Thursday, 19 June 2008

Celts across the sea

I wrote on Monday about the implications of the Irish referendum vote for Wales. As EU leaders meet to discuss the fall-out, my BBC colleague Betsan Powys has returned to the theme in more depth.

It is difficult for the political establishment to win votes on anything at the moment but a referendum on full law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly in or before 2011 is an integral part of the Labour/Plaid Cymru coalition in Cardiff Bay.

People vote in referendums on various issues, not all of them linked to the subject of the vote. A plebiscite on law-making powers could offer the chance to kick the political establishment in uncertain economic times.

Plaid MP Adam Price has said that "parties have to stand by their agreements or continuing with a Coalition becomes impossible".

You wouldn't bet your house on the coalition partners winning a vote between now and 2011 (although a Tory Government elected at Westminster in 2010 might help).

Lawyers don't ask questions to which they don't already know the answer: would politicians really ask the voters if they thought they might get an answer they don't like?

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