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Thread: Moving the game on

  1. #1

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    Moving the game on

    “Mr. Salmonds New Years Message was: Scots must determine their own future”.

    The problem is how to achieve this end. The present system of government does not allow the Scottish people to be asked the question “Do you wish Scotland to Leave the Union”?

    The SNP and others advocating secession from the union seem unable to put a convincing argument to the people at a Scottish election. Trying to work within the broken UK system, however admirable, is not working. Before the 2011 election a new way of governing Scotland must be set before the electorate for them to vote on. A written Scottish constitution, fit for a sovereign nation, in the 21st century.


    The current UK constitution is an evolved, unwritten non codified constitution. The system has been hi-jacked by the PARTIES, unionist, nationalist and everything in between. It holds parliament as sovereign, not the people. It is no longer fit for purpose in a devolved, let alone a modern self governing Scotland.

    This system allows the leader of the party with the most seats to control the executive, by convention, not by election by the parliament. The Prime Minister becomes the chief executive and goes on to appoint his cabinet again with no reference to parliament. It does not engender consensus nor does it ensure that the most able MPs are members of the Executive.

    The situation is further exacerbated and democracy diminished, by the “Whip system” on party MPs to ensure the outcome of a vote. We have in effect a PARTY DICTATORSHIP of one flavour or another.

    In current practice this means that any "Party" or "Coalition of Parties" in government; with sufficient votes; can change the law to suit the objectives of the "Party" or "Coalition of Parties" in power. Any change in the law effects an alteration to the rights of the people.

    Scottish Independence is a political ambition of political parties, advocacy groups and individuals for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom and become a sovereign state, separate from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Simply stating we advocate Independence and everything else will follow is not sufficient.

    Nationalists have been advocating Independence for “it feels like forever” years. But as political parties, they always shy away from changing the present system, which allows them power through parliamentary sovereignty. Since their election to minority government in 2007 support for the SNP has fluctuated around 35%. So a majority of Scottish voters are not convinced. Why throw away, the broken UK system, until they are offered something better.

    They did however (as did Wales and Northern Ireland) vote for a devolved assembly, offered by unionist parties to, hopefully, stem the rise of nationalism. The unionists made a mistake, instead, the desire for regional autonomy spread throughout the UK. Even England, which did not need a devolved parliament (Westminster would suffice), wanted more autonomy in the regions.

    The devolved governments have performed reasonably well, in spite of the restricted autonomy, but it is still not enough and if the Westminster system is not for changing, the only way left is secession.

    What is required is a Scottish written codified constitution. Establishing: once and for all that the people are sovereign and entitled to “Self Governance” in the nation state of Scotland. Voted for by the by the electorate at a Scottish election, showing it is the settled will of the Scottish people.

    The parliament of a truly independent nation must be accountable to the people, not to a political party philosophy.

    It must provide for a system of parliamentary government in which power is shared equitably between national and local government and in which representatives of proven ability and public servants are openly held accountable to the people. Not to a party philosophy.

    # scotintun 2011-01-07 08:04

    Being an MP, MSP etc normally means the support of a ‘political party’ due to the development of modern politics within the UK. The patronage required is a direct result in some way to the costs of becoming a politician. People have been programmed into Party-minded-voters. The independent candidate into today's political scene, probably with the exception of Councils, has little chance of being elected. People are engulfed in the party system. With the Labour party's grip on the ‘My father voter for them etc,' they are the last party that would want this. They basically would have too much to lose; something that could catch them out..... no chance! That said I agree that we need a written Constitution just for that alone as accountability is the only way forward for any democracy, because at present I don’t think we live in one.

    That is exactly the point.
    Political parties have hi jacked the UK system. They control who is acceptable to represent the voters. The electorate have no hand in the selection of their representatives.

    Bugger the Panda 2011-01-07 08:07
    There is a proposed Scottish Constitution published in 2002 and drawn up by a group of lawyers and academics. In fact it was published by the SNP but the Constitution predates this and has been updated several times.
    I have read the 2005 version under the heading “A New Scottish Constitution”. Found on the internet under that title or “Raising the standard”. They are still advocating, setting up a SOVEREIGN PARLIAMENT in chapter two of that document.

    Mad Jock McMad 2011-01-07 08:57
    My take is from a historical position but it is important in establishing the legitimacy of Scotland as a nation state.

    The key document remains the 'Declaration of Arbroath' because it legally establishes that the people of Scotland are sovereign not King's or their successors.

    The impact of this was rapid as by 1328 the Parliament of the Three Estates was established which Robert the Bruce paid heed to and, it could be argued, the Scottish political structure could be deemed to be the precursor of the concept of a 'Constitutional Monarchy'.

    The second serious legal point is that the Parliament of the sovereign people of Scotland was not dissolved in 1707, it was merely suspended. This point was re-iterated in 1999 when the new presiding officer re-convened the Scottish Parliament.

