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What if ..?

Betsan Powys | 14:23 UK time, Friday, 13 November 2009

redposter282.jpgWhat if ... we said to a group of students from the art college at Newport University and UWIC.

What if Sir Emyr Jones Parry and his Convention report puts Rhodri Morgan, puts his successor and his Deputy, Ieuan Wyn Jones in a position where they will want to hold a referendum any time soon?

What should the campaigns, both Yes and No, hone in on? How should they sell their message? Where should they pitch it?

pinkposter282.jpg

They worked hand in hand with Rachel Banner from True Wales and Cynog Dafis of Tomorrow's Wales and came up with these slogans and these posters.

The art work will be there for all to see on Sunday's Politics Show along with the thinking behind it.

Whether there's any imminent use for it all? We'll get the biggest clue yet on Wednesday.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:41pm on 13 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:

    I really do hope we get a referendum sooner rather than later. Which ever way it goes it will get people thinking about Welsh politics and might even properly engage a few people.

    You never know, maybe we'll even get more than a 50% turn out for elections afterwards. Not holding my breath on that one though.

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  • 2. At 4:11pm on 13 Nov 2009, Notonationalism wrote:

    Betsan

    True Wales has a new campaigning website to be found at: www.truewalesnocampaign.org.uk.

    The students have done a very professional job. '9.1 Billion Reasons to Vote No' would be a superb slogan.

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  • 3. At 4:45pm on 13 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    4. Who will be allowed to campaign for a No vote?

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  • 4. At 5:55pm on 13 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #3

    Will there be equivalent WAG funding for a "No" campaign ?

    Will it be democracy without such funding ?

    What will be the % margin needed to indicate a successful campaign ?

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  • 5. At 04:03am on 14 Nov 2009, Gareth Jones wrote:

    I've been to the 'true Wales' site, why no MB?? not worth it i'm tipping (-;
    Can any of you Britnats inform me of membership numbers please?

    3, whover TW can scrape together?

    4, A simple majority, as it should be (-;

    I've got to go to the dentist on thursday, i'm hoping for a positive report from Sir Emyr as it will help ease the pain lol!

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  • 6. At 08:59am on 14 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #4 Funding for a NO vote.

    True to form I think you will find there will be no funding for a NO vote.

    This will be justified by no direct funding for a YES vote.

    Instead vast sums of our money will be spent on spin doctoring and celebrations of tens years of devolution and the Plaid/Llafur coalition.

    In effect this will be our money spent on a YES campaign, with no right of complaint.

    Anything negative such as the failures in higher education and your own point about 1 Billion Pounds being misspent on the Health Service will be ignored and concealed.

    #2 I agree

    '9.1 Billion Reasons to Vote No' would be a superb slogan.

    How about this

    1 Billion Misspent in the Health Service - Are More Powers Worth Dying For?

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  • 7. At 09:31am on 14 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #4 Referendum Expenses.

    Stoney - We are going to have to monitor this one very carefully.

    Under The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (Wales) Regulations 2008

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/wales/wsi2008/wsi_20081848_en_1#l1g6

    My understanding is that under section 7 anything given for free should count towards expenses at the going rate.

    However, it does not specify a time limit and it maybe that the WAG will in effect spend our money on a YES vote up until the referendum campaign is announced and then spend nothing to avoid being penalised.

    I am not sure if this is a legal breech of the law, but it is morally unacceptable.

    The Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain who seems to be an expert on the subject of campaign expenses should clarify or amend the law to prevent this 'Afgani' practice from happening!

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  • 8. At 09:36am on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #6 I'm not sure you are right Neocromwellian .....


    .... when you write This will be justified by no direct funding for a YES vote.


    .... because the coalition agreement is quite specific in the terms it uses .....

    quote
    "Both parties agree in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum. The preparations for securing such a successful outcome will begin immediately. end quote. page 6 One Wales Agreement.

    I think the above agreement is sufficient to challenge a WAG assertion that funding is not provided.

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  • 9. At 09:46am on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Neocromwellian ....

    I believe the start date of the campaign can be established as the start date of the All Wales Convention, and the expenses mark-up by all the organisations supporting a "Yes" outcome are eligable for insertion in the "Yes" column.

    The All Wales Convention is the perfect start date because it advertises on-line comments from both sides of the argument; so when the Archbishop of Wales trots out to make a speach in support of the "Yes" vote I hope he has kept account of the costs, because I will be asking for details. This type of request can be made to all the "Yes" campaign organisations.

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  • 10. At 10:32am on 14 Nov 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Ah Stonemason so not satisfied with gerrymandering a referendum you want to include all the expenses of those organisations that support devolution and get equal funding... great, so the Wales TUC budget should be included as should the income of Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, The Labour Party and indeed the Conservatives, as all have come out in favour of stage 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

    I note that True Wales once again trots out the lie that a Welsh Honours system (abandoned by the Welsh Government) and a Stock Exchange are indications that the Welsh Government is preparing for independence... there used to be at least 16 stock exchanges in the UK - including two in Wales, one has just been established in Birmingham - is that preparing for independence too? True Wales doesn't seem capable of arguing on the points and runs on lies and scares. They seem to want to turn this into a referendum on independence and will not address the issue before us. Perhaps if the vote is yes they will concede that the people of Wales have voted for independence (not that they will have - but that is what they are trying to turn this into)?

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  • 11. At 10:32am on 14 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #9 Stoney...

    Thanks for the info.

    There is a need for official monitoring of the situation from such organisations as the Electoral Commission, and the Welsh Audit Office to monitor the spending of public money spent by politicians in their own interest. Re:

    so when the Archbishop of Wales trots out to make a speech in support of the "Yes" vote I hope he has kept account of the costs, because I will be asking for details.

    The same applies to the Church in Wales regarding expenses his actions have a value and a cost. The important point being that money donated to the Church as a charity to do God's work, and then spending it on a non charitable purpose, is contrary to relevant charity acts and worthy of a complaint to the regulator under the Charity Act 2006.

    The result could mean that the Church in Wales could loose its charitable status.

    Clearly there need to be an organised monitoring of the situation to uphold the law as it seems to be a free for all.

