PLAID CALL FOR DELAY TO AV REFERENDUM FOLLOWING NEW CONCERNS FROM ELECTORAL COMMISSION

Following concerns expressed today by the Electoral Commission, Plaid Cymru has called for the referendum on the Westminster electoral system to be delayed so that proper scrutiny can be given to it.

The Electoral Commission today reported that the question being asked by the ConDem Government was too complicated and that there was little understanding either of the current electoral system or of the alternative vote system.

Plaid Cymru has previously called for the AV referendum to be held on a different date to those of the devolved elections, and for the Single Transferable Vote option to be included on the ballot paper.

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“The UK ConDem Government have tried to ram this through the Houses of Parliament in order to have a quick referendum without giving due time and consideration to the issues being debated.

“What they should be doing is consulting widely, and including the much fairer Single Transferable Vote option on the ballot paper, rather than trying to construct a political fix which largely favours the Liberal Democrats.

“The UK Government should take this opportunity to delay the referendum.

“Attention must be paid to the findings of the 2007 Gould Report which recommended that we should not have multiple elections on the same day.

“We need to keep 5 May 2010 free for the important elections to Parliaments and Assemblies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Plaid Cymru MPs have laid amendments to the Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Bill which would ensure that the referendum date is not on the same day as elections to the National Assembly for Wales, and would give the electorate a real choice between first past the post, the alternative vote and the single transferable vote.”

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