Legislative Incompetence

It's not often that I agree with Alan but I agree with this post.

The ability for the National Assembly to seek competence to legislate in certain areas became available in May last year after the elections to the third Assembly. 10 months latter the first Legislative Competence Order will be granted. Now that the order will be granted we may still have many more months to wait before any legislation arising from the competence is passed by the Assembly. With a bit o luck a new law may be on the statute book before the summer recess, but maybe not.

So from gestation to enactment a new Welsh law is going to take between 12 and 18 months, depending on timetables.

In most democratic institutions an election clears the boards, anything not completed before election time fails. If a government of the same colour is re-elected then any outstanding matters from the previous parliament have to start the parliamentary procedure again from scratch after the election. I assume that this holds true for the National Assembly too. So if an LCO hasn't succeeded by May 2011 it may automatically fail.

If this is the case then the actual period in a four year Assembly term in which the Assembly will be able to gain competency is reduced, in practice, to just two years. LCO's tabled after May 2010 may not be passed before the 2011 election, and if re introduced after the election will not be gained until 2012.

But there is another problem that will reduce the period of competence even further.

Westminster elections will normally be held in the middle of an Assembly term, so any LCO before the Westminster Parliament at that time will also fall and have to be reintroduced, meaning that the actual period of competency that an Assembly has could be as little as 12 months.

This strikes me as a totally incompetent way of running a country. An incompetent way of running our country which is supported by all three Conservative MPs and many Labour MPs, who oppose holding an early referendum to get rid of this iniquity.

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