The dawn of an old era

After weeks of haggling, bitching, briefing, capitulating and then recapitulating it's come down to this: another minority Labour government.

Rhodri Morgan will today resume the post of first minister. And he'll do it with only 25 of the 60 available votes.

Despite all the rhetoric of the election campaign, Wales has neither a 'stable government' nor an 'agreed policy programme'. We did our bit - the electorate went to the polls with a slightly increased turnout and gave their verdict. But the politicians have, quite simply, failed to deliver.

So, what next?

Well, fresh from failing to agree even to disagree gracefully, they will now stall and stutter for weeks and months to come. There's a lack of trust and general sense of deflation in Cardiff Bay, which is just what you need at the start of another four year term.

But there's also a great deal of instability and division. Because the men who spectacularly failed to broker a deal last time may not be trusted to do so again. Most of the parties have leadership issues waiting to explode.

So it's back to square zero for the foreseeable future.

On the plus side, a Lib Dem Focus leaflet popped through my letterbox this morning. Glad to see they're sticking to what they do best.

Labels: ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 9:46 am,

69 Comments:

At 10:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let’s just clarify one thing. The Assembly “nominates” a First Minister. The Queen “Appoints” the First Minister.

 
At 10:15 am, Anonymous gutted said...

the welsh public and welsh leaders were once the shapers of modern poloitics, none more so then liberal leaders. Today that radical history has been ignored, a chance to lead the Uk in an ineviable political change has been lost and its same old same old (but worse!) what are the lib dems doing? choosing opposition over government in any form must be a dereliction in duty, can a voter sue their elected reps? And all over anger towards an english tory party of close to twenty years ago - I'm no fan of theirs but times and personnel change? The election was close to seeing labour left a the laughing stock, but the lib dems snatch that at the 11th hour, desperate to win something?

 
At 10:29 am, Anonymous JM said...

Yes the Queen does appoint the First Minister but I understand that can be done via email! I doubt that poor old Rhodri will get an invite to London!

 
At 10:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if the meltdown of the Lib Dem Assembly group transfers to their other elected groups. I think that the most vulnerable is the Westminster group, with at least 3 of their 4 MPs in trouble. Lembit has done himself no favours and appears dis-interested in politics at present, Roger is a nice enough guy but will he have enough backbone to deflect the Tory ire coming his way and Mark is in deep trouble in Ceredigion. If Plaid choose the right candidate, I am convinced that they will win it back. Jenny is probably safe as the local strength of the Council group will give her an electoral buffer.

The Council group are less likely to be affected, but they may run into trouble if the perception of a continuing downward momentum in their party support continues. Labour will throw everything at them to win Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend and Wrexham back and their efforts along with a Tory revival and Plaid improvement might be enough to take control away from them. That will then leave them with a worst case scenario of a discredited AM group in the shadows of opposition, one solitary MP and no Councils.

 
At 10:48 am, Blogger LabourMark said...

I totally agree with you there anon, the Lib Dems will be inm Melt Down and I think the Local elections they will surely loose Swansea, as everything they have touched has gone wrong i.e. bendy bus, it software, house stcock etc. Cradiff they will loose, Bridgend and Wrexham.

Plaid might gain support back west but after talking to the Tories regarding a coalition it will hurt them in Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.

Tories might gain in Pembs, Vale of Glam, and the North.

But its what the independants do, there are a lot of them and more and more voters a re voting for them against a party candidate. As they see them to work for their ward, but in all honesty all independents are either closet Tories in areas where Tories are unpopular or Plaid

 
At 10:52 am, Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

This political deadlock would never have arisen if you'd allowed the sheep to vote. They have a love of Wales, its green grass and its shepherds. I believe that most of them are Plaid Cymru.

 
At 11:17 am, Anonymous Tony Focuspocus said...

hmm, yes. At least the lib dems can provide lining for my cat's litter tray. That's all they can do. My cat's response is to crap extravegantly over the liberals' handywork - an approach I think many of the other parties will be keen to take over the next few years after the utter pointlessness of the lib dems' existance has been highlighted.

 
At 11:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

/only 25 of the 60 available votes./

26, surely?

 
At 11:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Plaid and I'll nothing bad said about such sexy beasts!

