(Title Image: Electoral Reform Society)
Yesterday, the Senedd backed a change to the Senedd’s Standing Orders/Rules of Procedure, which will allow AMs on parental leave to vote remotely until the end of the Fifth Senedd in April 2021 (pdf).
The change to the rules follows similar changes at the UK Parliament at the start of 2019 to allow new parents to vote by proxy as part of as 12- month trial. Similar rules are in place in Australia and New Zealand.
Proxy votes will be cast by an AM nominated by the absentee. Proxy voting won’t apply to votes which require a two-thirds/supermajority.
The change coincides with Bethan Sayed AM (Plaid, South Wales West) starting maternity leave. Whether proxy voting will continue beyond April 2021 is a decision that’s been left to the Sixth Senedd.
AMS voted by 39-9 with 1 abstention in favour of the trial.