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  • 12. At 10:57am on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    I am absolutely amazed Lyn_Thomas, that as a Plaid spokesperson hereabouts, you consider a "Real Majority" in a referendum as being gerrymandering. Let me remind you, the petition requests a real majority in the most important aspects of public decision making; the petition does not support any proposition other than strengthening democracy in Wales, neither is it supported by any political group, at this moment in time democracy is stalled in becalmed political waters. We wonder who is working harder, the petitioners who request democracy or those in dark corners who would prevent direct democracy.

    Stock markets in the United Kingdom are businesses, what's the issue, if you want one put your money where your mouth is, create one, do it on-line it will be cheaper, if there is a demand it will work. If you are asking the WAG to pick my pocket to create a government stock exchange you will have some opposition.

    In terms of expenses, if an organisation uses any funds to support any proposition in any referendum it should be disclosed. You seem to want your cake and to eat it, no justice or democracy in your camp Lyn_Thomas.

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  • 13. At 10:58am on 14 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #10 You seem to have lost the plot!

    The overriding issue is that that the referendum should be conducted fairly and according to the law.

    Your whitewash and disregard of peoples genuine concerns for a due democratic process does nothing to reassure anybody.

    Given the conduct of the WAG it is reasonable to assume that it is not possible to anything other than a government sponsored Yes vote paid for by our money.

    Clearly the record of the Secretary of State for Wales regarding campaign expenses should be taken as a need for monitoring of the situation before rather than after the event.

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  • 14. At 11:01am on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Neocromwellian, could the No campaign ask the new First Minister for democratic funding, say £10 million ?

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  • 15. At 12:16pm on 14 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #14 Stoney...

    Yes, I believe it could make a grant to True Wales and it should do so to offset what in effect has already been spent promoting a yes vote.

    This is not about the provision or direction of a public service whereby it would be legitimate for a government to publicise its position.

    This is about the way in which we are governed and in that respect the WAG should be neutral and confine itself to public statement of the facts without speculation.

    The best example of how a referendum on this issue should be handled is by the Government of British Columbia who are holding a referendum on an electoral system, quote...

    The Referendum Information Office has been established by the provincial government to provide neutral information to voters about the referendum.

    Given that has not happened in Wales the No vote should be funded to offset the damage that has already been done.

    The WAG, the Assembly and AM's should then confine themselves to a position of neutrality and not act in their own self interest.

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  • 16. At 12:57pm on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Neocromwellian, I found a reference to a particular referendum, Democracy in action .....

    Putting public funds equally in the hands of two organizations that are on opposite sides of the electoral reform debate is designed to encourage balanced public information and discourse, said Chief Electoral Officer Harry Neufeld. This should help people to better understand the two options and decide how they will vote in the May 12 referendum.

    How a referendum should be run ...


    We might have a problem hereabouts, too many engaged directly in Welsh politics have rather to much to loose, democracy might be loosing out to self-interest.

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  • 17. At 3:02pm on 14 Nov 2009, Ian wrote:

    Does anyone in True Wales have anything psoitive to say about Wales, the Welsh or Welsh language? Also, I do not hear them trumpeting the UK state, or the mistakes it makes that have a detrimental affect on Wales.

    You can't have it both ways.

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  • 18. At 4:03pm on 14 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:

    #17 where you write ianapharri .....

    Does anyone in True Wales have anything positive to say about Wales, the Welsh or Welsh language? Also, I do not hear them trumpeting the UK state, or the mistakes it makes that have a detrimental affect on Wales.

    ..... you demonstrate a typical Plaid response to issues raised that do not follow the warped nationalist mentality. The non-separatists amongst the population, which number approximately 95%, rarely criticise anything Welsh, there may be indifference to certain aspects but that would be .... human. It is the undemocratic Plaid that is the singular problem, try looking at how the nationalists in Gwynedd treat the people they supposedly represent, A simple letter by a Mrs Pugh.

    If you are so naive to think Westminster is without criticism try reading the press .........

    Democrats in Wales ask for nothing other than democracy.

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  • 19. At 4:22pm on 14 Nov 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    As a democrat I want democracy, not vote rigging where sections of the population are credited with voting one way when they haven't even cast their ballots.

    Interesting that some on the no side want politicians gagged from speaking out - a neutral Welsh Government? What ever next, every Plaid supporter prohibited from speaking?

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  • 20. At 5:12pm on 14 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 19

    They'd like that!

    Anyhow, whilst the Brit nats have been blogging to each other like headless chickens here all afternoon - they are certainly a 'select' club - a far more important event took place in Cardiff this afternoon. And I'd like to congratulate our national football team on a brilliant performance, beating Scotland 3-0.

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  • 21. At 5:19pm on 14 Nov 2009, dai7900 wrote:

    Well said 19, and re 20, talking of important events. Isn't it good to see the Gwyl Cerdd Dant being so successful in Newport? Parts of Gwent have the fastest growing proportion of Welsh speakers of any region of the country. Great to see.

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  • 22. At 5:27pm on 14 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 21

    It's great. And I believe that we shall see Betsan competing there later on.

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  • 23. At 5:49pm on 14 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    20.More bile.

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  • 24. At 6:11pm on 14 Nov 2009, dai7900 wrote:

    Good luck Betsan. I'll be rooting for you

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  • 25. At 7:49pm on 14 Nov 2009, jacothenorth wrote:

    For good comment on the so-called 'True Wales' shower go to http://www.welshtimes.eu/view.php?page=shorts.html

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  • 26. At 9:13pm on 14 Nov 2009, Notonationalism wrote:

    19
    "Interesting that some on the no side want .... a neutral Welsh Government"

    Lyn - it shows how far out of touch with real democracy you are when you seem to think that not only is it healthy for the entire Welsh Assembly establishment to be pushing for more powers for itself but that it is also fine to use taxpayers' hard-earned money to do so.

    We do indeed want the Welsh Government to be neutral on this issue; it is up to the people of Wales to decide whether they want a full law-making parliament as a further step towards separation from the UK. The Government's job is to present a fair question to the people - not to make an unwilling Welsh public pay for a cynical propaganda campaign which, if successful, will enable WAG politicians and their hangers on to line their pockets at the expense of the hard-working people of Wales.