I'm not sure how things will effect Plaid. In Swansea for instance, Dai Lloyd led the campaign to keep the Neurosurgery open and the Libs will lose out to Plaid because of their ineptidude.

I think that we will have to wait for the dust to settle before we making a more accurate assessment. Having said that, I think that the Libs are in serious trouble; far worse than even we were after the 2003 elections.

It couldn't happen to a nicer party.

 
At 11:27 am, Blogger NewWelshRight said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reports that the LibDem's bird of liberty symbol has contracted bird flu with have been strenuously denied...

 
At 11:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we see Mike German sneezing, we'll know it's true...

 
At 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon:
/only 25 of the 60 available votes./

26, surely?

Labour has one AM as deputy Presiding Office.

Labour now must reach out to either Plaid or the Lib Dems (If the Lib Dems do sort out themnselves), otherwise the next 4 years will be unstable and very bad for Wales and Welsh devolution.

Labour, Lib Dems and Plaid now all have a responibility to try and form a coalition with each other, in some form, for the sake of Wales, and Welsh Labour must show that it is reaching out to form a proper progressive coalition with one of the other two, or both of the other progressive parties in the Assembly, that way we either have a stable government, or Labour can at least shift blame from a failed government to them for not being responsible.

 
At 11:50 am, Blogger SimonW said...

Anonymous said...

/only 25 of the 60 available votes./

26, surely?

26 Labour AMs, 25 can vote. The Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer have no vote. So it's 25 out of 58. There will only be a vote if there is more than one nomination. There can only be nominations if the AMs agree there will be.

 
At 11:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the nats and tories start to move slightly towards the real world if they want to be treated like grown ups over the next few years. Have you seen the proposed coalition document?

"We want the earth. On a stick. And we will make it sunny every day and give sweeties to everyone. All while we insult the place that gives us the money."

That's not grown up politics. It's uncosted gesturing gone mad. Which makes it all the more remarkable that the Lib Dems, king of the mindless populist gesture, gibbed. Maybe their mummy made them go home for tea and bed.

 
At 11:59 am, Anonymous Labour Group Insider said...

BREAKING NEWS!!!!

It will be 24 Labour AMs. Apparently Leighton Andrews can't bring himself to be there to vote for Rhodri.

He is staying away rather than abstaining or voting against.

You read it here first.

 
At 12:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Leighton is staying away after being such a backstabbing bxstard to Rhodders during negotiations.

In terms of stability, it has to be a red/green agreement. The Liberals are now in such a state that I doubt that they would work with anyone.

It's time for the pro-Wales Labour AMs to come out of the closet and stand up for Wales.

Your nati ...errrrr sorry

Your economic region needs you!

 
At 12:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I heard that the document was costed but became unbalanced after the Libs added so many last minute extras. So in other words, they rejected the deal because of uncosted items that they put in it-on their insistence.

Don't you just love the Lib Dems!

The vast majority of the document is I believe costed and I thought that it was inspiring; something that the Labour administration could not be accused of.

 
At 12:15 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

The Lib Dem's local council problem is that they're not really in charge of them.

In Wxm they (and the Independent Alliance) hold 15 of the 52 seats.

In Cardiff that's 32 of 75.

In Swansea Lib Dems (as part of the Swansea Administration) 31 of 72 (but I think only 19 that are actually Lib Dems?)

In Bridgend, they have 13 of 54 (in a Rainbow Alliance with the Conservatives and Plaid, ironically enough making it up to 25 seats).

Although most of their seats have imposing majorities, a couple of losses here and there and there's no way they could claim any sort of mandate in those four councils.

 
At 12:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tories have played a very clever game by not saying or doing anything, in the belief that everyone else will then get the flack. I think that they have pulled it off, although some of their new intake are apparently a little to the right of stormin' Norman Tebbit.

The Golden Cross in Cardiff should be re-named the Charles Darwin. That should get Mr. Millar out of his vow of silence.

 
At 12:24 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Welsh Labour needs to from a centre-left, progressive alliance with Plaid and/or the Liberal Democrats, with the aim of social justice, equality and a fair Wales, which Welsh Labour, Plaid and Lib Dems all share with each other. Wales needs a progressive/socialist alliance, either between Plaid-Labour or Plaid-Labour-Liberals or Lib-Lab. If the parties fail to come to some agreement, then we will see a disaster in Wales over the next 4 years because no party of any colour can operate in a minority, and it would be better for Rhodri to not stand as First Minister if there was no hope of any kind of alliance between Labour and another party.

