Jump to content

Scottish Independence Referendum 2021


Scottish Independence Poll  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Scotland be an independent country?

    • Yes
      22
    • No
      19
    • Undecided
      4


Recommended Posts

12 minutes ago, Davie P said:

My understanding is that the Scottish Parliament can hold an advisory referendum on anything it wishes. The Scottish Parliament would only need approval for a legally binding Independence referendum because the constitutional position of the UK is a 'reserved' matter for Westminster.

It's quite a distinct difference and would need to be made abundantly clear to avoid the post-Brexit referendum fiasco.

Having looked it up Davy P, your quite right. They can hold an advisory referendum, but without approval it wouldn’t really mean anything other than provide a result that could provide a stronger case one way or another.

A binding referendum would require a section 30 or an amendment to the Scotland act 1998, both of which require to be granted by Westminster as the Scottish government cannot pass legislation on matters reserved to Westminster.

Edited by Windwalker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes indeed @Windwalker. One of the challenges is that referendums are not ‘native’ to the UK/devolved parliaments’ legislative systems in that they’re not particularly regularly used so have few legal precedents, and each time they are used they need the rules to be agreed beforehand.

Another challenge is that ‘democracy’ itself is a loosely defined principle rather than an off-the-shelf set of processes.

It all sets the scene for claims and counter claims that referendums, their results and subsequent processes are either democratic or undemocratic. It’s understandable that the public might see it like that (most people don’t have an interest in the finer points of legislative systems) but it’s shameful when politicians, who are elected and paid to understand legislative systems, manipulate and deceive the public regarding referendums - Brexit was a prime example of how to use a referendum to debase a legislative system and manipulate the public which has led directly to another referendum which may well lead to the demise of the union that Brexit sought to embolden. It’s almost poetic!

Edited by Davie P
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The democratic argument is a bit easier to follow for laymen like me. I would be genuinely interested if anybody can refute this claim...

Blocking, or attempting to block a democratic route to Scottish independence is an impossible position for anybody who wants to call themselves a democrat.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Capeesh said:

The democratic argument is a bit easier to follow for laymen like me. I would be genuinely interested if anybody can refute this claim...

Blocking, or attempting to block a democratic route to Scottish independence is an impossible position for anybody who wants to call themselves a democrat.

 

 

See where your coming from, but it’s likely not that simple. Each side can put up their own arguments. Probably depends on what side of the fence you sit on.

I voted to remain part of the Union, believed it was a once in a generation thing, I could argue that it’s undemocratic that this is raising its head so soon. 
 

Sturgeon argues the reason for another referendum is that the majority of Scotland voted to stay in the EU. So lets look that argument.  Like all of Scotland, the 62% entered a vote that they knew was a U.K. wide vote and the decision rested with all U.K. voters. Now you could argue it’s undemocratic that the Scottish Gov won’t accept that decision. Let’s break that down a bit. 62% voted to remain in the EU therefore Sturgeon suggests the majority of Scotland is unhappy, well are they. I was one of the 62% who voted to remain, but I knew and accepted it was a U.K. vote and therefore accepted the outcome. I’m sure many more of the 62% will feel the same way. So I would doubt if the majority of Scotland didn’t accept democracy, regardless of how they voted.

The next issue is that current polls suggest that 52% now want independence. We all know that polls can change overnight, we all know that when it comes to voting day, where folk are hopefully making a better judged decision things can change considerably.

Sturgeon argues it would be democratic, whilst at the same time has refused to accept past votes that, in my opinion were democratic. It’s typical politics, but we can’t keep having referendums on a regular basis because we don’t like the outcome.

To be honest I’m neither surprised at either Johnson or Sturgeon’s take on this.  interestingly, if Sturgeon get her way but the outcome was the majority wished to remain in the union, will you see that as democratic and accept it. I’ll guarantee the SNP won’t.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Capeesh said:

Democracy never stands still, people change their minds, voters die and new ones take their place, policies change, the world around us changes etc.