    Nationalists should stop bandying around the word 'democracy'. They don't know what it means.

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  • 27. At 9:52pm on 14 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 26

    So, if the Tories do what they promised all along and held a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, you would expect them to be neutral would you??!! And you Stonemason?

    Come off it, you'll have to do better than that.

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  • 28. At 10:18pm on 14 Nov 2009, Notonationalism wrote:

    The Government should be neutral in any referendum.

    Parties, of course, and individuals in those parties, should be free to decide which side to support.

    It is a damning indictment of Welsh democracy - and a poor indicator for the future - that all main political parties are taking the same line on this issue, notwithstanding the reservations of many grassroots members.

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  • 29. At 11:07pm on 14 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 28

    You make two points, and neither make any sense.

    "The Government should be neutral in any referendum.

    Parties, of course, and individuals in those parties, should be free to decide which side to support."

    I don't understand. What are you saying? Are you saying that David Cameron, if he became PM, wouldn't be able to take sides? But if he did it would only be as an individual? It beggars belief.

    "It is a damning indictment of Welsh democracy - and a poor indicator for the future - that all main political parties are taking the same line on this issue, notwithstanding the reservations of many grassroots members."

    What you don't like is that they're all agreed about the need for further powers. If they were all agreed to the contrary (apart from Plaid of course!) you would be quite happy. Or are you seriously saying that you would be on here blogging about a damning indictment of Welsh democracy then? Somehow, I very much doubt it.

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  • 30. At 01:15am on 15 Nov 2009, Giraldus wrote:

    This True Wales website (#2's post) mixes up the Institute of Welsh Affairs and the Institute of Welsh Politics. There's a press release dated 27th October 2009 that smears Richard Wyn Jones and Roger Scully from IWP as 'propagandists'. True Wales should withdraw this potentially libellous comment. It makes them look ridiculous.

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  • 31. At 03:30am on 15 Nov 2009, Gareth Jones wrote:

    They're already ridiculous mate! you've only got to read their tripe once lol!
    Still no response to TW membership numbers i see, why am i not surprised??? (-;

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  • 32. At 08:08am on 15 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    I recently read a quotation .....

    "All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."

    ..... this by Winston Churchill

    ..... he was of course a champion of democracy.

    All we have in this blog are the likes of Lyn (democracy on my terms) Thomas, Fo (answer me now) Dafydd, and their progeny in the shape of jacothenorth, Gareth Jones and dai7900. Unfortunately not an ounce of democracy to be found in any of them.

    Fortunately we have a wind of democratic change beginning to blow in the West of these Isles, no longer are we forced to inhale the stench of nationalism .... there is the opportunity of local democracy.

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  • 33. At 09:00am on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #16 Stoney interesting read on Referendums, and its British Columbia showing Wales how it should be done. We need more people like True Wales who can put political ideology aside in order to ensure a democractic process, we can then argue party political points once that has happened.

    Democracy has already lost out to self interest, a Yes vote cannot be counted as valid.

    #19 You say you want democracy but fail to understand what is means, its more than just vote rigging by means of ballot papers.

    I suggest you read up on how a referendum is being run in British Columbia so you can learn from their example.

    You also fail to understand the concept of natural justice and giving people a fair hearing before before any decision is made either in court or at the polling station regarding constitutional issues.

    In that respect it is custom and practice for people with a self interest such as AM,s to be gagged from perverting the course of justice. Especially when its the AM's who are on trial.

    AM's manipulating the media means the No vote can never get a fair hearing, true to form you also fail to understand that too.

    The only thing the WAG, the Assembly and AM's understands to abuse their position of power and trust to stitch things up in their own self interest.

    Under the circumstances people should be concerned about a Yes vote being arrived at by a fair and democratic process, because I fear the legitimacy of any government assuming it has the will of the people.

    But hopefully people will vote No in order to register a protest about how the referendum is being stage managed at public expense.

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  • 34. At 10:11am on 15 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    31 not membership numbers as such, but an indication of relative support can be found on Facebook. I will check the actual numbers and repost shortly, but the last time I chacked, True Wales facebook group had around 100 members. Compare this with WalesFirst (campaigning for further powers) which was approaching 2,000.

    Wales First does not receive any public funding - it is a grass roots organisation same as True Wales.

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  • 35. At 10:15am on 15 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    Updated Numbers:
    True Wales 101
    Wales First 2,415

    The Ayes have it

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  • 36. At 10:47am on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #32

    I agree with your sentiments regarding democracy, and as a lifelong supporter of the Labour party I am ashamed to say that stitching things up to get your own way is the hallmark of the Blair years. The worse example is the reasons for the Iraq war, I make that point to highlight the fate of whistleblowers and the abuse they are subjected to for telling the truth.

    However, recent events with closer scrutiny and greater public awareness, have I believe brought about positive change, but the message does not seem to have arrived in Wales concerning stitching up the electorate and more importantly whistleblowers.

    We have various peices of legislation that give us all these rights and which look good on the outside but are so flawed they do not work.The Students Complaints Scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004 being a prime example.

    You have dissatisfied students on this blog expressing disgust at being ignored by AM's and saying they would be treated with more respect if they were an illegal immigrant!

    As far as the stench of nationalism is concerned such comments should ring alarm bells, especially when it happens to be true.

    You already have AM's refusing to carry out the duties for which they are elected and your own recent comments about the Health Minister refusing an inquiry into why 1 Billions Pounds of our money is being spent.

    That the Welsh Assembly Government and its elected representatives should act in their own self interest in a Referendum is yet another insult to us the people and to the concept of democracy. That the Secretary of State for Wales has had to answer for financial irregularities concerning campaign funds adds to the distrust.

    I wonder how such actions are viewed in British Columbia and Afghanistan?

    The other aspect of this is media coverage asd that too is regulated with regard to the electoral process. I wonder if those rules will also in effect be flouted to bring about a Yes vote in the 'referendum'.

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  • 37. At 11:41am on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #14 Stoney asked

    Neocromwellian, could the No campaign ask the new First Minister for democratic funding,

    The answer is definitely Yes they can provide funding?

