A transformed, diverse democracy
More than 20 years since the then Assembly was convened in 1999, it’s time to take stock and to ensure our Senedd is empowered to take on the role it will inevitably play in the decades to come as the home of Welsh democracy and the legislature of a future independent Welsh state. We’ve known since 2004 that the Senedd is too small to fulfil its role of holding the government of the day to account. Despite great strides towards gender equality in the early days of the Senedd, we must now act to ensure that our Senedd and wider democracy reflects our modern nation in all of its diversity and reflects all the voices and aspirations of Wales’ citizens.
We will therefore implement the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform, in particular on Single Transferable Voting, gender quotas and expanding the Senedd.
We will also consider whether the independence and effectiveness of the key apparatus around the legislature such as the Senedd’s Remuneration Board, Fees Office and the Senedd’s Standards Commissioner, which fulfil a key role in the effective functioning of our democracy and in providing accountability and assurance to the public, may be strengthened further.
We will support efforts to ensure the Senedd Commission is subject to the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and Welsh language standards that operate across the public sector, whilst upholding the important principle that the Commission should continue to be accountable to the Senedd.
We will continue to support the use and normalisation of the name ‘Senedd’ as the legislature’s official name in both languages, and seek opportunities to formalise in law what has now become every day practice.
We will operate as a Government on the principle that nobody has a monopoly on good ideas and we will seek to ensure the effectiveness of channels to feed good ideas into government. We will look to support wherever possible legislative proposals from backbench Members of the Senedd and aim to act quickly and pragmatically in areas where there is political consensus around legislative proposals.