The people who want to prevent the people from voting can never be described as democrats, it's as simple as that.

 

 

 

That’s your take on it, I don’t think things as as straight forward, you didn’t mention if you would accept another vote if it was about remaining in the union. For clarity I would accept any outcome as long as it is carried out legally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Capeesh said:

I'm glad to hear it, does that mean if independence parties win a majority on May 6th you'll be happy for them to fulfill the mandate they've been given?

 

Despite it being their mandate the Scottish elections and independence are two completely different issues, which is why they require to be voted for as such. As I’ve already said I will respect any democratic vote as long as it is done within current laws.

You’ve still not said if you would also accept an outcome which the majority voted to remain part of the union.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could be the SNP are trying to use the Westminster refusal for an independence referendum, for political point scoring reasons only and do not really intend to have a ballot on this issue at this point of time.

Many SNP supporters will see any refusals, as interference from Westminster and thumbs down to the Tories in Scotland, hopefully giving them more votes .

It would seem crazy to have an independent vote at this time when the the world economy is in crisis, and the UK is just getting accustomed to all the new Brexit arrangements, I'm sure the SNP also see it that way but as I said, it's a nice political ball to kick around to their advantage.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Capeesh said:

The democratic argument is a bit easier to follow for laymen like me. I would be genuinely interested if anybody can refute this claim...

Blocking, or attempting to block a democratic route to Scottish independence is an impossible position for anybody who wants to call themselves a democrat.

 

2 hours ago, Capeesh said:

Democracy never stands still, people change their minds, voters die and new ones take their place, policies change, the world around us changes etc.

The people who want to prevent the people from voting can never be described as democrats, it's as simple as that.

I'll take up the challenge of refuting the claim, but with a dose of devil's advocacy thrown in.

The tension inherent with a democratic government is that from a philosophical point of view, giving people a direct say in how their government operates is generally considered a good thing, but from a logistical point of view there needs to be parameters and limitations.

The ultimate form of philosophical democracy is giving every member of society a direct, equal and ongoing say in every issue that affects them. From a logistical point of view, that's at best impractical, hence why we've arrived at the compromise of 'representative democracy' whereby the population delegate authority to MPs who are elected via regular popularity votes.

Talking very broadly here, but... populations change their minds regularly, are easily swayed, vote based on emotion and instinct, and generally think in more short term and individualistic way than members of parliamentary parties built on core principles and long term collectivist policies. Giving the population more regular and/or direct say could (would?) lead to a less stable and less effective form of democracy.

If, as a population, we decide to have regular referendums on the sovereign status of our country then in my opinion we must accept the upheaval, instability and short-term-ism that may result. If we agree to have another independence referendum now after 6 years, should we agree to have referendums on our sovereign status every six years? And if not, why not? After-all, in a perfect democracy we'd all vote every day on every subject.

---

Bit of a footnote here... over the past century or so democracy has been considered by many people to be unquestionably the best form of governance, but for much of modernity, democracy was considered with great suspicion - Plato warned that democracy was one step from anarchy.

Edited by Davie P
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO immigration is now beginning to bite into politics in a big way.

How different religions view democracy and free speech, is now beginning to  have an effect on our politics.

We are no longer mainly a Christian nation ,upholding  Christian views, but a nation of mixed religion and mixed views that will oppose each other more and more in the future.

Because we have this mix of political opinions ,Parliamentarians will be subject to more and more diversity ,creating more and more divisions in our society.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Davie P said:

Talking very broadly here, but... populations change their minds regularly, are easily swayed, vote based on emotion and instinct, and generally think in more short term and individualistic way than members of parliamentary parties built on core principles and long term collectivist policies. Giving the population more regular and/or direct say could (would?) lead to a less stable and less effective form of democracy.

Logistically giving everybody a say on every vote in government wouldn't be that difficult these days. Just about everything else can be done online, so there's little by way of obstacles to stop there being a voting site where all registered voters could log in and cast their vote on anything.

After all the majority of folk bank online, apparently successfully, and somebody is far more likely to want to steal your money than your vote.

