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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The debate on extra powers

While we still await the official launch of the 'Yes' campaign in Wales there is a very encouraging BBC Wales poll this morning indicating that the majority of Welsh voters are likely to vote for the devolution of extra powers from Westminster on March 3rd.

The BBC report that ICM Research found that 57% would vote in favour of giving the assembly access to its full law making powers. It also showed that 24% would vote against the move and 18% are not yet sure how they would vote.

Even more encouraging is that although only 37% said they were certain to vote, of these 77% intended to vote yes and 23% intended to vote no. It really is all to play for.

How the campaign develops has yet to be seen. What is certain though is that some supporters of all the main parties will be involved in the 'No' campaign at some level. I think that is understood and accepted. Nevertheless, it must be particularly embarrassing for Carwyn Jones to find an entire Labour Party branch contradicting him so blatantly.

The Western Mail say that a local Labour Party has published a newsletter ridiculing the Welsh Labour Leader's call for a Yes vote in the referendum on more powers for the National Assembly:

The leaflet distributed by Labour’s Dwyfor Branch in Gwynedd states: “Carwyn Jones’ statement that ‘there is now a financial incentive to get a Yes vote’ was quickly rejected by the Westminster Government.

“Carwyn said ‘Bizarrely, the ConDem Government have decided that if Wales votes Yes next March, we could get more money.’

“Next day, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the Prime Minister dismissed Carwyn’s statement as completely untrue.”

I could say that it serves him right for playing partisan politics with an all-party referendum, but I know that would not be helpful. Perhaps Carwyn might like to think of his allies in this campaign before commiting to print in the future.
"What is certain though is that some supporters of all the main parties will be involved in the 'No' campaign at some level."

Not *all* the main parties, just the Brit ones.

In fact I don't think any Lib Dems will work for the 'No' side- some Lib Dem voters will vote 'No' but Lib Dem activists in my opinion are solidly pro-Scottish style powers.
That is why I said Supporters (i.e. voters) rather than activists. Isnt the new Plaid Councillor in Llandrindod Wells anti-Assembly or has he changed his widely publicised views?
I don't know him but my educated prediction would be that he has changed his views, as many people have since they've realised the democratic implications of Wales being ruled by two parties we didn't vote for.
You mean like we have a One Wales Government we did not vote for?
Do your homework.

The One Wales parties got a majority of the Welsh vote in 2007.
Funny you should say that. The UK Coalition parties also got a majority in May.
They didn't in Wales.
But as it was NOT a Wales-only election that does not matter. Across the area which the UK Government covers they got a majority.
I accept that you hold that position and support Britain but I believe in the right of sovereignty and self-determination for all nations. I believe Welsh democracy should have precedence in Wales.

I know that my principle does not yet apply to every election in Wales but the fact Wales was getting Tory governments it didn't vote for at Westminster elections was one of the key factors behind getting devolution in the first place, so we're on the right track.

Effectively you disagree and consent to being ruled by parties that didn't get a mandate in Wales. I am not happy with that, but for now it's your vision which is holding sway.

And what appalling consequences we are witnessing as a result of that.
Three leading Liberal Democrat councillors in Wrecsam were fiercely against the Assembly in the recent vote we had. If any kind of "no" campaign emerges up here it will consist of Tories, Lib Dems, UKIP and the BNP.
Peter Black @1.09 says people didn't vote for the One Wales Goverment - I know he's bitter and twisted but surely even he can recognise that it governs with a majority of votes in Wales.
As for the UK coalition's legitimacy - people voted Lib Dem on the basis that they wouldn't increase student fees.
You have of course taken my remarks out of the context of the thread and the discussion in it. I was pointing out that people do not vote for coalitions and in that respect my observation was correct.

As for tuition fees, the Liberal Democrats did not win a majority so are not in a position to abolish tuition fees. I do not agree with the present proposals but that does not alter that essential fact.

As for broken promises we should not forget that Plaid Cymru promised not to introduce top-up fees. They still did it. I understand why they did but people in glasshouses should not throw stones.
This LD voter and activist will be voting 'no' I'm sad to say. I have seen nothing in the last decade which gives me any encouragement to think that the dismal performance of the Assembly to date would get better with an extension of powers, and in some ways things could well get worse.

By the way,the Plaid types who are shedding crocodile tears over the Westminster coalition not involving either of the Bay's Nat-Soc parties ought to think on about their ever granularising arguments - here in the Vale we didn't vote for either of them for any form of government but we get expected to pay for just about everything they do ....
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