    The last referendum on this sort of issue was in the North East of England which returned a NO vote for a Regional Assembly

    I have more info on that issue from the Electoral Commission

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    "Designation
    4.6 The Commission was also responsible for designating two permitted participants in relation to the regional question, one on each side of the argument, representing those campaigning for each outcome. This process was not undertaken for the local government referendums. The designated organisations were entitled to:

    a grant of public money of £100,000;
    • the sending of a referendum mailshot free of charge;
    • the use of public rooms free of charge for holding public meetings; and
    • referendum campaign broadcasts."

    The Conduct of Referendums

    There seems to be a need for a group to ensure that the WAG plays it by the rules.

    "Central government’s public information campaign

    4.36 In October 1998 The Neill Committee, in its Fifth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, stated that:

    ‘We believe it is perfectly appropriate for the government of the day to state its views and for members of the Government to campaign vigorously during referendum campaigns, just as they do during general election campaigns. But we also believe that, just as in general election campaigns, neither taxpayers’ money nor the permanent government machine – civil servants, official cars, the Government Information Service, and so forth – should be used to promote the interests of the Government side of the argument.’

    4.37 The Government responded to the Neill Committee in July 1999 and stated that:

    ‘The Government accepts that there ought to be a period leading up to the referendum poll in which the government of the day, as a government, stands aside and the campaigning is left to the political parties and other organisations, with Ministers taking part in their political capacity if they wish… the government of the day is not to publish material relating to the referendum issue within the period of 28 days leading up to the poll.’

    4.38 Section 125 of PPERA, the legislation that put in place many of the Neill Committee’s recommendations, accordingly prohibits central and local government from publishing promotional material in the 28 days leading up to the close of poll. For the North East referendums, the relevant period was from 7 October to 4 November 2004. However, the referendum campaign period ran for some weeks before the prohibition on Government sponsored publicity came into effect.

    4.39 While there was no legal barrier on the Government issuing publicity material during the period before 7 October, the Commission was concerned that the use of public money for this purpose might potentially be perceived as giving an unfair advantage to one side of the argument. It therefore called on the Government, once the referendum campaign period formally began, to voluntarily apply the restraints that the law imposes in the last 28 days before the poll to the campaign period as a whole.

    In response, the Government agreed to a self-imposed ‘purdah’ period starting on 10 September 2004, 28 days prior to the distribution of postal ballots, rather than 28 days prior to the date of the poll.

    4.40 The Government’s information campaign consisted of TV advertisements, billboard advertising and a leaflet sent out to each voter in the North East. The Government used the phrase ‘Your Region, Your Choice’ in all advertising. The leaflet was sent out prior to its self-imposed restriction, and attempted to provide a balanced
    assessment of the referendum issues. This provoked some criticism from campaigners"

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  • 38. At 11:46am on 15 Nov 2009, Notonationalism wrote:

    35. Penddu

    "security / Is mortals' chiefest enemy".
    Act 3 Scene 5, 'Macbeth'.

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  • 39. At 12:02pm on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #14 Stoney asked

    Neocromwellian, could the No campaign ask the new First Minister for democratic funding,

    The answer is definitely Yes it can and it should provide democratic funding

    The last referendum on this issue was the North East of England referendum for a Regional Assembly which returned a NO vote!

    This is from the Electoral Commission, I cannot provide the url as it is a pdf file and for that reason it was referred to the moderators

    “Designation

    4.6 The Commission was also responsible for designating two permitted participants
    in relation to the regional question, one on each side of the argument, representing those campaigning for each outcome. This process was not undertaken for the local government referendums. The designated organisations were entitled to:

    a grant of public money of £100,000;
    • the sending of a referendum mailshot freeof charge;
    • the use of public rooms free of chargefor holding public meetings; and
    • referendum campaign broadcasts.
    Central government’s public information campaign

    4.36 In October 1998 The Neill Committee, in its Fifth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, stated that:

    ‘We believe it is perfectly appropriate for the government of the day to state its views and for members of the Government to campaign vigorously during referendum campaigns, just as they do during general election campaigns. But we also believe that, just as in general election campaigns, neither taxpayers’ money nor the permanent government machine – civil servants, official cars, the Government Information Service, and so forth – should be used to promote the interests of
    the Government side of the argument.’

    4.37 The Government responded to the Neill Committee in July 1999 and stated that:

    ‘The Government accepts that there ought to be a period leading up to the referendum poll in which the government of the day, as a government, stands aside and the campaigning is left to the political parties and other organisations, with Ministers taking part in their political capacity if they wish… the government of the day is not to publish material relating to the referendum issue within the period of 28 days leading up to the poll.’

    4.38 Section 125 of PPERA, the legislation that put in place many of the Neill Committee’s recommendations, accordingly prohibits central and local government from publishing promotional material in the 28 days leading up to the close of poll. For the North East referendums, the relevant period was from 7 October to 4 November 2004. However, the referendum campaign period ran for some weeks before the prohibition on Government sponsored publicity came into effect.

    Note This!

    4.39 While there was no legal barrier on the Government issuing publicity material during the period before 7 October, the Commission was concerned that the use of public money for this purpose might potentially be perceived as giving an unfair advantage to one side of the argument.

    It therefore called on the Government, once the referendum campaign period formally began, to voluntarily apply the restraints that the law imposes in the last 28 days before the poll to the campaign period as a whole.


    In response, the Government agreed to a self-imposed ‘purdah’ period starting on 10 September 2004, 28 days prior to thedistribution of postal ballots, rather than 28 days prior to the date of the poll.

    4.40 The Government’s information campaign consisted of TV advertisements, billboard advertising and a leaflet sent out to each voter in the North East. The Government used the phrase ‘Your Region, Your Choice’ in all advertising. The
    leaflet was sent out prior to its self-imposed restriction, and attempted to provide a balanced assessment of the referendum issues. This provoked some criticism from campaigners.”

    We need a group that is not going to make sure the WAG, the Assembly and AM’s play it by the rules in the current climate of the expenses scandal.

