"The Nineteenth century saw a great Springtime of Nations as the revolutions of 1848 saw new countries created the length and breadth of Europe. In our world today we are now seeing our own Spring Awakening with people and cultures that have long been dormant and subdued asserting their right to exist, their right to dream." Adam Price MP
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Confounding the Prediction
Yesterday this blog made predictions on the outcome of the elections taking place on May 5th. For all nationalists who wish to advance the cause of independence in Wales, Scotland and northern Ireland the advice of this blog is:
Wales: vote Plaid twice
Scotland: vote SNP twice
N. Ireland: vote Sinn Fein twice
Remember that other parties (apart from the SDLP) are unionist parties and are determined to support the status quo. For the nations of Wales, Scotland and Ireland the Union is a anachronism. It belongs to a different age.
If you don't like it - change it!
PROGRESSIVE PARTIES: Plaid Cymru, SNP, Greens
These parties work for the good of the nation and its people.
This Thursday will see Welsh voters take part in their second referendum of the year – this time on a possible change from First Past the Post to the Alternative Vote system. Political Editor DAVID WILLIAMSON explains what it all means...
VOTERS on May 5 will decide who they want to send to the Assembly – but they will also be asked if they want to change the system for choosing who goes to Westminster.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg took his party into power with the Conservatives when he won a coalition deal that included a pledge to hold a referendum on changing the voting system.
Voters have only a few days to decide if they want the Alternative Vote system to be introduced and the present First Past the Post method of election to be scrapped.
Under AV, you would vote for candidates in order of preference. For example, if nobody had won 50% of the votes and your number one choice received the lowest number, he or she would be eliminated from the election and your second preference candidate would receive your vote.
This would be repeated until one candidate had half the remaining votes.
This is not the same thing as saying the winner would have the support of half the electorate.
The Electoral Commission explains in its guide to the referendum: “Because voters don’t have to rank all of the candidates, an election can be won under the alternative vote system with less than half the total votes cast.”
A recent study in Parliamentary Affairs found that under AV the Labour-held seats of Newport East and Swansea West would probably have gone to the Lib Dems.
The Conservative seats of Aberconwy and Cardiff North would have gone to Labour, and the Tories would also have seen Montgomeryshire go to the Lib Dems.
Radical changes are on the way, regardless, with the upcoming reduction in the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 30.
Big beasts in the Labour party such as UK leader Ed Miliband and First Minister Carwyn Jones support a Yes vote but many others are opposed.
Former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy will be voting No, as will ex-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Conservative South Wales Central candidate Andrew RT Davies argues that the system falls far short of one in which the numbers of politicians elected would be in exact proportion to the number of votes cast.
He said: “This isn’t proportional. Let’s get this clear.
“Frankly, I think we’d have had a far better debate and more of a challenge if we were talking about proportional representation.”
John Cox, a former Torfaen councillor, recently said that “using AV for new 75,000+ [voter] constituencies, it is possible that neither Plaid Cymru nor the Lib Dems will win a single seat [in Wales].”
However, Plaid Cynon Valley candidate Dafydd Trystan Davies said: “I’m a committed Yes voter. My preferred system is STV (Single transferable Vote) but it’s a step forward.”
The former Plaid chief executive continued: “If something is right, even if it has a bad impact on Plaid Cymru, I think you should support it.”
He added: “[I] don’t think AV will be particularly good or bad for Plaid Cymru.”
Far from being worried that Plaid would be wiped out, he hoped it would encourage the selection of candidates who could appeal to wide sections of the community.
He said: “It puts an emphasis on having strong candidates but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You can’t win on the tribal vote of your own supporters.”