Monday, 15 November 2010

Looking for a seat!

If you're a member of a political party you can look forward to a lovely Christmas card from him or her shortly. Who? Your Member of Parliament. 
What’s more during the next couple of years he or she will be attentive to your every need. 
Why? It’s all down to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill which is going through Parliament now. The bill  paves the way to the reduction in the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and the redrawing of boundaries to create similar-sized constituencies. The posh word for this is ‘equalization.’ So with these changes most, if not all constituencies, will have new boundaries. In Wales when the numbers of MPs are likely to be reduced from 40 seats in the House of Commons to 30, many of the constituencies will be vastly different from the ones that voters have been used to.  Some will even cross very old boundaries. For instance Ynys Mon will be tacked on to Bangor and Bethesda and some of the South Wales Valley seats will be joined without regard to the natural geographic boundaries of the areas. Yes, valley shall speak to valley!And there in lies the rub, for many of our existing MPs will be pitched against existing party colleagues in re-selection contests.  And as we know from musical chairs, when a chair is removed there are losers. Usually, a Member of Parliament can expect his own party to re-select him without any great difficulty. It is a different ball game when the boundaries have been changed.
Member’s will be eyeing up the neighbouring colleagues and thinking nasty thoughts.
In Labour seats expect MPs to rekindle their love of the various trade unions that are affiliated to the constituency party. The Co-op party will have many more recruits from existing MPs.
Ministers that are kept busy in Westminster will be worrying that their back bencher neighbour will be stealing a march in the constituency by turning up to coffee mornings, whist drives and the like. Why? To press the flesh with local party members.
Oh, yes, the bill when comes into play, it will create a great deal of uncertainty for Members of Parliament and will certainly hasten the departure of many. Perhaps, it is only right that they should be worried about their jobs, after all these are uncertain times for all public sector workers.  The uncertainty is in no small part due to the action of politicians in the way they have managed affairs. 

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