Monday, 8 December 2008

Here Comes the Girl

So it’s official, I couldn’t predict the outcome of a race between a tortoise and a hare! More importantly Kirsty Williams has been elected the leader of Welsh Liberal Democrats and by a far larger majority than ever expected (60%).

I would like to point out at this stage that Politics Cymru were the first to break the story (check our Twitter feed!) I hope this reassures you, dear reader, that we have our finger on the pulse of Welsh politics.

What does this mean? Well first thing's first, the Liberal Democrats have elected to go for youth over experience. The decision to elect Mrs Williams as leader is a clear statement of intent from the Lib Dems to try and rejuvinate the party and focus on attracting younger voters. We witnessed a lot of this strategy during the campaign with both candidates using social networking sites like Facebook and Youtube to drum up support.

But what impact will this change have? Well some people that I have chatted to today have unkindly likened the outcome to putting a featherweight boxer in the ring with a heavyweight, and two middleweights (you decide who’s who), but I suppose that we will only begin to realise the impact of this historic decision when Kirsty Williams actually starts work as leader, so not long then (tomorrow's First Minister questions).

There is one topic that I would like to open up for wider discussion, many of Kirsty Williams' supporters have claimed that she is youthful but also experienced, bearing in mind she has been in the Assembly since 1999. My question is, does the fact she’s been there from the start matter more than what she’s achieved? For example the oldest team in the football league is Notts County (1862) but they have achieved far less compared to Liverpool, Man Utd etc. Your thoughts are welcome on this point.

Anyway Welsh politics has changed and we are all witnesses to a new dynamic in the Senedd, I for one am waiting to see what will happen next.

Dewi Un

(P.S apologies for all the sporting analogies)


1 comment:

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

I have a huge liking for the political outlook of much of what the Lib Dems stand for, I do, but this leadership election is another example of political bubble significance.

RE: the 1999 point - The biggest thing it says to me is that there is another ‘insider’ politician, another career politician, speaking in political speak and saying the words ‘change’ and ‘fair’ alot.

Where are the ‘real’ people in the senedd? The ones who actually know what it is like to be ‘suffering because of the credit crunch’.

I don’t mean to single Mrs Williams out, or indeed the Lib Dems – but a 37 year old career politician, regardless of her sex, winning 600 votes is hardly the stuff to get excited about is it?

The political significance is within the context of coalition discussions in 2011, where if the Lib Dems can nick a few seats, they are a shoo in to be in coalition with Labour.