Monday, November 20, 2006

18 New Assembly Measures. I don't believe it

Crikey. What have we done to deserve it. A new 'government' bill for Wales every week that 'government' sits. Wales could become the Legislation Capitol of the World - at least if Lord Elis-Thomas, our Presiding Officer has his way.
Last week we heard from Her Majesty, The Queen that her loyal Government intends to introduce 29 new Bills in the next session of Parliament. And today I read that our Presiding Officer wants 18 new pieces of legislation introduced by the National Assembly in the first year after it is given the power from next May to come up with new 'Assembly Measures'. I'm not sure what Dafydd has been taking with his coffee but I do not think this is remotely acheivable. 6 more like.
As always I think there is some method behind his madness. I agree with his Lordship that we must get to grips quickly with the new powers and it would be quite nice if we could bore the pants off MPs for retaining their involvement in the Assembly law-making process. But with just 60 AMs, any attempt to rush things will give amunition to those who want to do the Assembly down. I think quality of law-making is more important than quantity. And anyway we have far too many laws and regulations as it is. We should probably have one minister responsible for law-scrapping. Westminster certainly needs one.


Daran said...

At the Cymru Yfory conference on Monday perhaps the saddest aspect was the lack of ideas for legislation, despite the general optimism about the new system. We need more thought by civic society on framing Orders in Council as broadly as possible so that, in time, we will have the potential for more and better legislation. For the first years perhaps the focus should be there, rather than on what exactly the Assembly does with any new powers. 18 ideas for Assembly Measures, some of which will undoubtedly not progress through the system, is a different proposition to 18 Orders in Council and in time I hope we have enough inspiration and ideas to make the 18 Measures a reality, even if I remain sceptical of the same volume of Orders in Council.

Glyn Davies AM said...

Actually Daran I believe a genuine committment to maximising 'framework powers' in all Westminster legislation will give Wales more genuine power that acting via the new legislative procedures available to us after May. I am looking forward to handling one useful measure professionally - and demonstating a genuine competence within Cardiff Bay.

Daran said...

You may be right about framework legislation. In their presentation to the same Cymru Yfory conference, David Lambert and Marie Navarro agreed that framework powers would have more impact, at least in the early years. More worryingly for you as an opposition AM, perhaps, they argued that the pattern of power devolved to Ministers through framwork legislation would be less easy for AMs to control. You may wish to try and source this presentation.