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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Reasons to vote

This morning's Western Mail report that 60 GP practices in Wales are using high rate 0844 or 0845 numbers for patients to contact their doctor is a good example of the unfinished work the new Welsh Government must get down to.

The use of these numbers contravenes new regulations, which state surgeries should abandon the use of 0844 numbers if the cost to call is greater than calling a standard geographic number. And yet many still persist in doing so.

Meanwhile, Labour have given an undertaking not to distribute a leaflet alleged by opponents to contain lies in a crucial marginal seat. But they did not comply with a demand from Plaid Cymru to distribute a new leaflet in Aberconwy accepting its earlier claims were wrong.

The Labour leaflet made personal allegations about the Plaid and Liberal Democrat candidates that both parties insist were “blatant lies”. Both candidates were accused by Labour of being personally responsible for job losses in the seat, which is currently held by Plaid.

To be fair this sort of behaviour has been rare during this campaign though there have also been incidents where the Tories have also withdrawn leaflets after accepting that claims about local hospitals on them are wrong, in particular in Neath Port Talbot and Newport.

The search for political advantage can lead to these sorts of mistakes and misrepresentations. However, whatever happens now, the next five years will be crucial in proving that the Assembly can make a difference and finally deliver. That is why it is so important to vote today. We have to get it right.
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