Monday, April 02, 2007

Confusion in Montgomeryshire

Been around Welshpool Livestock Market today with impressive local Tory candidate, Dan Munford. But the truth is that no-one had much idea of what we were about because they didn't understand the Assembly Election voting system. Most people we talked to thought that I was retiring from politics. I suppose they could be right - but I think they meant voluntarily! It really is maddening that Peter Hain and Rhodri Morgan have got away with their shameless gerrymandering. The ban on duel candidacy is even more confusing than I thought it would be. Regrettably, there is not much 'opinion' in the Welsh media. Otherwise, they would have been crucified. Not sure it will make much difference to the result though - but I do think the confusion will result in a poorer turnout.

Even more confusion at home. A grey wagtail has fallen head over heals in love with my car mirror. It spends all day trying to mount its reflection - and standing on top of it c***ping all over the glass. If only we humans could express our disgust with those who con us in such a direct way.

And to cap it all, an incredibly handsome cock pheasant has fallen for my wife. It follows her around the garden whenever she walks out to see the magnolias. Poor fellow must be going through a real identity crisis. For a while, we both thought it was a 'gay' cock pheasant - a bit like Boysey's 'gay' bull. Normally, this time of year cocks are strictly territorial and harem building - but this fellow was 'dropping his wing' at a fellow cock in the most suggestive way. I think that I am going to blame Peter and Rhodri for this confusion as well.

9 comments:

Left Field said...

I disagree with the ban on dual candidacies. But it did itself create some "confusion." Especially in Clwyd West where every candidate except the UKIP one ended up elected.

At least you can take heart in the fact that if any of Labour's big names are 'decapitated' at the elections then they can't get back in via the list. Surely poetic justice ?

Anonymous said...

the thought of a handsome cock 'dropping his wing' at a fellow cock in a most suggestive way sounds disgusting it could only happen in sheep country

Glyn Davies AM said...

The use of the Clwyd West anomaly as justification for the ban on dual candidacy is the reason why every party is keen to see Alun Pugh lose the seat - despite many of us rather liking Alun at a personal level.
It is interesting that the Electoral Commission said that no-one at all has ever raised this so-called Clwyd West confusion with them. It was simply made much of by Labour to justify what they wanted to do in Wales, to disadvantage other parties.
Jane Hutt, Tamsin Dunwoody and even Carwyn Jones if it is a bad night for Labour are also in line to lose out. It really would serve Labour right.

Anonymous said...

The whole system of top up AMs is wrong. It was only introduced by Ron Davies because he knew that the Labour party wouldn't support STV. Even then Ron assumed that on past electoral performance Labour would win between 31 and 34 of the first past the post seats and therefore always have a majority. If there has to be a top up element then the list should apply to the whole of Wales not atificial former Euro constituencies and it should also be open. The obvious solution is for an STV voting sysytem for the whole of Wales on redrawn constituencies. It is frankly absurd that a good assembly member such as yourself who often thinks outside the box could lose his seat because your party might win Montgomeryshire. If Carwyn lost his seat he would be replaced by a Labour list member who has done nothing except be Hain's election agent in the past.

Glyn Davies AM said...

Must admit that I prefer first-past-the-post, even with its imperfections. Probably next best is STV if we were starting from scratch. But we're not- so I would have left the additional member system alone. Voters have become used to it. Retaining it while banning dual candidacy has spread confusion and will lead to a lower turnout. I hope that L;abour pay for this blatant vote fixing.

sanddef said...

STV definately, first-past-the-post never! I don't see why the constituencies have to mimic the Westminster ones either, and how come Norn Ireland has more AMs than Wales?

Glyn Davies AM said...

The Northern Ireland Assembly probably has too many members - but there are special reasons for that.

If the new constitution applying to Wales from May works well, we could find that 60 AMs will not be sufficient to do the job. But we will have to wait and see about this. The public would not wear more AMs unless there were less MPs, in my opinion

Anonymous said...

If Libby Purves article in the Times on free prescriptions is anything to go by fewer Welsh MPs will definitely be on the agenda in the next few years.

Glyn Davies AM said...

I don't take the Times. But would like to see the article. Which day was it on?