Posted - 05/01/2011 : 05:12:31 AM
| Policy poker: Do you know what's in the parties' hands?
Is there enough to distinguish the politicians competing for support in the Welsh assembly election on 5 May? We asked a group of voters if they could match the policy with the party.
Thumbing through the manifestos produced by the parties for the assembly election on 5 May can bring about a sense of déjà vu as similar policies are offered for approval.
Which party, for example, is proposing a national cancer plan? The answer: Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Labour says it has already produced one.
What about transport? Labour wants a not-for-profit company, similar to Glas Cymru, to run the Wales and Borders rail franchise. So does Plaid.
Whether it is more out-of-hours health services, legislation on the Welsh language or plugging gaps in public spending, similar ideas pop up throughout the manifestos on offer at this election.
So, in what admittedly might be the most unscientific experiment ever conducted in the name of journalism, we shuffled a list of policies from the four biggest parties in the assembly election campaign.
Ten members of the BBC Wales People's Assembly were asked to match the policies with the party they thought was responsible.
Without researching the manifestos, they had to rely on their own knowledge or guesswork to nominate four policies each for Labour, the Tories, the Lib Dems and Plaid.
Out of 160 potential matches, they scored a combined 56. The highest score was a commendable 10 out of 16.
One of the 16 policies on offer was a Welsh language bill to recognise the official status of Welsh and English and the equality between the two languages.
Everyone thought it was a Plaid brainchild. In fact, it comes from the Welsh Conservative manifesto. There is a similar pledge from the Lib Dems. Plaid says it wants legislation passed in the last assembly to bed down and to increase the number of organisations providing services in Welsh.
Most of our People's Assembly members thought a policy to create a direct air link between Wales and north America also came from Plaid's manifesto. In fact, it was from the Tory version.
By Daniel Davies
BBC Wales news website political reporter
Back to the main page of The Casino Watch Dog