    There is, I believe, a case to be made, in spite of the Scotland Act 1999 provisions, that Holyrood is once again the legitimate sovereign parliament of Scotland, is the reconvened 1707 Parliament and is, in that case, already independent and any attempt by Westminster to intervene, pass regressive bills to inhibit these freedoms and other wise prevent the wishes of the sovereign Scottish People being enacted is a breach of our human rights.

    Under the statement of purpose contained in the Declaration of Arbroath, it is the sovereign Scottish People's right to remove such leader's as oppose these 'unalienable rights' to the 'freedom we hold dear'.

    That folks, is why Westminster will never give us a plebiscite we say 'yes' to full fiscal autonomy and the Westminster game is a bogey.

    I believe it is counter productive to quote historical reasons for the validity of the reconstituted Scottish Parliament. The pre 1707 parliament was made up of the “Three Estates” not all of the people of Scotland. That parliament was as accountable to the people of Scotland as the devolved one is to-day.

    # UpSpake 2011-01-07 09:26, Alex Wilson
    It was Winnie Ewing at the re-opening of the Parliament in Scotland in 1999 which referred to the body as having been re-constituted which is what I believe to be the correct interpretation not the strangled version we have at the moment. As regards the need for a 'written constitution', I couldn't agree with Alex Sloan more. Having been subjects of the crown for so long perhaps we have lost the desire to see things from a 'citizens' viewpoint. Pervious attempts to write a constitution have ended up in a mire of paperwork unfit to be read or understood by the general public. What is needed is a short, sharp easily understood and memorised 10 commandments so to speak that can be taught at primary school and memorised for life. A balance between the role of the state and the rights and responsibilities of the individual - easy. I believe the SDA are actively involved in creating such a document to be put out there for others to consider.

    # gedguy2 2011-01-07 12:17
    Even though I agree with most of the statements above the fact of the matter is that if the SNP laid before the electorate a fully worked out written constitution, tax, defence and other matters then we are only giving the Labour party, the UK government and the MSM ammunition to attack us on the details. Whatever we put forward you can be assured that the Unionists will twist the facts on what has been offered. Far better that we take the approach we are taking. This is not going to be a quick independence campaign. We have to take the people of Scotland with us to do otherwise is to be like them; which is why we want to separate in the first place. The SNP are in this for the long run and we should have the patience and understanding of this approach foremost in our minds to avoid disappointment. Rome wasn't built in a day and we are not going to get our independence anytime soon. We have to bring the central belt with us and this is where we should be aiming our resources at. Saying that, I fully understand that the non-central belt voters might become suspicious of any parties that wants to shove all of its resources into the central belt elections. I would say to them that this is a sacrifice that we will have to make to ensure that independence comes with the majority of voters on our side. Remember that we have already had a vote on independence and the UK government ignored it. It has to be done right and this will take time


    If I understand what you are saying is? It is easier to achieve independence, by default from the Westminster government, than by convincing the electorate. If you are unable to justify all that you put in a Written Scottish Constitution, to all detractors, why put it forward at all? Independence means seceding from the UK, which is not to be taken lightly and the electorate must be convinced by what you propose. It needs to be spelled out. The existing system is broken.

    # Suomi 2011-01-07 15:35
    But what other way could it be done excel? Even if all candidates were independent, it is the people coming forward who decide who we can vote for. From past experience in the Highlands, that has a long history of independent councillors. I know that many of them did not represent my views.


    The problem is, as always, money. The political parties are the only organised groups who have funds to support election campaigns’ in the constituencies and in the country as a whole. If the funding for elections included money for selection panels and “hustings” at constituency level, then electors could get a feel for prospective candidates before they are selected. After all it is the people they are to represent, they are required to convince.

    Affiliations to a particular philosophy should emerge in parliament on a debate to debate basis. Not on a need to conform to keep a job basis, as it is now.

    This article was produced by Alex Sloan

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  3. #2

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    Re: Moving the game on

    *gedguy2* comment

    On first reading this contributor appears to have put forward a balanced and reasonable approach, not having an "in depth" knowledge of the full workings of the current situation I will not become an "armchair strategist" to offer weighty suggestions.

    I always think of the old adage in situations like this which require lenghty and considered debate for a satisfacory and balanced decision which is applicable for the majority.

    "Act in Haste----and Repent at Leisure"

  4. #3

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    Re: Moving the game on

    Quote Originally Posted by 1938 Observer View Post
    *gedguy2* comment

    On first reading this contributor appears to have put forward a balanced and reasonable approach, not having an "in depth" knowledge of the full workings of the current situation I will not become an "armchair strategist" to offer weighty suggestions.

    I always think of the old adage in situations like this which require lenghty and considered debate for a satisfacory and balanced decision which is applicable for the majority.

    "Act in Haste----and Repent at Leisure"
    Here's a corollary:
    "Why is there always enough time to do it over, but never enough time to do it right?"
    author of "A Faerie's History of Caledonia" (a short history of Scotland - with a twist).
    author page:

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