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  • 40. At 12:28pm on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #39 Typo

    "We need a group that is not going to make sure the WAG, the Assembly and AM’s play it by the rules in the current climate of the expenses scandal."

    Should read

    "We need a group that is going to make sure the WAG, the Assembly and AM’s play it by the rules in the current climate of the expenses scandal."

    We got enough of the other sort paid for with lottery money as it is!

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  • 41. At 12:49pm on 15 Nov 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    We in Wales may, in the next couple of years,be asked to vote in a referendum to decide whether the assembly should have further powers.

    Now when I was younger and substantially greener than the green, green. grass of home,I looked on referendi as being probably the purest, cleanest, and fairest form of democracy available.

    Oh the innocence of youth!

    Nowadays referendums are held only when the government wants them to be held. The timing of the referendum being exactly when, after much polling, the result can be almost guaranteed to be what the govt. wants.I can still remember hearing IWJ (at a recent Plaid conference) shamelessly stating (on BBC camera) that he would not call a referendum if there was any chance of it being lost!!!!!!

    We also find that the vast resources of government influence the result in their favour.

    But! When something goes wrong, and the government lose the referendum, they are not too concerned....they merely arrange for another one. This goes on until eventually (possibly from exhaustion) the electorate seem to give up, and government finally win.
    You will note however, that as soon as a referendum is 'won' in government's favour, all talk of a further referendum disappears.

    So it will be with the next referendum on assembly powers. If the assembly win, that'll be it...no more referendi on that topic...However, if the assembly is defeated...Any guesses on just how quickly ANOTHER referendum will take place? They in their arrogance will dismiss what the people of Wales vote for, and behind closed doors calculate just how soon they will seek our opinion again!..and again...and again..until they get the result they want.

    This is exactly what has just happened in Ireland, with the two referendi over the Lisbon Treaty...they got their result, and so there won't be another referendum on that subject.

    The very worst example of govt. "gerrymandering" though are the two devolution referendi.
    I, and many others were shocked both by the way they...particularly the second one...were orchestrated.
    Equally, the attitude of the Plaidos over any discussion of a third and final referendum on devolution really is sickening. Have these people no sense of fairness or democracy?
    Democracy!!!! not a word that means much to the ruling assembly clique. In fact,by their disgraceful 'use' and manipulating of referendui procedure, it is now becoming increasingly difficlt to find any signs at all of democracy in today's Wales.

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  • 42. At 3:08pm on 15 Nov 2009, SEDWOT wrote:

    There are only two "honest" positions for Wales to adopt in relation to the UK. Strangely niether seems a possibility in the short term.

    The first position is as a full member of the UK, accepting finance from central Government and the laws and institutions of that government as any part of England does now.

    The second "honest" position is as a completely independent Nation making its own laws, with its own political parties unfunded by similar parties in England, with its own social agenda and spending priorities and with its own tax raising powers and european grant raising powers.

    The only completely "dishonest" status for Wales is any degree of devolution.

    In the present (and future) state all finance is due to allocation from Westminster. Any tough spending decisions are blamed therefore on the "English" government while Wales can afford, for its relatively small population, to follow a re-distributive agenda such as free bus passes, free prescriptions and cheaper higher education for its own students. All things which would be prohibitively expensive for its neighbour to the East.

    This is a lose lose situation for the UK Government and "London" political partys but a Win Win situation for the nationalists.

    The Anti devolutionists are right in pointing out that there is no party political representation for their position. The fact (and it is a fact) that they are, albeit narrowly, a minority has caused their abandonment by mainstream politicians who cannot face the inevitable charge that they do not represent "Wales" if they take an anti devolution stance.

    The Nationalists have won a war without the opposing troops leaving barracks let alone firing a shot.

    The state of Wales is this; a small well organised number of "Pressure groups" able to mobilise a relatively coherent voice is available to any Nationalist cause. Look at the immediate opposition to an understanding between the North East Wales councils and their opposite numbers in England on development issues.

    As I have said previously, because of the legalised discrimination against non Welsh speakers and Welsh second language speakers in public services, Wales has a ruling elite, in government and Education particularly, which is overwhelmingly Nationalist and now hereditary.

    This Cymrocracy steers the agenda therefore it does not need to win the argument. There is no organised voice which can stand against them.

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  • 43. At 3:35pm on 15 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #42

    I understand your viewpoint

    The logic of your arguement is that we should have a vote to abolish the assembly or for an independent Wales within the referendum.

    Should people vote for independence at least it will be a concious decision instead of getting there by apathy, stealth, gerrymandering and deception.

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  • 44. At 3:59pm on 15 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    The antis and the Brit nats are now just talking amongst themselves!! Although it is a hilarious read, it isn't what this blog is for, and it seems that they will no longer engage in debate, react intelligently to points being made by others (and, yes, even answering questions, Stonemason, though you do like to pose them!!).

    I can't help thinking that this shows a lack of courtesy towards Betsan, who's BLOG this is.

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  • 45. At 6:21pm on 15 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    SEDWOT at #42 is correct when he writes of the only honest options open to the people of Wales.

    To go or to stay,
    an honest way.


    And what question do you want answered Fo .....

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  • 46. At 6:29pm on 15 Nov 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I really don't understand the attitude that you can't have a measure of devolution, just about every country in the world above a certain size has substantial devolution, either by having regional/local legislatures or as a formal federation/confederation where sovereignty is shared between the different institutions at a federal and state level.

    Secondly it is absurd to suggest that AMs should be prevented from campaigning. The rules are clear after getting the process started the government will stand aside and just issue a factual booklet stating what is on offer. Then the two campaigns will be given money equally to the no and yes campaign.

    It is clear that True Wales is based on lies, ie this vote is a vote on independence, it isn't. Likewise 9.1 billion is not at stake if people vote yes, and stock exchanges are not a move towards independence etc.

    People here on the no side have said that any coverage of the National Assembly is propaganda, well I am sorry this is the real world, coverage of the National Assembly is part of that scrutiny. Should we ban coverage of Westminster as it impacts on people's views of devolution? Absurd and anti democratic.

    Which brings us to Stonemason's rigging of the referendum, it is an act of supreme arrogance to decide that people who did not vote should be counted as voting no. That is not democracy, neither is banning politicians from speaking on an issue.