 
At 12:25 pm, Anonymous Alun said...

Re; Leighton Andrews...

According to his blog he's at a funeral today

 
At 12:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Re; Leighton Andrews...

According to his blog he's at a funeral today"

Given the geriatric nature of the Labour Party rank and file membership, he could be at a funeral every day.

 
At 12:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice the letter from Plaid's leader on Swansea Council in the South Wales Evening Post...?
"We are certainly not in coalition with either Labour or the Tories, with whom we have many policy differences."
Eyebrows have been raised.

 
At 1:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, amongst everything else, we found out that voting LibDems neans voting for a pressure group.

They have no policies. They're all things to all men when asking for your vote but you'll mean nothing after you put your vote and faith in them. They have bigger LibDems behind the scenes they have to consult and obey before taking part in a descision, so again, you don't count.

 
At 1:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some comments are absolutely pathetic - Leighton is a bit of a tosser, but knocking him for going to a fucking funeral is just shit.

 
At 1:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...In Swansea for instance, Dai Lloyd led the campaign to keep the Neurosurgery open and the Libs will lose out to Plaid because of their ineptidude....

It might split between Plaid and Tory. Depending on the candidates.

 
At 1:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Some comments are absolutely pathetic - Leighton is a bit of a tosser, but knocking him for going to a fucking funeral is just shit.


I agree, some people are just heartless and cold tho, I think they are called Tories.....

 
At 1:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

/That's not grown up politics. It's uncosted gesturing gone mad. Which makes it all the more remarkable that the Lib Dems, king of the mindless populist gesture, gibbed. Maybe their mummy made them go home for tea and bed. /

That sounds a bit like schoolyard talk too. I presume you are a Labour supporter? If so, did you see your leader last night on TV being questioned about his public derogatory comments and thuggish attitude towards the other parties?

 
At 2:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodri Morgan can't even be serious when he's being elected First Minister, he has to crack stupid jokes and act like a clown.

No wonder Wales is a laughing stock today - the events in the chamber today were as shambolic as the negotiations over coalitions - bring on the independents.

 
At 2:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wales isnt the laughing stock - Plaid Cymru are.

 
At 2:45 pm, Anonymous der said...

Rhodri Morgan said that he was glad to be wearing the 'captain's arm-band once again. Rather, it should be a black one, denoting a long period of sorrow....possibly 4 years.

 
At 2:52 pm, Blogger Pads said...

/Wales isnt the laughing stock - Plaid Cymru are./

What's so funny? Please share it with us.

 
At 3:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ref it wouldn't be like this with Independents - a comment sometimes made re the current situation and sometimes about councils. While some Independents are good, it is a common misconception that because someone stands as an Independent, they inherently are independent and can better represent their constituents. Often Independents hold strong party political based views and some are actually members of parties. They rarely tell people this but quite often canvass as Tories in nice areas and Labour in poor areas etc! Then there is the next problem with the misconception about Indies and parties. If you are going to get things done in any organisation or walk of life you need to work together, usually based on some common beliefs. This is entirely logical and the natural trend in the developemnt of any system. Where you get more than a few Indies in a council they either have to work together or in truth be ineffective. In a number of councils they have come together as a group who meet as a group and in fact have various forms of whipping. They are in fact a form of party when this happens. They don't tend to tell the public this (but in fact they are right to do it as otherwise they would be ineffective). They are evolving into a party to avoid the herding cats scenario BUT those that claim they are not or that an Independent is inherently better, no nothing about how organisations work in reality.

 
At 3:45 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

I was there watchin the Senedd with Sue Essex and Paul Flynn, I think that what was needed a bit of humour, the last three weeks have been stressfull and this was the goal post. Rhodri made it the rest fell at the fences.

In the speach he talked about co-operation with other parties, and how humble he was to eb elected again as First Minister. IWJ AND MG speech were similar in the way they again spoke of co-operation and how they will work close with the First Minister to get the best deal possible for Wales. NB was just bitter that the rainbow alliance failes and he still hopes it can rise again.

