At stake in this Referendum:
- A referendum to determine the law-making powers of the National Assembly for Wales
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
- Head of Government: Prime Minister David CAMERON
- Assembly: Wales has a unicameral Welsh Assembly with 60 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is hereditary.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch to serve a 5-year term. Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually the prime minister.
- In the Welsh Assembly, 40 members are elected by simple majority vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 20 members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** The members elected through party lists represent Wales' five electoral regions; this proportional representation system is also known as "Additional Member System" (AMS).
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- The referendum will ask you whether the Assembly should now be able to make laws on 20 subject areas. The National Assembly for Wales - what happens at the moment The assembly has powers to make laws on 20 subject areas, such as agriculture, education, the environment, health, housing, local government. In each subject area, the assembly can make laws on some matters, but not others. To make laws on any of these other matters, the assembly must ask the UK Parliament for its agreement. The UK Parliament then decides each time whether or not the assembly can make these laws. The assembly cannot make laws on subject areas such as defence, tax or welfare benefits, whatever the result of this vote. If most voters vote 'yes' - the Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement. If most voters vote 'no' - what happens at the moment will continue. Question: Do you want the assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?
- An absolute majority of voters must vote "yes"
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 2,952,500 (July 2004 est. - Source: National Statistics United Kingdom)