Tuesday 15 February 2011

Pig Takes On Shane

Having extolled the merits of universal suffrage this is a good moment to point out all the upcoming opportunities for people in Wales to exercise their right to vote.

Hafal has always taken a keen interest in elections, both aiming to persuade people with a mental illness and their families to use their vote (and to put candidates on the spot about their promises on mental health matters) and also persuading politicians that there are "votes in mental health" even if traditionally many people affected haven't been comfortable raising their concerns in public hustings. In both these respects we have had good results, seeing much more about mental health in manifestos and plenty of active interest in elections from Hafal Members.

So what treats are in store for the Welsh voter eager to wield power through the ballot box?

Coming up very rapidly is the referendum on 3 March on extending the National Assembly's powers. This is only days away and my impression is that many people haven't yet cottoned on to the debate. However, the rival camps have now marched out to battle and you will see more on this over the final few days. Looking for somebody persuasive to press the case for more powers the "Yes" campaign has wheeled out that well-known authority on constitutional affairs Shane Williams. The "No" people have also taken an intellectual approach by launching an inflatable pig with "No" painted on its bum. But of course this matter is important so do check out the issues and get to the polls. The basic facts about the Welsh referendum can be seen here.

More in due course about the Assembly elections on 5 May - Hafal will be publishing a manifesto and a guide for voters just before the campaign begins. Meanwhile note that on the same day the UK referendum on the "Alternative Vote" system will now take place. The basics about the AV referendum can be seen here.