All Assembly members will be full time and paid. The Assembly First Secretary, Assembly Secretaries, Presiding Officers and Committee Chairs will receive extra allowances in addition to their members pay with respect to their extra responsibilities.
The post of Secretary of State for Wales will continue to exist and will be occupied by a Westminster MP as at present. The Secretary of State will be able to sit and speak in the Assembly but will have no vote.
The Assembly will appoint a presiding officer and a deputy presiding officer (who will come from a different political parties). These will function in the same way as the Speaker and her deputy do in the House of Commons.
The Assembly will also elect a leader of the Assembly, whose title will be Assembly First Secretary (or Prif Ysgrifennydd y Cynulliad in Welsh). This person will act as the head of the Welsh executive committee (in effect the head of the Welsh Administration).
The mechanism for election of members of the Assembly will be as follows:-
Each person will have two votes, one for a constituency MP and one for a party list.
40 will be elected from the Welsh Westminster constituencies by the present first past the post system.
In each constituency voters will cast their vote for a named candidate of their choice by placing a vote against their name. The person with the most votes in the constituency will be declared elected.
20 will be elected from regional party lists, four members from each of the five Electoral Regions. These will initially be the European Constituencies used for the 1994 European Elections; though other regions may be used in future as, from the next European election, these will be abolished and Wales will be treated as one multi-member constituency.
The list system will work as follows. The elector will cast their vote for a named party, (the ballot paper will also display the names of the party nominees. A calculation will then be made to award seats to each party so that the total number of elected people from the region (both list and first past the post seats) for each political party will be as proportional as possible.
A more detailed account of how the electoral system works (with worked examples) can be found on my Assembly Electoral System page.
© Lyn David Thomas 1998
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