Gwenllian's referendum.

I am confused about what the forthcoming referendum is going to be about. My understanding was that the referendum would be the one legislated for in Section 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, which will only give powers to the Assembly to legislate in those areas that it already has executive responsibility for.

However in an interview with the Total Politics magazine Plaid Cymru's Chief Executive says something slightly different:

one of the points within the One Wales Agreement is the establishment of the All Wales Convention, which has just started work, and then having a referendum on its conclusions before 2011.

What Gwenllian is saying is that if the Convention comes to the conclusion that the Assembly needs more powers than the Act currently offers, (over policing for example), or a different constitution to the present set up (more members, a different voting system etc) then THAT is what the referendum will be about.

If Gwenllian's interpretation is right then I would be much more supportive of the Convention and more enthusiastic about the referendum. If I am right then I think that the Convention and the referendum are a waste of time effort and money.

Is Gwenllian right or is this another example of Plaid over exaggerating what it can get from its pact with Labour in order to please its supporters, in the same way that it promised a daily paper but was only able to deliver a web page?


  1. As far as I've seen anywhere, the Convention is going to do no more than conclude what the opinion and attitude of the Welsh electorate is towards a referendum. Like you, I've seen no purpose for it beyond creating a useful get out for Plaid Cymru when the decision not to hold a referendum before 2011 is taken - a giant fig leaf. Or am I being tooo cynical?

  2. Well, Gwenllian's view is the view that I originally held on the Convention.

    However, given that the referendum clause is built into GOWA 2006, surely anything over and above that would be essentially illegal, and a new law would have to be drafted IN PARLIAMENT - (given that the Assembly can only draft subordinate legislation).

    Drafted - and then voted on. Hmmmmm...