I still got my pass and I got it signed so E-bay here I come or maybe pass it down to the next generation.

 
At 4:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blamerbell is right, it is the dawn of an old era as Rhodri's crowing and rambling clearly showed in the chamber this afternoon.

He is a dead man walking with his party on the slide. I believe he will be out either by the rainbow coalition or his own party within the year. So let him and Jane Hutt have their moment flying in the sun because the left engine will malfunction soon enough!

 
At 4:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many AMs were missing I counted 2.

Andrews was one who was the other? Answers on a postcard please?

 
At 4:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I counted three empties from my vantage point

Leighton's
SofS chair
PO's constituencey chair

Was their another?

It was strange to see big Carl in the front. Is that's an omen of things to come or was the captain keeping the attack dog on the leash? Perhaps that's what he means by 'conciliatory politics'.

 
At 4:46 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Hopefully we will see Welsh Labour can do more then enough to get progressive co-operation between Welsh Labour, Plaid and the Liberal Democrats.

The people of Wales didn't vote for the right wing of Welsh politics, they overwhelmingly voted for Centre-left wing parties, such as Welsh Labour, Plaid and the Liberal Democrats, and we need to respect that descion. A new era can come about, one of a 'progressive consensus'.

 
At 4:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But didn't the Welsh Conservatives have the second heighst number of votes...more than Plaid?

We shouldn't be talking about parties but polices that are good for the people of Wales. Simon Thomas and Cynog Dafis have said that the Conservatives in the Assembly should not be tainted with the Thatcher past and that Conservative would be supporting a Plaid led administration not the other way around.

People and views do change. Devolution in Wales is here to stay and I believe that they have genuinely accepted that fact and want to move on. I think the Welsh Conservatives must be taken seriously as a party in Wales for the people of Wales.

 
At 5:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LabourMark 3.45pm

You hang on to that pass. It will be worth much more soon as a pass to see the last Labour FM appointed here in Wales!!



gwil ap Tomos

 
At 5:53 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

LabourMark 3.45pm

You hang on to that pass. It will be worth much more soon as a pass to see the last Labour FM appointed here in Wales!!



gwil ap Tomos


-----------------------------------

HA! Wishful thinking there! I dont think the Welsh people will enbrace conservatism any time soon. Nor do the majority want indepdnence, at the moment.

 
At 6:22 pm, Blogger PONTYGWINDY said...

I really don't know what tomorrow's special Welsh Lib Dem conference will achieve other than to highlight just how bitterly divided the Party is on the tripartite deal. Even if it were to be approved there is virtually no chance of either Plaid or the Tories wanting to do business with us now.

WLDs need to be take refuge in a corner and lick their wounds, not throwing themselves into the gladiatorial arena and fight like rats in a sack - and there are plenty of rats. I only hope to God that once this humiliation is over that pest control can rectify the situation.

My faith in Liberalism remains unshaken. If only I could still have faith in Welsh Liberals.

 
At 6:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How many AMs were missing I counted 2."

Trish Law wasnt there - I didnt see her anyway.

 
At 8:04 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

there was 4 missing, TRISH LAW, LEIGHTON ANDREWS, ELIN JONES AND ALUN FRED JONES

 
At 9:39 pm, Blogger hafod said...

I still got my pass and I got it signed so E-bay here I come or maybe pass it down to the next generation - Labourmark

Ah, Thatcher's children - even the ones who call themselves Labourites think everything is a commodity that can be sold.
A plague on both your houses - the pink and the blue Tories (I know that's not very consensual but how can you work with w*nkers?)

 
At 10:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hafod

Talking of commodities that can be sold, you just mortgaged your hopes of winning in the valleys for the chance of forming a government, and got neither.

You're now the people that tried and failed to form a coalition with the Conservative and Unionist Party.

 
At 10:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said:
/Talking of commodities that can be sold, you just mortgaged your hopes of winning in the valleys for the chance of forming a government, and got neither./

No one has reason to be smug today. Most of those who voted did not want New labour back again hence the great depression over this result.
Well, there will be a next time and we are very much wiser now.

The saddest part of it all that it is likely New Labour has the hospital closures cut and dried already and it will be too late to do anything about it.

 
At 10:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1031 - it was more defensive than smug. Something to do with being called 'w*nk*rs'.

