8 May 2013

Making Wales a bit less like Ukraine

Some more good news from today’s Queen’s Speech. And this time it’s for something that’s actually in it. The Coalition Government is now pledged to bring forward draft legislation to reform elections in Wales. The current way Wales elects its AMs, a hybrid system known as the ‘Mixed Member System’ (40 via First Past The Post constituencies and 20 Regional List members) is far from perfect. The […]
7 Mar 2013

The 300 women ‘missing’ from Welsh public life

It’s International Women’s Day. And it seemed the right time to show just how badly women are faring in Welsh public life. Our Welsh Power Report assesses the levels of women across politics and public life, and highlighted a number of concerning trends: The proportion of women Assembly Members and Welsh MPs is in decline. There are 5 women ‘missing’ from the National Assembly and 13 from the 40 […]
20 Feb 2013

Blanket ban on broadcasting ‘shutting voters out’

While some communities still face barriers accessing the internet, for others online channels like council websites, Twitter and Facebook are important ways of finding out information. From big decisions like planning applications, through to everyday information like whether your local school’s shut today, the internet is a powerful tool. Yet in many Welsh town halls, council bosses are […]
16 Feb 2013

Building Wales: Plaid Cymru's Participative Democracy

Guest writer Leanne Wood is leader of Plaid Cymru We may well live in a representative parliamentary democracy, but all too often democracy is only exercised at certain times. I believe the interaction between politicians and the people who elect them must go much further than the cross on the ballot paper. One of the great advantages of our Senedd is its’ transparency and openness. Assembly […]
6 Feb 2013

Time to Discuss Local Democracy in Wales

A few weeks ago, Electoral Reform Society Wales gave evidence to the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee about the new Local Democracy Bill making its way through the National Assembly. Is the new Local Democracy Bill enough to ensure local authorities are democratically representative of their communities? Does it make sure that they are organised in the most effective way, and […]
17 Dec 2012

Europe – Two views from Wales

With the debate on Europe continuing at a pace ERS Cymru has sought to views from Wales on the challenge ahead. Europe isn’t working, but it could Max Clark has been Treasurer for Conservative Future Scotland and has worked as a Researcher for the Welsh Conservative group in the National Assembly for Wales. I sit here writing this article in a state of moderate disbelief. As an enthusiastic euro- […]
3 Dec 2012

Debating Elected Mayors for Wales

THE CASE AGAINST - Why I'm not in favour of having directly elected mayors in Wales Mike Hedges AM, Labour Assembly Member for Swansea East & former Leader of the City & County of Swansea When David Cameron suggested at the last General Election that he wants “every city to have its own Boris Johnson”, was he really speaking for the vast majority of people? With most major cities […]
30 Oct 2012

16 days and counting to an election no one’s heard of...

Another day, another disaster. We now hear that £350,000 worth of ballot papers are headed for the shredder . The farce that is the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections is continuing to thrill audiences across the country. Bi-lingual ballots matter in Wales, but 11th hour legislation had to be rushed through last night after the Government simply forgot to factor them in to the deal. The […]
17 Oct 2012

Committees need to take a democratic role in making public appointments

Guest writer is Mark Drakeford AM In this brief article I set out the case for introducing pre-appointment hearings for major public appointments in Wales. It draws on evidence from elsewhere to demonstrate the benefits which greater democratic involvement in the appointment process can bring. Since first making this suggestion I have been heartened by the support it has already gathered. […]
6 May 2012

Asking a different question on the anniversary of AV

A year ago the Yes campaign was soundly defeated in the AV referendum. Bad timing, an imperfect alternative and an opposition willing to fight dirty all worked in favour of First Past the Post, and 67.9% of voters opted for the status quo. However, the vote against the AV was not a vote of confidence in FPTP. Referendums, by their very nature, tend towards oversimplification in order to achieve […]