    I hope we will have a debate on the merits of keeping the existing system or giving the National Assembly the power to pass Laws rather than Measures. Some how I doubt it.

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  • 47. At 7:03pm on 15 Nov 2009, alfsplace1986 wrote:

    32

    TheStonemason

    Sorry been having problems with accessing the site. Back now though, does it mean I can have a mention please.

    I know many people who voted NO or didn't vote at all in the referendum because they didn't think it went far enough with the powers or they wanted more.
    Roll on the next one becaues I firmly believe it will be an overwhelming acceptance for more power.

    Please note this will not be a vote on Independance no matter how much True Wales wil try to make out it will be.

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  • 48. At 8:50pm on 15 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    You demonstrate an interesting take on democracy Lyn_Thomas, I have read of similar, Spain pre-WWII I believe, a democracy skewed in a particularly advantageous way.

    Myself I prefer democracy to be even across the electorate, you might use the word "Just", a democracy that insists on a majority of people for approval.

    I guess the "voice of 3000" would be your preferred outcome.


    Without safeguards the referendum will be a vote for separation, the logic is inescapable.

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  • 49. At 10:55pm on 15 Nov 2009, comeoffit wrote:

    The recent yougov survey (finding that 42% of people would vote yes versus 37% of people would vote no) stuck me personally as being 'at odds' with my personal experiences of what people living here really feel.

    I nearly didnt look into this further as yougov are relatively credible in the very imprecise science of opinion polling. However when I discovered it was in fact a yougov 'slash' University of Aberystwyth survey I thought it definately warranted a closer look.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    If you go to page 20 of the pdf file you will notice that of those surveyed, 18 % were fluent welsh speakers and another 24% could speak Welsh but were not fluent. This adds up to a whopping 42% being either fluent or partially fluent!

    Firstly the 18% fluency figure is at odds with the Welsh language boards fluency figure of 11%. Even more shockingly, the 42% figure is getting on for double the 2001 census figure (which didnt include the word 'fluent' as a caveat on it's question about whether respondents could speak Welsh... and therefore is directly comparable)

    Surely this yougov/University of Aberystwyth survey cannot be considered truly representative of the Welsh public with such a discrepancy. It has nearly doubled the weighting of those who can speak Welsh!

    Just how significant is this? Well, whilst I may be persuaded that it is possible to find a Welsh speaking anti-devolutionist... I speak from experience when i say it is most certainly a rarity. The only people you will convince otherwise are those who were born yesterday!

    I do hope Sir Emyr's finding published later this week will not include such glaringly obvious elements of bias!

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  • 50. At 01:55am on 16 Nov 2009, Gareth Jones wrote:

    34 + 35

    Ta Pen (-; 101 lol! less than i thought, tidy like!! I'm loving the waffle and juggling of percentages AKA 'squirming' going on here from the britnats, very entertaining indeed!!
    Also for the naysayers, i don't speak Welsh, never have but i'm manfully 'struggling' to learn online!!

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  • 51. At 06:25am on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #46

    That you should dismiss the concerns of the Electoral Commission over the proper conduct of Government before a referendum as 'absurd' sums it all up.

    Moreover, given the general apathy of voters many may legitimately believe that a NO vote is not possible as the decision has already been made.

    You are not doing your own cause any favours by linking a perverted election process with a Yes vote.

    That you should think this is democracy is astonishing.

    The people of Wales deserve better.

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  • 52. At 07:30am on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    The people of Wales Neocromwellian need the 60% of electorate threshold for constitutional referendum, only then will politics engage with the electorate in such a way that it can be said that democracy is at work.

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  • 53. At 09:19am on 16 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    41 Well I know what a referendum is, and I know referenda are.

    I can only assume that referendi refers to a rigged vote as proposed by Stoney??

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  • 54. At 09:21am on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #57 Thanks for that Stoney...

    I will monitor the situation and may make a Peoples Petition calling upon the Welsh Assembly Government to implement the concerns of the Electoral Commission with regard to the conduct of the WAG prior to the official referendum process and to offset any damage already done.

    The Peoples Petitions and the coastal footpath are some of the good things the assembly has done, but this could have been achieved without a third layer of government.

    What concerns me is that the planned celebrations of the Plaid/Llafur - Tail/Dog pact may in effect be used as platform to launch a pre-referendum Yes vote campaign.

    It would be interesting to see what the 'Counselleri' General has to say on the issue.

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  • 55. At 09:23am on 16 Nov 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    Message 41.

    It has (somewhat gleefully) been pointed out to me, that my spelling of the word 'referenda' as 'referendi' was a mistake.

    In my defence I wish to point out that whilst 'referenda' is correct for six days of the week it has long been regarded as de rigueur on Sundays to use the 'referendi' version.

    If this does not satisfy those of a pedantic nature. I was also still dwelling on Cardiff City's £100million purchase of promising Patagonian midfielder Alfonso Referendi.

    I would be willing for both of the above to be entered in Betsan's "Lame excuse of the month" contest.

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  • 56. At 09:43am on 16 Nov 2009, Daviddwr wrote:

    A Welsh Stock Excange would be a small but wonderful thing.

    It is interesting to see that the Welsh haters hate capitalism as well.

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  • 57. At 09:52am on 16 Nov 2009, Daviddwr wrote:

    The logic of the No idea is a little twisted.

    £9.1 billion is a lot of money:

    All the more reason to manage it ourselves rather than trust others.
    All the more reason to do this through a democratic process.

    Why is Trus Wales and its handful of hangers-on so afraid of the electorate?

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  • 58. At 09:53am on 16 Nov 2009, Daviddwr wrote:

    #54 commenting on post 57 ... I am impressed by the predictaive abulity shown here!

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  • 59. At 10:35am on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #54 Typo

    Should be #52

    Re: #54

    The only twisted ideas and logic are your own!

    How wanting a fair and democratic process makes anybody a Welsh hater and anti capitalist is beyond my comprehension.

    But I suppose its hatred and extremism that does that to people.

