Scotland: Democracy or No Democracy?, this is the question.
Thought of the day:
Democracy or no democracy? This is the question.
We all watched in 2014 as the results rolled in, as someone who is a supporter of Independence, I was dismayed by the result, not so much because of the democratic result, but the fact that I knew at the time that the Likes of Gordon Brown et al, had no real power to implement the changes that they promised during the campaign.
While Federalism was not, in my personal opinion the gateway to Scotland being all it could be, it was a better second place in terms of giving the people of Scotland a real say on the policies that affect their daily lives.
But my concern was rooted in a fundamental fact which has been proven time and time again, something which even No voting Labour members would agree with. Conservative Governments have always shown themselves to be untrustworthy when it comes to Scotland’s interests.
To reduce it to it’s simplest form, if you go out and buy a car from a dealer and the contract stipulates that the car will be red with ABS braking, on delivery, however, it transpires that the car is actually blue with drum brakes, then the question of misselling arises and the credit agreement or contract you signed would be null and void. This is the law of the land, designed to protect consumers. Where such a contract does not specifically mention these details it would be defined as a grey area and such questions would be a matter for the courts.
But what of constitutional misselling? The people who bought into it, namely the electorate have no real recourse other than a very specialised court, the court of public opinion. They can only express their views by way of referenda.
Many would argue the “once in a lifetime” argument but nobody, yes or no, can argue that the current state of affairs is tenable. Whether it be the implementation of English Votes for English Laws which ultimately will have an effect on the Scottish block grant from reductions in public spending in England, or whether it is the question of our membership of the European Union, nobody can deny that what was promised has not come to pass.
In such a circumstance, with so many things promise (17 major promises) broken and none of them delivered in full. It would be incumbent on any Government to allow the people to speak with their vote. Democracy needs to prevail over the wishes of any politicians stance, regardless of what the result of that vote would be.
I would say the same if this were any other referendum on any other policy issue. As for once in a lifetime, nobody can deny the fact that while we may all have aged only 3 years since the last referendum, the monumental shifts in the constitutional situation within the UK is something that has never been seen before, more changes and issues have arisen within 3 years than in the generation that came before.
This is not a question of Yes or No, a question of Holyrood or Westminster, in its most basic form this is a question of whether ordinary members of the electorate should have a say on their future or not. As things stand at the moment, every nation in Europe has a say in our future, but Scotland does not. Where we have a grey area such as this, only the court of the public should be the one to decide on what comes next and the only way to do that is ultimately via a democratic vote where both Yes supporters and No supporters get a fair say.