Monday, 7 February 2011

Effective Scrutiny.

One of the arguments that campaigners are putting forward in support of a No vote is the fact that the Welsh Assembly Government would be able to make laws without effective scrutiny because the National Assembly of Wales unicameral (only has one house) whereby the Westminster Parliament is bicameral and if the Commons passes a bad law it will be blocked by the Lords.

I would question that if bicameral legislatures are such effective scrutineers of Parliament, then how did Tony Blair succeed in taking us to war without effective scrutiny of EITHER house.

This is yet again another misleading statement by Welsh apologists like Phil Wynn (up and coming North East Wales spokesman for True Wales) as the Scottish Parliament and the North of Ireland Assembly both only have unicameral houses and seem to legislate quite successfully.

We even have a situation in Éire whereby the three main political parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour all propose the abolition of Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) leaving all decisions to the directly elected 166 members of the Dáil Éireann. If its good enough for a mature democracy like Ireland its most certainly good enough for a fledgling democracy such as the National Assembly for Wales.

The people of Wales must be trusted to make their own laws in the twenty devolved areas and these self defeating apologists must not be allowed to get away with their blatant lies.


Emyr Lewis said...

It's a nonsense argument in any event, since Westminster doesn't act as a second chamnber in the current system anyway.

Depending on the prevailing mood in Westminster, it has either acted as a rubber stamp for devolving powers through legislation (look at the very broad education powers in Schedule 5), or as an obsessively fussy parent wanting to know what the young whipper-snapper wants to do with the tenner it's asking for (look at the Housing LCO).

But in neither case has it, nor could it, scrutinise the actual legislation made by the Assembly.

This is yet another argument which seems to be really about not liking the idea of the Assembly having any law-making powers at all.

Anonymous said...

Phil Wynn is sounding like a very effective Tory.. Maybe he can be encouraged to cross the floor...

Cibwr said...

Emyr Lewis is right, at no point does Westminster actually scrutinise any measure (Law) from the National Assembly, they just decide if power to legislate on a policy area within a subject area should be granted to the National Assembly. Once granted it can pass any measure (law) it likes within that area. Parliament can not review those laws. So there is no scrutiny at all.

True Wales are being given an open goal by the Yes campaign speakers not correcting them on this.