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  • 60. At 10:45am on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #57 'Trus Wales' and #58 'predictaive abulity'

    I think you should look at your own typo's before you make an issue of other peoples.

    I would also appreciate a civilised debate without spreading the usual bile and extremist hatred.

    Thanks

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  • 61. At 12:23pm on 16 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 60

    I would appreciate a debate - it's no good the antis just talking amongst themselves. It would be nice if they could just occasionally address the points made by others.

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  • 62. At 12:38pm on 16 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:

    The No voters will always be more passionate, shout louder and seek to dominate the debate. Thats true of any yes/no, pro/anti debate on any subject.

    If they manage to make a decent point then we can have a proper debate, however the no vote protagonists posting here are incoherant, cherry picking facts and are just wrong about alot of things.

    I wonder if they are pro or anti Europe? Given the right wing stance of alot of them I would go for anti EU.

    If they are anti Europe, why are they against the idea of more powers for Wales?

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  • 63. At 12:46pm on 16 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    61. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/vo020507/halltext/20507h05.htm

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  • 64. At 12:55pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    The average turnout at General Elections between 1918 and 2001 was 78%.

    Would it be undemocratic to ask for a minimum of 80% turnout of the electorate to make a constitutional referendum valid, this before a vote is counted.

    Note, the referendum are events that are probably irreversible.

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  • 65. At 1:03pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Within the reference given by thegnatswatter, located at .....

    7 May 2002 : Column 62WH .... 1.40 pm

    Mr. Wayne David (Caerphilly): I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Blaenau Gwent (Llew Smith) on his forthright contribution. The strong strand of racism and xenophobia in Plaid Cymru's history is well tabulated. We have only to look at some of the writings of Saunders Lewis, the founder of Plaid Cymru, to recognise the truth of that. He believed that he could embrace the corporatist ideas of Mussolini, with whom he was enamoured. He certainly had plenty of time for the racist remarks of various fascist elements arising in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Let me make it clear that he was an anti-Semite. We can see that time and again in his writings—it runs through them from start to finish.


    Mr David gets my vote to keep Plaid out of Caerphilly .....

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  • 66. At 1:16pm on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #63 Thanks for the link it helps to put things in context, I have put a lot of hard independent facts on this blog about the way in which a referendum should be conducted but you simply get childish contradiction.

    I think this makes a valid point

    my hon. Friend the Member for Conwy said that he recalled that,

    "as a child—of about 10 years old, I think—he attended an outdoor parliamentary meeting with his father. He felt himself caught up with the passions aroused by patriotic flag-waving. His father brought him down to earth by reminding him, 'You can't eat a flag.'"

    My hon. Friend the Member for Conwy said:

    "That comment is relevant in Wales today, and I would add that the people of Wales cannot eat the graffiti, 'Cymru i'r Cymry. English go home.'"—[Official Report, Welsh Grand Committee, 24 April 2002; c. 60.]

    Today, John Humphreys of the Welsh Independence party calls for a national act of defiance to halt the influx of incomers to the Welsh heartlands. He states:

    "Those of us of a bloody minded disposition will not be passive observers to the obliteration of our heritage",

    which, he goes on to say,

    "must be fought for over and over again."


    Those who feel they would be treated with greater respect if they were illegal immigrants must ignore this kind of bigotry.

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  • 67. At 1:16pm on 16 Nov 2009, Optimist wrote:

    #64. TheStonemason wrote:

    "Would it be undemocratic to ask for a minimum of 80% turnout of the electorate to make a constitutional referendum valid, this before a vote is counted."

    I think that it would. As long as the electorate were made aware of the significance of a vote then the result should not be allowed to be determined by those who choose not to participate in the democratic process.

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  • 68. At 1:39pm on 16 Nov 2009, BrownbankruptsBrits wrote:

    The Welsh will still be dictated to by the EU,so this idea of having a "proper parliament")Like Troughminster LOL) is truly laughable.
    The Marxists are determined to swamp the ethnic Welsh which makes a mockery of the claim that this "parliament" will protect Welsh culture and customs.

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  • 69. At 1:41pm on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #67

    "Would it be undemocratic to ask for a minimum of 80% turnout of the electorate to make a constitutional referendum valid, this before a vote is counted."

    You need to take into account that for some people the only way to protest about an abuse of the democratic process is to abstain from voting, because to vote would legitimise electoral corruption.

    Therefore, it is perfectly right and proper to insist upon a minimum turnout, and 80% seems reasonable.

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  • 70. At 1:41pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #67 yet the Welsh Assembly requires a minimum vote in similar circumstances, so the maxim ....

    ... what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander ...

    .... only applies when it is politically convenient.

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  • 71. At 1:55pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Thank you for the support for an 80% minimum turnout Neocromwellian, might you agree that if 75% of the 80% minimum turnout was achieved the referendum would have a good democratic mandate.

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  • 72. At 2:08pm on 16 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:

    #64

    A minimum voting threshold would only work if voting was compulsory with a box to tick if you wish to abstain. Otherwise you let voter apathy dictate politics.

    Also this is not an either/or situation, there is a yes vote meaning a change and a no vote meaning no change. Putting a ratification threshold on the vote would just be biased against the yes vote and therefore not democratic. It would negate the point of the vote, you could "technically" have 75% of the people of Wales voting yes but nothing being done because the rest couldn't be bothered to vote.

    Just another idea for a blocking tactic from those fundamentally against independance.

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  • 73. At 2:13pm on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #64 Stoney said....

    "Would it be undemocratic to ask for a minimum of 80% turnout of the electorate to make a constitutional referendum valid, this before a vote is counted."

    I have looked at this issue in greater depth and it seems most advanced countries have a minumum turnout requirement. Moreover, it seems that the requirments of a referendum clearly affect its outcome, in other words a minimum turnout requirement is more likely to mean the referendum is going to return a No vote.

    That means we are unlikely to have one!

    More info here

    http://aceproject.org/ace-en/focus/direct-democracy/referendums

    Turnout/majority requirements

    In some countries, a referendum will pass if a simple majority of voters vote "yes." In others, a referendum vote is only binding if a specified turnout threshold is reached: a recent referendum in Taiwan was defeated because turnout did not reach the minimum threshold required.

