Too few AMs? You must be joking

Some people would say Wales already has 60 AMs too many. But there's surely little need for an extra 20 of them to cope with the 'extra workload' of new powers after the next election.

Here's a story from today's Western Mail:

One of Britain's leading constitutional experts has expressed serious concerns about the National Assembly's ability to cope with its new powers with the present number of AMs.

Alan Trench, an academic at University College London's Constitution Unit, believes it will be necessary to increase the number of Cardiff Bay politicians from 60 to 80 to ensure proposed laws receive proper scrutiny.

If there's a problem it is that the Assembly doesn't have the calibre of AMs to deal with the present workload. The answer is not more AMs, but better ones.

Of course, some AMs are politicians of the highest order. But there are also a number of glorified town councillors sitting in the Senedd. If they want more help, I suggest they do so on the condition that the overall wage fund is not increased. Welsh people barely know who their local Assembly member is - they won't want to pay for more of them.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 10:14 am,


At 12:40 pm, Anonymous seren said...

Nice idea - it'd still leave the average AM on 35 grand and it's a neat publicity coup for the first party to adopt it.
By accident, it also gets us closer to the concept of a workers' AM on a skilled worker's wage.
One interesting question would be how many of the current intake would continue on a reduced wage? How deep is their commitment to a functioning democracy and how deep is their commitment to lining their own pockets? The same is equally true of those in Westminster and Europe of course.
80 AMs is the minimum needed for a proper parliament (which we haven't got now) and a more representative parliament that didn't allow Labour to take the lion's share of seats with a minority of the votes.

At 1:04 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"By accident, it also gets us closer to the concept of a workers' AM on a skilled worker's wage."

Starting with the 'socialists' in Plaid Cymru perhaps?

At 6:45 pm, Anonymous seren said...

That would be nice ;-)


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