I’ve been out and about recently, as a standing candidate for the Welsh Assembly Elections. My aim (other than a bit of walking exercise and socialising) being to raise awareness of the Elections on 5th May and encourage people to vote.
What became apparent was that people are confused ……
It is insanely confusing.
This Spring/Summer there are FOUR votes to cast. Two relating to Welsh Assembly, one relating to Police and Crime Commission and later on another one relating to the EU
Some people I spoke to didn’t realise that the elections in May were not the EU referendum!!
Those who have received their postal vote pack are overwhelmed by 3 separate ballot papers and 2 separate voting systems
No-one seems to have heard about the Police and Crime Commissioners
And what the hell are Regional List Candidates anyway?!?!
As I said.. politics is complicated.
In the UK the system of voting is a First Past the Post System… it isn’t fair and it fails to represent the views of the majority, in fact it potentially could only represent the views of a tiny minority… read about it here , I’ve tried my best to keep it simple.
Unlike Westminster constituencies, Assembly constituencies are grouped into electoral regions, and an “additional member system” is used to elect four additional Assembly Members from each region, in addition to the AMs elected by the constituencies. On the 5th May 2016, you have two votes for who represents you in The Senedd; one constituency vote and one regional party-list vote. Each constituency elects one AM using the first past the post system (that is, the individual with the most votes wins); the additional Assembly seats are filled from regional “closed party lists’, using an “averaging method” whereby the number of votes is divided by the number of constituency seats won ( d’Hondt method), this offers a degree of proportional representation within each region.
Altogether, 60 AMs are elected from the 40 constituencies and five electoral regions, creating an Assembly of 40 constituency AMs and 20 additional AMs. So every constituent/voter is represented by one constituency AM and four regional AMs.
As for the 3rd ballot paper, well that’s for the Police and Crime Commissioner…. last time they held an election only 16% turned out to vote so I’m guessing they hope to get a better turnout by running it alongside the Assembly Elections…. But sorry, i have no idea who any of them are or why one might be better than the other… All I can say is that many people think it should not be a politically biased position at all…. Anyway. You vote for first and second choice and the top two from the first choice are then reviewed, if neither has more than 50% of the total then they look at the 2nd choice count for those 2 candidates….
Insane? Confused? I did try to warn you
If you don’t usually vote, vote unusually