Plaid have loads to offer and Labour don't have enough talent to fill all the cabinet positions themselves. Even if they had a mandate to do so, which they don't.

I'm a Labour supporter who'd love to see Plaid on board, but we didn't do enough to tempt them and they had a plot of their own anyway.

Room for reconsideration on both sides, perhaps. On May 4 Plaid didn't want to back Labour because they wanted to oppose us in 2011. Now it would make sense for them to go into coalition swith Labour so that they could avoid the "Taffia Tories" tag that Labour will pin on them in the valleys next time.

It's the Tories Plaid need to distinguish themselves from now, thanks to their recent adventures.

 
At 11:50 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

(I know that's not very consensual but how can you work with w*nkers?)

Nationalists like you are just as bad and just as extreme as prats like Huw Lewis and Leighton Andrews. The fact is partys need to co-operate, and need to look to form formal coalitions, otherwise devolution in Wales will be a disaster, if not ALL of the 4 parties learn to work with each other and are open to coalitions with each other.


The moderates from the Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats have to work together to build a better Wales, especally moderates from Welsh Labour and Plaid. A Red-Green/Plaid-Labour alliance is what the people of Wales want, they do not want the Tories in government again, and they do not want a minority Labour government, no-one does because it would be a disaster, since minority governments of any colour always are.

As for smug comments, I think that Anons that seem to support the Rainbow coalition were more guilty to that, before it fell. However they were just childish, as are anyone who is making smug comments.

 
At 11:51 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

That was a quote by hafod by the way.

 
At 12:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said:
/I'm a Labour supporter who'd love to see Plaid on board, but we didn't do enough to tempt them and they had a plot of their own anyway./

Who are "we"? No one was supposed to tempt anyone. There were policies that had been put to the people. It has taken until today for the now FM to realise he will have to compromise.

/ On May 4 Plaid didn't want to back Labour because they wanted to oppose us in 2011./

I don't think so. Labour is closing hospitals now. There is serious poverty in Wales after eight years of New Labour. Plaid has never said it could wait until 2011. The Welsh people did not want to wait.

/Now it would make sense for them to go into coalition swith Labour so that they could avoid the "Taffia Tories" tag that Labour will pin on them in the valleys next time./

The "taffia tories" as you call them are New Labour. New Labour is very rude, calls all the parties by derogatory names. Rhodri was asked why he was so rude himself. It is disgusting we have a FM who talks like a thug and a bully.

/It's the Tories Plaid need to distinguish themselves from now, thanks to their recent adventures./

Don't know which planet you came from. Why do you think the Rainbow coalition was so popular? Which party did they think was a better risk? Not New Labour which is destroying the fabric of Wales. We have no socialist party now and Plaid was the closest in this election.
Plaid has done nothing to be ashamed about. What these last two weeks have highlighted (apart from the Liberal democrat showdown) is the deception going on in New Labour. How they continue to tell the electorate that they are socalists, while the very ideals of socialism have been left behind a long time ago. Where are the young Labour groups? Few exist, they have moved to the more socialist Respect party.

 
At 12:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

geraint said:
'The fact is partys need to co-operate, and need to look to form formal coalitions, otherwise devolution in Wales will be a disaster, if not ALL of the 4 parties learn to work with each other and are open to coalitions with each other. '



This Lib Dem shenanikins has me wondering how many other AMs are in the Bay who are there for campaiging alone. Yet when you think of the qualities we look for in candidates we expect an enthusiasm for campaigning, but assume they have political talents. That is, a brain capable of making informed descisions without prejudice.
Maybe we could grade the AMs. Those who have proven skills, grade from one to five. The last being the boo haa gang. And cut their salaries accordingly. lol

 
At 12:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why do you think the rainbow coalition was so popular?"

You're barking mad, aren't you?

Pray God I can nip down the shop for a paper in the morning without having to squeeze my way through the angry hordes. Here in Cardiff there have been mass demonstrations ever since the rainbow collapsed, with fuming voters cramming Cowbridge Road to demand the immediate reinstatement of Ieuan Wyn, Mike German and Nick Bourne as the heads of the popular government. Comparisons have been drawn with the chartists and the suffragette movement. Impromptu street parties appeared when Plaid suspended its talks with Labour, but the mood quickly turned sour when the LibDems' betrayal emerged.

