Our System

The structure we are proposing has three elements, the Welsh Parliament or Senedd, the will of the people expressed through referendums and a reform process designed to accelerate the evolution of our political systems. The Senedd will continue with the debate and enactment of legislation, however with our system in place the people will have the power to reject any law they believe to be unfair or unjust. The people of Wales will also have the power to propose legislation and initiate binding referendums on their own proposals. To initiate a referendum the sponsors of the legislation must collect a certain number of signatures from voters. In Switzerland the system requires 100,000 signatures, but Switzerland is a larger country than Wales so we would suggest a smaller number, perhaps 50,000. Once the signatures have been collected a referendum must be held unless the Senedd agrees to put the legislation through. In Switzerland once a proposal has reached the required signature level the government is allowed to put forward a counter proposal if they feel the proposers have gone to far with their demands. This gives the Swiss people a genuine choice between the original proposal, a more moderate counter proposal, or saying no to all the proposals. The referendum process will act as a check on the power of the politicians in the Senedd and the counter proposal system acts as a check on the proposers of referendums. 

Perhaps the most important part of our structure is the reform process. This will deal with legislation that reforms the political system and the influences on the system. Groups and organizations in civil society would propose reforms and send their proposals to the Senedd in the normal way. If rejected by the Senedd then the group proposing the reforms can use the reform process. To do this the sponsors of a proposal would still have to demonstrate public support by collecting real signatures from registered voters but the signature barrier would be lower and would only require the collection of say, 10,000 signatures. The proposal would then go to the Commission, the Commission being a dozen people selected in a similar way to the way jurys are chosen. If the Commission supports the proposal they refer it back to the Senedd. If the Senedd rejects the proposal again then it goes to referendum. The process aims to put pressure on Members of the Senedd to bring about the reforms we need through their own procedures. That's not unreasonable, it's what we pay them to do...

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If the Commission decides to reject a proposal then the group who created it can still try and get the larger number of signatures needed to take the proposal to referendum. If they get the signatures required they get their referendum. If they don't then the proposal dies. With this system in place any legislative reform that has reasonable public support will go throught the Senedd or go to referendum.

To summarise, if the Senedd fails to deal with a problem, the Commission deals with it, if the Commission fails to deal with it, then the people will ultimately decide through the initiative and referendum process. What comes out of this is not just a series of checks and balances but also real pressure for change. Over time the political system will be reformed and redesigned to deliver solutions. Bringing about these changes may take a little time, but it can happen, will happen, and will happen in a way that is truly democratic.