During FMQs this week, I called on the First Minister to outline how the Senedd reform bill will make members of the Senedd more accountable to the public. Reflecting on the proposed closed list system, I emphasised that voters should be able to vote for both the party and the candidate of their choice independently from each other.
The closed list system removes the option for people to pick their preferred candidate and will make Senedd Members party political mouthpieces and more concerned about serving their party pay masters than the people who elect us here to serve them.
I grow increasingly concerned that this proposed system could undermine our elections in Wales and weaken democracy. Respectively, some voters look to individual candidates to represent them not parties. We should do well to remember that devolution is supposed to strengthen our local communities, not overlook them by taking away choice.
Here in Wales, we can have a truly representative system that reflects the will of the people and puts us ahead of the electoral system in England. If we are to get the bread-and-butter issues under control, we need to make sure that our institutions are fit for purpose and undergo a fair and proportionate electoral process.
Protecting voters interests:
The people of Wales want to be able to freely choose who they wish to represent them and an open list system, where voters can cast a vote for both their choice of political party and preferred candidate is the strongest possible solution. Once again, the Welsh government have got their priorities wrong. Focusing on constitutional reform when public services are in dire need of care and attention. Even then, they can’t even seem to deliver on a constitutional model that directly improves electoral process here in Wales.
I will continue to call for an open list system and urges the Welsh Government to look at other countries such as Denmark, who permit voters to cast a vote for their preferred party and preferred candidate.