Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Annabel's Anger

Rather an unflattering photograph of Annabel Goldie, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives isn't it? She looks confused, even angry - certainly not happy.

She has no reason to be happy. Today one of her loyal colleagues announced he'd given enough of his time to being a parliamentarian and was standing down next year. To add to Annabel's woes it's reported some of her party's senior figures have concocted a plan which would see MSPs replaced after serving two terms at Holyrood. As the analysis of the party's dismal showing in Scotland at the general election continued, it was confirmed that a major review could include a 'two strikes and you're out' rule, which would see MSPs standing down after eight years. The Scottish Parliament has fixed-terms of four years.

This is the method the Scottish tories think will introduce 'new blood' to the party because some see Holyrood as 'moribund and ineffective and its members too comfortable'.

Of the 17 Tory MSPs elected at the last election, only three were elected to specific constituencies, the rest owed their election to the regional list top-up system.

I have a suggestion for all Holyrood parties. What about applying the two-term rule, or even a one-term rule, to all list MSPs? Since the Parliament was re-established in 1999, I have not had one piece of correspondence from my list MSPs. Trying to find who they are isn't easy either. Fortunately I know Perthshire comes under Mid Scotland and Fife in the regional lists but I doubt if many people know that or are even interested. In fact I would think it's a small minority of people who are aware so many MSPs have never been elected. They are chosen by their politican party and go through the party process of selection. Some don't even bother to stand at elections but are confident that their party will place them top of their list.

List MSPs are not accountable to me. They can't be because I never never voted for any of them.

Not so long ago there was a suggestion in Parliament that list MSPs receive less salary than elected MSP. Uproar ensued. List MSPs insisted they did as much, if not more, work than their elected equivalents. The matter was dropped.

So a wee tip for Annabel; bring forward a proposal that all list MSPs serve only one or two terms. Then the public will be able to observe the 'new blood' and if they like what they see, we the people, can suggest they stand at a future election.


Indyanhat said...

What a good idea maybe they ought to introduce that down here serve two terms as an MP and onyour way boyo, that might sort the little cliques out a bit and passs the jobs around to new blood hmmmm!

Hythlodaeus said...

The only reason the Tories are asking for this is so their younger members can get a shot at Westminster after a few years. They'll shift them to a seat down south and plonk a couple of embarrassments from Westminster at the top of the list. I suspect Labour would do the same thing. After 8 years, then swap out a list MSP for someone in a safe seat.

Bobs your uncle, hot and cold running MSPs without experience of Holyrood and all the yah-boo attitude of Westminster.

JRB said...

Your proposal that list MSPs only serve a maximum of two terms is a great idea – but I fear it will be akin to asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Ah, Annabel Goldie-a face only a Tory could love! ;-)

subrosa said...

It would stop a bit of the troughing Indyan and as you say the cliques.

subrosa said...

That's it exactly Hythlodaeus but I still say list MSP should be restricted.

It's party not public interest of course for the tories.

subrosa said...

Auch she's harmless DL, well to a degree. :)

subrosa said...

Hello John, the idea would benefit the public too much John, hence it will never be considered.

Barking Spider said...

She looks, in that pic, like one of Mme Tussaud's that was possibly left a bit too close to the fire, SR. ;-)

subrosa said...

I'm fairly sure I do on the odd occasion to BS. :)

Apogee said...

Hi SR. Unintended consequences.
In for eight years then out on a full pension?

An honest preferential voting system,where the last on the list is eliminated and their first preferences go to the next one up the tree and so on to the top.You want one for the seat, you got it, want two , take the top two, three, take the top three.
Party dont matter,will sort itself out. And voting must be compulsory.
Stop this current apology for a system where a winning majority can be as low as 30 %of the population.

subrosa said...

Now that's an idea Apogee.

Re the pension. It should be per years of service with no top ups.

Let them do what many of us did and pay for a private pension. Then perhaps no chancellor would raid it.

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