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Does National Assembly need an overhaul?

27 July 2018

Senedd

Would the biggest constitutional overhaul in the National Assembly’s short history help it deliver more effective government for the people of Wales?

Professor Laura McAllister, of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, will consider how best to achieve a parliament that works for Wales at an event at the National Eisteddfod.

The Professor of Public Policy chaired an Expert Panel on Electoral Reform which concluded that significant changes were required.

The panel’s recommendations included increasing the number of Assembly Members, lowering the minimum voting age at Assembly elections and introducing a more proportional voting system.

Having considered the proposals, the Assembly Commission recently announced its plans to deliver reform in two phases.

The first will look at lowering the minimum voting age for Assembly elections to 16 years of age and changing the name of the Assembly to Welsh Parliament.

This will be followed by a second phase that focuses on the question of the increase in size of the Assembly and related decision about potential changes to the electoral system.

Professor McAllister will explain why the status quo is no longer an option in the Societies 1 pavilion on Tuesday 7 August (16:00).

She said: “This year’s National Eisteddfod takes place in and around our National Assembly.

“There couldn’t be a better time to discuss whether the Assembly is a parliament that truly works for Wales, and whether positive and forward-looking changes could be made.

“These changes could see our Assembly become more representative of the people and communities it serves, enabling it to hold the Welsh Government to account.”

The panel, set up by the Assembly’s Presiding Officer, featured an independent group of electoral and parliamentary experts.

Its proposals, which have been subject to a consultation, mean a very different set of rules could govern the next Assembly election in 2021.

The 2018 Eisteddfod takes place in Cardiff Bay and runs from 3-11 August.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

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