    Finally, some countries require a double or super majority to pass (e.g., when a referendum must achieve an overall majority and a majority in a number of states for it to pass, or when the yes vote must achieve a certain percentage of the overall vote), or an overall majority of registered electors (rather than voters who actually turnout to vote).

    Clearly, the requirements for a successful referendum have an impact on the likelihood of whether a referendum passes or not.

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  • 74. At 2:24pm on 16 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:

    "68. At 1:39pm on 16 Nov 2009, BrownbankruptsBrits wrote:
    The Welsh will still be dictated to by the EU,so this idea of having a "proper parliament")Like Troughminster LOL) is truly laughable.
    The Marxists are determined to swamp the ethnic Welsh which makes a mockery of the claim that this "parliament" will protect Welsh culture and customs."


    Can you keep your ignorant xenophobia out of this debate please.

    Anyway Wales has gained alot through Europe over the last 10 years, and the Welsh assembly is very good at promoting Welsh culture.

    I think you should put your paranoia to one side before twisting a debate to spout your own version of xenophibic rubbish.

    I think what the pro-independance umongst us have to keep remembering that being a patriotic nationalist doesn't mean you attack people for not being Welsh or not speaking Welsh. We need to avoid straying from a celebrating our culture stance to an abusing everyone elses culture stance.

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  • 75. At 2:44pm on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #71 Yes, given the serious issues involved there should be a high threshold on change, especially as the No vote had been put at an immediate disadvantage.

    We need to explore other options for change with more public accountability of public services, to bring power to the people and not give it to AM's with a track record of ignoring issues they think might give devolution a bad press.

    We need the be able to effectively sack AM's who ignore their constituents.

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  • 76. At 2:53pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:

    #74 Colonicus42, you wrote .....

    ... Can you keep your ignorant xenophobia out of this debate please. ...

    You might not like what another commentator has to say, but as long as it conforms to the rules, moderation, butt out of censorship, we have a certain freedom of expression in the United Kingdom, and to my knowledge Betsan's blog remains as part of our country.

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  • 77. At 3:12pm on 16 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #76 I agree with your comments and would add...

    #74 Wrote

    "Anyway Wales has gained alot through Europe over the last 10 years, and the Welsh assembly is very good at promoting Welsh culture."

    This bit is true.

    But what you have failed to point out is that according the the Welsh Assembly young people in Wales lag behind those of England and other European countries with regard to speaking foreign languages.

    This puts Welsh young people at a disadvantage in the euro jobs market and will ultimately lead to a general disadvantage for the Welsh economy within Europe.

    I would agree with anyone that the future of Wales lies within the EU that is why this issue needs to be addressed, and to do that we need less Welsh and more foreign languages such as French and German being taught in our schools, colleges and higher education institutions.

    All we need is a politician brave enough to make this point!

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  • 78. At 3:13pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Thank you for your continuing support Neocromwellian.....

    75% of a 80% minimum turnout equates to the majority number of Assembly Members required to petition Westminster for a referendum.

    So you see, the 60% petition is only asking for the same rules that are applied in the Assembly, we wish them to be applied to a constitutional referendum, all constitutional referendum. (In fact the 60% is slightly less than the numbers required at the Assembly.)


    I think it is called natural justice, others call it democracy, the majority of people simply call it a level playing field.

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  • 79. At 3:51pm on 16 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 78

    It's good to talk, eh, Stonemason? As long as it's with those who agree with you.

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  • 80. At 4:14pm on 16 Nov 2009, Colonicus42 wrote:

    #76
    I was merely trying (on reflection quite badly) to point out that such views don't help the debate.

    Read some of the posters previous comments and you will see my point.

    I was not seeking to censor them, freedom of expression allows us to say what we like, but it also allows anyone else the equal freedom to speak out against what we say.

    #77
    Totally agree with the point about foreign languages, we should do more to promote learning foreign languages in school and in adult education. I personally thing that learning a foreign language should be just as important as maths, science and English.

    However, this should not be done at the expense of Welsh. It's "our" language, we should be proud to be able to speak it and should strive to learn it if we can't. It surely can't be a bad thing to have children learn some welsh.

    There is the counter argument that learning one language makes it easier to learn a second. I know a girl who can speak 6 languages and she always says that learning the second and third etc gets progressively easier, providing they are of the same basic structure, like European languages (obviously throwing Korean or Cantonese in there would still be hard).

    Also the fact that we are lagging behind may have more to do with the level of deprivation in Wales. We are hardly a glimmering example of educational perfection are we? There are massive education problems in Wales that need to be sorted out before foreign languages become a priority.

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  • 81. At 7:05pm on 16 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #79 FoDafydd you asked a question quite a while ago, it was .....

    ... You've picked a figure out of the air to secure democracy in Wales! - so that 59% in your eyes would be undemocratic, and why not ask for 61%? ...

    The logic was simple, no figure plucked from the air, I refer you to #64, #70, #71, #78.


    So you see FoDafydd, the petition only asks for what exists elsewhere, as for your .....

    It's good to talk, eh, Stonemason? As long as it's with those who agree with you.


    I don't have so much time these days, not to waste that is ........

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  • 82. At 9:48pm on 16 Nov 2009, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 81

    Hardly convincing is it?

    Sorry to intrude on your busy schedule!

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  • 83. At 10:28pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    So from the positively undemocratic super majority of the electorate to support a constitutional change, and note no one has defined what that is given our unwritten constitution, but we now have an additional hurdle, a super majority turn out too, So to win a referendum we need a turn out greater than that has been achieved in a general election in more than a generation and even then we need something like a 75% vote in favour - lets just drop any pretence of democracy here. This is blatant and consistent rigging.

    It is true some states require a majority turn out for a referendum to be valid, and some federal states require a majority of the states to approve a change, but no where does anyone require this sort of rigged vote to win a proposition. It should be noted that as a prerequisite to this all states (with the exception of Saudi Arabia) have a written constitution, with a proper set of checks and balances. I would suggest the wreckers here concentrate their fire on the undemocratic structures that form the Crown in Parliament before they attack the democratic wishes of the people of Wales.

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