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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Some clarification on the Welsh Assembly

Just two quick points to correct some misconceptions that have appeared in the media over the last few days:

1. Putting an opposition member into the role of Presiding Officer will not give Labour a one seat majority. That is because standing orders say that if the opposition supply the PO then the Government must supply the Deputy Presiding Officer, who also does not have a vote. The effect therefore will be neutral.

2. There have been no talks whatsoever between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Labour about coalitions or any other sort of power sharing and nor will there be unless Labour approach us. They are the bigger party the initiative lies with them. I fully expect Carwyn Jones to form a minority Government next week.
Re point 2- that's the way I hope it stays. A coalition with the Lib-Dems would be suicide.
1. That is correct- but if the Assembly agree then the DPO can also come from the opposition. PLEASE tell me that we will have a Labour P.O; it is completely unhealthy to have the same man in the role for so many years. Furthermore the P.O is usually there for the big votes, so having a Labour one would reduce majority.

2. Phew! I was getting really worried. For Plaid or the LibDems to join them now in a full coalition would be daft.

3. Peter; do you think there is ANY chance of a rainbow coalition? It'd be great to rid Wales of Labour!. I read 'crossing the rubicon' and saw it was SO close in 2007; could it happen again?. Would it have been more of a possibility if Lab had had 29?
I for one would love it!.
It's better to be in a coalition of equals (Lib, PC, Con) than not- as PC and LD in London are now seeing.
But why would the Assembly agree to giving Labour a majority of one? It needs a 2/3rds majority to overturn the standing orders.

I have no idea who will be PO. That is a matter for the Assembly.
David Melding looks like favorite for PO at the moment
And yet he ruled himself out on Radio Wales this morning
Chris Wood wrote:

If Labour do end up talking to you (Welsh Liberal Democrats) I hope you can agree on some political-neutral issues such as: pushing patents, patenting Welsh IP, putting in place meaningful tactics to make it both worthwhile and easy for research groups to patent their discoveries, this can be achieved at little extra cost by modifying the way HEFCW awards its grants. Wales needs this done or it will be another ten years of poor high value job creation in Wales.
miserable old fart has suggested you as PO...you wanna tell him to do it himself!
In 2003, wasn't their a deal that meant that both the PO and DPO came from the opposition parties?

Also, as toxic as the Liberal Democrats are at the moment, it does seem that there would need to be some kind of agreement with the Lib Dems from Labour. If only to secure an Assembly that is actual able to function in the long term. I think Plaid will be too busy with internal issues in the short to medium term, for their to be any kind of agreement between Labour and Plaid.
What happened in 2003 is immaterial as the 2006 Act and new standing orders have changed things. However, there was no deal in 2003. John Marek took it upon himself to stand and won.
miserable old fart has suggested you as PO...you wanna tell him to do it himself!

MoF would love to do the job himself - unfortunatly the Llywydd has to be an Assembly Member, which I am not.
For the sake of good government we need, either for Labour to go it alone or a formal /informal deal with Libdems.
This way policy will have to be very carefully thought thru to ensure it is passed. It also ensures there is a healthy opposition which can give proper scrutiny to government business..
Too big a majority leads to bad government. Remember 'One Wales'?
I agree with the above; Wales has massive opportunity within the I.P world. And there is a man who has written alot about it, but can't remember the name (I think he is/was Chicago based). As a nation we need to be really innovative. Sure we can do the same old; grants for a factory to be built. But that is not forward thinking, I.P is. Even if you are not in Government, I think you should press for it- if you were to be successful you would be remembered for it.

On the P.O issue. I don't know if this is true. But if the P.O came from a party other than Labour; wouldn't that in reality give them a majority. As even if the DPO came from Labour; that person would still be able to vote. So would there not be a battle with who is PO when the 'big debates' are on?

On this too; Adrian Masters has blogged that you could do it? or hints at least!. Is this true?.

In my view it should be somebody on the regional list. I say this as I would be quite annoyed if I had an 'impartial' AM. Whereas if my region lost one AM I would still have three. I mean how can a PO be an effective AM if he has to be impartial? or is that only true when their sitting in the chair?!
Anon (8:40 PM)> thank you! I've moved from Chicago to the DC Metro area in order to be nearer the patent office so I can conduct F2F interviews with Patent Examiners.
Christopher Wood, BS(Wales), MSc, PhD (Glasgow, Scotland), JD (DePaul law school, Chicago)
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