Friday, May 04, 2007

PR system needs changing suggests Wigley

Just listening to "Newyddion" (Welsh language news) on S4C and I am sure Wigley has just criticised the system of PR.

Some personal reflection : Having now contested two Assembly elections I have seen Labour gather the highest level of votes in the North Wales region, but end up with no additional seats. This is a little strange for the following reason. After each election members of Plaid Cymru, the Tories and the Lib Dems can all feel some attachment to the Assembly via a North Wales list member(s). In spite of stacking up the support Labour supporters in areas like, the old Caernarfon, and now the new Arfon have no such link. I always felt that was a little unfair.

I don't think Dafydd has much to moan about at least he can talk to his North Wales regional AM. As a Labour supporting elector I have no such option. That does feel comparatively unfair.


Cymro said...

I was listening to the same thing, but I don't think I'd call it a criticism as such - just an opinion. But I think your reflections on PR are misguided.

Constituency representative are under a statutory obligation to respond to their constituents, regardless of party allegiances. Your proposal would tribalise politics.

menaiblog said...

The present hybrid PR system is an extremely bad one - but was of course set up by the Labour government in Westminster.

Your problem would be worse under first past the post of course. Multi seat constituency STV would be fairer, & would answer your problem.

BTW - there were a number of aspects to your campaign that I found distasteful - such as the attempt to scare the voter to death by claiming that John Redwood would turn up to eat his children & throw his aged parents into a well if he didn't vote Labour.

But, having said that, losing is always hard & is especially so after working hard for a long period of time.

Therefore sincere commiserations are in order.

menaiblog said...

Also - Labour as a party (though not you as an individual) do well out of the present system & first past the post - getting far more seats than the percentage of your vote merits.

hedd said...

Unfair? Are you serious? You won only 32% of the vote throughout Wales - if you are talking about what is FAIR you should have won 20 seats MAX. You got 26. Count yourself very lucky.

The people of Arfon clearly showed that they have no appetite for the British Labour Party in Wales.

I presumbe that after such a bad defeat, and Alun Ffred increasing his majority even though boundary changes favoured Labour, that this will be your final election?

Martin Eaglestone said...

Happy to allow a number of comments through as we all reflect on Thursday's polling activities.

Don't think I see first past the post as being as negative as is suggested (although it is atheoretical debate as it was not that type of election) but must accept the D'Hont stuff is only broadly proportionate.

Of course my blog was used to stir up reaction, and a few people bit the worm that was dangled. It seemed to suddenly occupy some time of Plaid candidates.

Apologies that I still don't see the content as "distasteful" but just the harsher edge of election politics. Indeed as the new WAG is not yet in place,. Mr Redwood may still be awaiting his invitation (ironic humour comnrade!).

My point was not a personal one, but that Labour stacks up lots of 2nd votes which end up with no "reward" for our voters from Ynys Mon, Arfon and Anberconwy ( and tactically voting some other way on 2nd vote doesn't feel right).

However by Assembly election 3 people, including myself, might become more tactically astute on the 2nd vote. Then things could get even more interesting.

menaiblog said...

Your position as regards PR is extremely confusing.

You dislike the present FPTP / PR system because it leaves you & others like you with no direct representation by your own party in Cardiff. Fair point.

Yet you seem to like First Past the Post which has left many, many members & supporters of my party across the country in precisely the same position throughout their lives. This is equally true of members & supporters of other parties. Your party has been less effected by this than others.

Now, if you had a multi seat constituency STV system, things would be different. If you stuck Aberconwy, Ynys Mon & Arfon together & turned it into a four seater the likely result would have been 2 Plaid, 1 Labour, 1 Tory. Even the Lib Dems would have less to complain about because their second, third etc preferences would have influenced the result.

Martin Eaglestone said...

I don't think I was slamming PR but I was reflecting on the comment which DW`made on Newyddion. Something does not feel quite right in stacking up 51,000 votes with no recognition.

I do accept that there are more representative systems - but suspect they are a dead duck with Labour colleagues.

menaiblog said...

Well, if you share the regional seats out propotionally & disregard the number of direct seats won you could well see a party with well under 30% of the vote getting an overall majority.

Such atate of affairs would make the Assembly & indeed the government itself a joke.

Martin Eaglestone said...

North Wales regional seats
Turnout: 42.4%

Name(s) Party Number of votes for Party % of votes

Brynle Williams/Mark Isherwood
Welsh Conservative Party 50266

Janet Ryder Plaid Cymru- Party of Wales 50558 25.7

Eleanor Burnham Welsh Liberal Democrats 15275 / 7.8

Only 15,000 votes across a whole region and elected : a bit bizzare.

Cymro said...

I understand where you are coming from on this, Martin. But what are you suggesting in place of party list PR?