Monday, May 05, 2008

For Scotland, read Quebec?

I've watched the developing 'bring it on' story over the last couple of days with an ever-so-slight sense of 'deja-vu' ...

... not only do the increasingly potential parallels with Quebec, Canada (and Catalonia, Spain) become ever-more real ... but to 'some' extent we have been here before as a nation ...

... although I do obviously accept (see this post and comments thereafter) that there has not yet been a referendum with the distinct option of 'Independence' on the ballot paper; I sense that even a substantial 'No-vote' in 2009/10 (or whenever any referendum 'might' happen) would NOT be the end of the matter.

Devolutionists, and even Federalists, should expect nothing else ...

... only one-thing in life is constant - change.

Politics is not so different.


Jeff said...

It's a bit churlish to not only predict the result of any future referendum but also to so adamantly state how the SNP would react to a loss.

Alex Salmond has said quite clearly that a referendum is a once in a lifetime event and the party will not push for vote after vote on the issue. I think it would be good manners to take him at face value.

At least until you can prove him wrong with deeds rather than with mere fantasy...

Andrew said...


Thanks for the comment - and apologies if I sounded 'churlish': I didn't mean to.

I also (really!) don't mean to predict the outcome of any referendum in this post, just simply point out that even if there is a substantial no vote, then I don't believe it will mean an end to the issue for a generation.

I'm fully aware of what Salmond has said on this - but even you cannot be expecting him to lead the SNP for a generation?

If there's a no vote in 2009/10 - unless its completely overhwelming, which I'm sure you'd agree is pretty unlikely - then surely I'm free to predict the issue will come back before the Scottish electorate within a generation?

This upcoming referendum (lets assume it WILL happen) will be the third in my lifetime on the constitutional future of Scotland - I genuinely expect it won't be the last ... that's all.


Anseo said...

How Do Andrew,

I see that you colleague Ewan Aitken backs the call for a referendum whereas you other colleague Elizabeth Maginnis is opposed to such a referendum.

Are you in favour or against the referendum being held?

Andrew said...


Thanks for the comment ...

... talk about a leading-question??

Of course I'm in favour of 'referendums' - I have a certain track-record in that regard :-(


P.S. I'm shocked that you've exposed individual-thinking amongst my colleagues ... whatever next :-((

Anseo said...

A leading question perhaps, but one you've failed to answer directly. You may well be generally in favour of referendums in principle.

The question is whether you are in favour of the referendum mooted by Wendy Alexander specifically?

I`m assuming you would share you position on this issue with Ewan rather than Elizabeth - but that is just my assumption.

Andrew said...


Thanks for the further comment - apologies for the delayed response.

I am indeed in favour of a referendum on such a significant constitutional issue ... frankly though, I don't have a strong view on the timing of such an event just that it should take place in a well-informed atmosphere.

Sadly, and ALL sides are guilty on this front, I think we're far from such an atmosphere on this issue and despair at the current level of debate.

I have posted, on a few earlier ocassions, about one possible way to resolve the current lack of dialogue by use of a "Citizens' Convention" ...