Frankly, I think there will be riots throughout Wales if Ieuan Wyn Jones is not installed as First Minister immediately. His public wants him.

The only thing that baffles me is why this political phenomenon, who has done for Welsh nationalism what Chesney Hawkes did for late 80s cheese-fest musicals, didn't actually win the election.

But that can easily be overlooked.

 
At 12:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calm down anonymous.

It happened, so live with it.

We almost had a rainbow coalition and there is depression because it did not happen. Anything would have been better than the eight years of New labour we had just had. However, if the FM stays true to his promise of listening to the rest of Wales then we might see the beginnings of Wales moving into modern politics. It will hurt New Labour hard. Very hard. But it's the only way forward for the good of the electorate.

 
At 1:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, to sum up. New Labour are the largest party in the election, for the third election in a row. Since the creation of the Assembly (by a Labour government at Westminster), Labour have been in government at the Assembly.

There's an obvious lesson to be drawn from all this. Labour need to change. They need to be more like the other parties, who have cleverly adopted unpopular policies and shunned the vulgar triumphalism of actually winning power via the ballot box. Far better the grubby backroom deal brokered by support staff and activists that puts the less popular parties into power. Oh yes. That's the way it works on the continent.

Cmon, people. Labour have to acknowledge that they need policies and personnel from other parties. You also have to acknowledge that they beat you.

 
At 1:31 am, Blogger Geraint said...

Anon 1:10 AM

You just contridicted your entire point of your post well done. There are no winners of loosers in the PR system in the ballot box, simple as. The fact is that in a PR system parties are meant to work together and form coalitions with each other, no-one can win a majority, and no-one should win a majority.

The rest of what you saying is pretty much what I been saying for some time now, ignoring your obvious out-of-date partisan views. Which I obviously don't subscribe too coming being an activist of Welsh Labour myself.

 
At 1:39 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

The simple reason that the Rainbow fizzled out was that Plaid, the Libs and Tories could not believe their luck when Labour failed to get a majority.

Their true colours then became apparent. They threw their long held principles away and became Political Whores. (Except of course, the Gang of Four).

All became very excited. In fact, Ieuan became so animated that he was jumping up and down like a Duracell Bunny. His eyes sparkled with anticipation....but then.....the sad truth dawned on them.

They'd showed their hands and Rhodri calmly produced his floating Joker. The game was lost.

Now they can live with the knowledge that Plaid has shown that it is closer to the Tories than to Labour. The Tories would have been overjoyed with anything and the Libs asked everyone if they would like a nice cup of tea.

Rhodri has had a bit of a kicking in this election but, be warned, he ain't no fool. He knows that Labour has to improve their share of the vote and will use this showdown with the Other Parties as a demonstration of how none of the others can be trusted again as they abandoned their so-called principles at the merest sniff of power.

The next session should be fun.

Your Pelagian pal.

johnny.

 
At 1:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geraint

I agree with you. I want to see Labour work with other parties. But 'winner' is not the same as 'majority'. In a PR system, the 'winner' is the biggest party, and it's they who traditionally lead the govt.

When the LibDems backed out of negotiations with Labour, saying that there wasn't enough in it for them, this blog was quick to wag its finger in Labour's direction. However, when the LDs pulled out of negotiations with Plaid, saying there wasn't enough in it for them, this blog assumed they were stupid, cowardly or morally bankrupt.

I'm just lashing out in my own cack-handed way against that kind of bias.

 
At 2:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In a PR system, the 'winner' is the biggest party, and it's they who traditionally lead the govt."

You're making it up as you go along.

 
At 9:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so it's perfectly acceptable for any combination of parties to club together and form a government. Welsh voters need to unederstand that their votes will not actually decide anything. It's nigh-on impossible for a party to get a majority under the Assembly's electoral system, so it will always be possible for the smaller parties to club togeether to keep the biggest party out of office. The result is therefore meaningless, unless the largest party is to derive some advantage from the fact that it got more votes than any of its rivals.

Why bother with the expensive (and often tiresome) process of the election itself? Let's cut out the middleman and just leave the party leaders to have a chat over a cup of tea every four years and decide which sides they want to take.

