THE forthcoming Welsh Election is fast taking on a “party time for Independence” guise.
Propel – Neil McEvoy’s new party – was officially registered with the Electoral Commission yesterday after a long and torturous approval process stretching back almost two years.
This means that FOUR pro-independence parties, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, Gwlad and Propel will now be presenting themselves to the voters in May.
They’ll still be facing six unionist parties at the polls but at least it evens up the scales somewhat.
There’ll be the usual moans about ‘splitting the nationalist vote’, but the three pronged approach should be welcomed by anyone wanting more diversity of thought within the national movement in general.
It will also serve to normalise nationalist politics in Wales at last, and bring us into line with other small nations in similar situations (Catalunya have five pro-indy parties, and the Basque Country have four).
Probably the biggest challenge for Propel is to show that they can be more than a one-man band, bearing in mind all the focus and attention on Neil McEvoy himself thus far.
Perhaps sharing their wider manifesto ideas for the whole of Wales, rather than being so Cardiff-focused, would be a good starting place for them right now.
Gwlad leader, Gwyn Wigley Evans welcomed the fact that Propel had been finally registered.
‘Everyone knows we need big changes in Wales, and more diversity in the national movement, and hopefully Propel can help that process along’ he said.
‘We had a bit of a baptism of fire when we emerged as a party, so maybe they can learn from our experiences in that respect’
It would appear that Propel are already shifting the political dynamics in Wales in announcing that they have a candidate in place for Plaid stronghold Meirion-Dwyfor.
Which could potentially open the door to a whole host of further candidatures in other unexpected areas.
‘As a party we had originally decided not to put up constituency candidates in Plaid-held areas, but if Propel are going to do this, we may have to think again about that idea. After all, we are targeting quite different voters’ said Mr Evans.
‘We can’t be left behind in this regard, and after all, the Welsh public deserve to hear all the arguments for Independence from all quarters, wherever they happen to live’
Perhaps one of the best arguments for new independence parties is the ‘keep them honest’ approach.
In Scotland at present we are seeing all the problems associated with the fact that the nationalist movement has been hitched so tightly to the SNP wagon.
With Nicola Sturgeon now facing a vote of no confidence for a lack of honesty and transparency in the Holyrood Inquiry, the danger is that the wheels could fall off the whole wagon.
A second, or third nationalist party there could perhaps have stopped this abuse of power and authority by one party used to getting their way for so long.
A more-is-better lesson for Wales.