
You must have been watching a different programme to me Glyn. Not only did Mike make no commitment towards Labour or any other party but he also stressed the importance of PR for local government in any negotiation.
Of course he made no committment to any other party - and he said PR in local government is important to you. But thats a long way from saying "don't pick up the phone Rhodri unless PR is a given". There is only one reason for Mike's change of position - and that is to do a deal with Labour.
If that is what you want to think Glyn that is up to you. However you are hardly a disinterested observer in this process.
It is well worth heading over to Slugger O Toole to see how vote management under STV works in practice.
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