Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Yes for a Welsh Parliament

Following the Electoral Commission's confirmation that there would be no official lead Referendum campaigns, 'Yes For Wales' Chair Roger Lewis announced that 'Yes For Wales' had been endorsed as thede facto lead organisation campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the Referendum on 3rd March.

Roger Lewis said:

"'Yes For Wales' represents a broadcoalition of thousands of people acrossWales, while the 'No' side has no recognised leadership, made up of fragmented opinion from UKIP to the Monster Raving Loony Party.

"All the main political parties and officially-registered 'Yes' campaign organisations have today re-affirmed their collective support for 'Yes For Wales', because they believe that a single organisation providing a clear, positive message will help people better understand the issues.

"As the Electoral Commission makes clear, 'Yes for Wales' meets the criteria for designation and we intend to behave as the representative campaigning all-Wales body between now and the referendum on March 3rd."

Roger Lewis also issued a challenge to broadcasters about the way they now cover both sides of the referendum debate, saying:

"'Yes' campaigners will all continue to work together through 'Yes for Wales' to present a consistent message and to work with the media, but there is no recognised lead for the 'No' campaign, so no single group should be treated with any sort of priority over other fringe parties campaigning for a No vote.  Each group has the right to parity, even if their diverse opinions don't help clarity."

The reaffirmation of 'Yes For Wales' position as leader of the 'Yes' campaign followed the decision earlier today by the Electoral Commission not to designate a lead campaign organisation for either the Yes or No campaigns in the forthcoming referendum on Assembly powers on March 3rd.

Commenting on the joint statement Paul O'Shea, Cymru/Wales Secretary of Unison and one of the Planning Group of 'Yes For Wales', said:

"The unity of the Yes campaign is one of our greatest strengths and sits as a sharp contrast to the shambolic and fragmented nature of our opponents in this referendum.

"'Yes For Wales' wanted to be designated as the official 'Yes' campaign. It matters to us that people are engaged with this debate, regardless of which way they decide to vote. Without a national mailing with literature from both sides, engagement is clearly more difficult. But not impossible - at least not impossible for us.

"'Yes For Wales' will continue to behave as if we had been designated. We will get our literature out by hand. We have thousands of volunteers across Wales and our objective is now to get something through the door of every elector in Walesbetween now and March 3rd. We're doing this because democracy matters to us.

"Yes, this is a big and bold initiative, but we think it is feasible. Because 'Yes For Wales' is a mass movement.  We have the critical mass of people that can take the message out there, and we're doing so. That's what a true grassroots movement can achieve, unlike True Wales, UKIP, or any of the other No groups."

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