With only a few weeks to go until the first referendum of the year, it will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that most of my spare time is filled up with campaigning for a yes vote. In a sense, it's a frustrating task as this referendum shouldn't be taking place. The LCO system should never have been established in the first place and this referendum basically involves getting rid of ineffective system and giving our Assembly Members the necessary tools to do the job of legislating on devolved issues more effectively. Simple.
Which is why I find the arguments of the No campaign infuriating. Their arguments make no sense whatsoever, and I cannot understand how anyone can think that the LCO system is working. Why carry on with a system that is unnecessarily bureaucratic and slows down the legislative process? In 1997, the questions people were voting on was clear but this time there shouldn't be any divisions. We have an Assembly. So basically, what we're being asked is - do you want it to be just a talking shop or do you want it to be able to take necessary decisions promptly and effectively? Even if you disagree with devolution, surely you can't be in favour of wasting money on the LCO system? Why fight to protect it?
Personally, I've enjoyed working with other parties on the yes campaign and its been refreshing to work side by side with politicians from other parties. There is a political maturity surrounding this referendum, something which I find refreshing. Personally, I think it's a shame that politicians aren't really being used to promote the referendum. Whilst we definitely need the core support to come from the grassroots level, we also need strong political leadership. Ok, so they've been speaking at different meetings and campaigning on the streets, but they're virtually absent in our media. Hopefully that will change in the coming weeks.
People need to understand that this referendum isn't about politicians, but simply about having an effective legislative system. If you're not happy with your current Assembly Member, then vote for a different one on the fifth of May. A yes vote is the only logical choice. So get on board, and get out on the streets to make sure the people of Wales turn out and vote yes this March!
My Chronicle Column - Terrorism in Westminster
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