 
At 9:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In a PR system, the 'winner' is the biggest party, and it's they who traditionally lead the govt."

Who is this self-appointed no-nothing "expert" on PR? An anti-Rainbow Lib Dem no doubt. Get this into your thick skull, there is NO reason at all for the biggest party to be in government if the combined opposition can out vote them.

You want an example well try SWEDEN where the Social Democrats are the biggest party but the country ios ruled by a Centre-Right coalition.

So please spare us your ignorant theories.

 
At 9:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me, did the centre-right bloc in Sweden announce before the election their plan to club together to form a government? They did? So voters knew they were choosing between the Social Democrats and the 'Alliance' of other parties?

So it's not quite a parallel with events in Wales over the last couple of months.

But I agree that Sweden shows us the way forward. I expect the Tories, Plaid and the LibDems to openly campaign under the rainbow banner at the next election. In fact, why not force a vote of no confidence in Rhodri M and we'll have that election next month?

 
At 10:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who needs a fresh election if German can deliver the Lib Dems and Bourne and IWJ want it then they can ditch Rhodri and form a new government.

Labour's 32% doesn't give it some right to rule Wales if the poisonous sectarianism of some of its members means that it fails to build alliances with other parties.

An election next month? The electorate expect politicians to get on with it rather than obsessing about the minutiae of PR and the number of Lib Dems you can get on a pinhead.

 
At 10:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By 'the minutiae of PR' do you mean the question of who actually forms the government?

If the voters just want the pols to get on with that, what exactly is the point of the election?

 
At 10:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By 'the minutiae of PR' do you mean the question of who actually forms the government?"

No, I mean the viewpoint that there is some ethical necessity for the party with the most votes to always end up in government, presumably providing the FM.

If this is the case you may as well have the "first past the post" system.

As we have a PR system then its obvious that the parties are going to go into whatever coalition moves their particular project forward the most.

This is tough on the ideological extremists in all parties who have always sought to push their ownsectarian agendas by grasping the levers of power within the party structures, even though most voters of all parties believe in consensus and pragmitism.

The PR system promotes consensus and pragmitism, its a shame that some of the politicians can't grasp that fact.

 
At 10:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all agree that no single party is likely to win a majority under PR (or our quasi-PR, AMS system).

So let's consider the maths. Parties A, B, C and D will each receive less than 50% of the seats. And A + B + C + D will total 100%, barring an independent or two.

Therefore any three of the parties will always be able to join together to defeat the other one. And of course in many scenarios, two parties will be able to join together to defeat the other two.

That's PR, you'll say. But what concerns me is the question of how this joining together is to be decided. Because if it's done purely through discussions between the party leaders, the election itself is meaningless. It's almost impossible for the electorate to return a result in which B, C and D can't join together to defeat A. A would have to win more than three-quarters of the constituency seats to avoid that happening. Such a result is unprecedented in modern British electoral history.

So for me, there are three possibilities. 1) the party that gains the most votes must be deemed to have some sort of advantage; 2) the parties could announce during the election campain that they intend to join forces with another party or parties, forming an Alliance that the voter can deliver a verdict on; or 3) party leaders will privately discuss coalition options, meaning that the election result is irrelevant and the voters effectively have no say.

What can we do to avoid 3) becoming the default option, as it has been in this election?

 
At 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this wheeler-dealing - for good or ill - is part and parcel of a PR system.

Of course Labour did rule out a coalition with the Tories before the election, Plaid and the Liberals didn't. Voters with a psychological antipathy to the Tories would have been well advised to vote Labour. No Plaid or Liberal voter can have been unaware of the possibility of their party going into coalition with the Tories, or Labour for that matter.

What you are really arguing against is PR - fair enough. If you make it a legal requirement that the biggest party must be part of the coalition and provide the FM then I can envisage a scenario where the BNP comes to power with say 25% of the vote. If you are asking for the parties to lay their cards on the table before the election, well in reality that is what actually happened.

 
At 6:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

////An election next month? The electorate expect politicians to get on with it rather than obsessing about the minutiae of PR and the number of Lib Dems you can get on a pinhead. /////

You won't get the candidates back. Well not the quality ones. Some had a really rough time during the campaign and don't want to repeat it so soon.

 

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