Do you want the assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

That’s the question in the Welsh referendum planned for March 3rd 2011. It, actually, isn’t as badly phrased as many suggestions….although the Electoral Commission’s preamble is a little ..well..long?

PREAMBLE
The National Assembly for Wales – what happens at the moment
The Assembly has powers to make laws on 20 subject areas, such as:
· agriculture
· education
· the environment
· health
· housing
· local government

In each subject area, the Assembly can make laws on some matters, but not others. To make laws on any of these other matters, the Assembly must ask the UK Parliament for its agreement. The UK Parliament then decides each time whether or not the Assembly can make these laws.
The Assembly cannot make laws on subject areas such as defence, tax or welfare benefits, whatever the result of this vote.
If most voters vote ‘yes’
The Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for, without needing the UK Parliament’s agreement.
If most voters vote ‘no’
What happens at the moment will continue.
Question:
Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

It’s probably the most bizarre referendum in UK constitutional history with no constitutional principles at stake, and all parties in the Assembly in favour – but it’s important as the law making process in (or perhaps for) Wales has become an international joke.

The infamous, innocuous, Housing LCO was first proposed on December 3rd 2007.
It went back and for from Westminster until it ran out of time pre General Election. – objections from MPs to the potential to remove the right to buy and to over rule local objections to Gypsy sites…
Following “discussions” between Westminster and Cardiff Bay the LCO was approved in July 2010..
The next stage is a WAG measure – in preparation I believe…
That’s 3 years – about 2 and a half too long…
The referendum is about re-engineering the decision making process to align laws with strategy in a timely fashion. That’s actually quite exciting.
…I doubt, however, that the referendum will be about the real issues….same old slippery slope…

Welsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…