The result though would be either chaos or anarchy, probably both, before the first week was up, for exactly the reasons you describe.

To make democracy work as well as it can, it needs to be organised and orderly, and part of that order is that a 'reasonable' period elapses between a subject being voted on and allegedly settled on (for the foreseeable) and it is revisited and voted on again. Without that 'order' the same subject would come up to be voted on again and again, to the detriment of other, if not all other business of governance, and that's pretty much where Holyrood has been stuck in the groove since the last referendum.

The ruling party simply won't accept the result of the democratic vote, and have spent the ensuing years yirping on about it at every opportunity, while making a pretty mediocre job of attending to the other business of running the country they were elected to do.

Democratic elections should, in theory at least, address this, but unfortunately due to past industries the most populous central belt if heavily left wing, which pretty much ensures Holyrood will remain in left wing control for the foreseeable at least.

With only one currently viable left wing party on the scene, and so far insufficient centrist and right wing opposition to temper their excesses, it looks like we're stuck with some version of the broken record we've got for a bit yet. The not so pretty and not so well working side of democracy, a party apparently incapable or accepting and respecting a democratic vote, and a country with lopsided political leanings and Hobson's choice to vote for.

Queen Nicola of Scotland was rejected by the people when asked. If she'd accepted that and knuckled down to giving it her all to run Scotland making it as successful and prosperous place as it was in Holyrood's power to do so. Maybe in 20 years time when folk saw she'd walked the walk as well as talked the talk, she'd have become Queen Nicola of Scotland as an old woman.... but, she chose to portray herself as a moaning sore loser with a fixation if not obsession over achieving Scottish independence at apparently any cost, and the rest is history.

She may as well retire, its been all down hill since the referendum, and it'll continue that way as long as her and her attitude dominates.

Edited by Ghostrider
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Davie P I understand and share your preference for representative democracy  v's direct democracy, the only country I can think of who seem to make a form of direct democracy work is Switzerland, (average 4 referendums a year).

I can't see any desire to have referendums on every major subject but I see no problem having a referendum when all other democratic avenues have been exhausted as is the case right now in Scotland. As for time scale there is precedent in the UK right now,  in the Good Friday Agreement a timescale of 7 years between referendums on Irish unification was agreed.

Mandate 1 - Westminster elections - a majority of independence supporting MP's from Scotland.

Mandate 2 - Scottish elections - a majority of independence supporting MSP's in a parliament that uses a voting system designed to prevent these majorities happening.

Mandate 3 - The Scottish parliament voting in favour of holding a referendum on independence (postponed due to Covid).

Mandate 1 would've been enough 35 years ago when Maggie Thatcher said this...

"Scotland doesn't need a referendum on independence. All she needs to do is send a majority of Nationalist MP's to Westminster to have a mandate for independence."

Mandate 2 and 3 should definitely fulfill democratic requirements, if not for independence then surely to hold a referendum.

We should know better than most what happens when you refuse a democratic route to independence, the former British Empire is full of examples, spoiler,  it never works.

 

Edited by Capeesh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Correct me if I'm mistaken, but didn't all of those mandates exist when the last Scottish referendum was held, yet the public, when asked, voted against Scottish independence. Which would lead you to conclude that the public voted in those Scottish independence supporting MP's and MSP' not for their support of Scottish constitutional change, but for their other views/attributes.

If so, what has changed to justify re-running the referendum and (presumably) expecting a different outcome.

The MP/MSP benchmark for Scottish independence failed to produce the expected outcome in a referendum and the SNP lost almost 10% of their Holyrood seats two years later. which would tend to suggest a declining support for Scottish Independence. What evidence is there that that apparent decline in Scottish independence support which the reduction in SNP support in the 2016 election would appear to suggest was reversed and rebuilt, and hasn't continued to decline since.

On the face of it, shouting about independence now is just a tired old gimmick to try and rally the troops to vote them in again in 3 months time, unless there is something new and of real value put on the table to suggest otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...