Over to members to decide Plaid Cymru's future direction says Adam Price
All Plaid Cymru members are to be asked about the party’s future direction, the sort of policies it pushes for and even how it’s organised.
Plaid leader Adam Price says the consultation will be “broad and wide-ranging” with the aim “not to look inward, but to look forward”.
Officials insist it’s not a navel-gazing exercise and isn’t directly linked to 2021’s Senedd election results which saw the party slip to third place in terms of seats behind the Conservatives.
Instead they say it’s chance for Plaid Cymru to take stock and work out what it needs to do to position itself for a “new political context,” meaning its co-operation agreement with Labour and the prospect of a larger and differently-elected Senedd from 2026 onwards.
In his forward to the consultation document, Adam Price tells members: “If we are to succeed in convincing our fellow citizens to support our vision and persuade them to join us in realising it, we need that vision to be clear among ourselves, and understand the strategic choices we will have to make to most effectively achieve our goals.
“That means we need to discuss, debate and decide democratically the best way forward for our party in the years ahead.”
The consultation will start today and last until the 31st August.
During that time individual members as well as elected members and constituency parties will be asked for their thoughts on areas such as how best to achieve the party’s commitment to independence for Wales, what sort of relationship there should be with Europe, electoral goals and how willing or otherwise they are for it to work with other political parties.
Plaid Cymru has reached a co-operation agreement with the Labour Welsh Government which involves the two working together in 46 policy areas.
It’s not a formal coalition government, there are no Plaid Cymru ministers but it is a way of harnessing the voting power of the two groups to deliver certain things such as extending free school meals and increasing the number of Senedd members.
The arrangement has been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives which says that Plaid Cymru is “propping up” Labour and “enjoying the perks of government while failing to do their job as an opposition party.”
The results of the consultation will be announced at Plaid Cymru’s conference in the autumn.