The big question
It should come as no surprise to anyone, except the SNP, that traditional political opponents showing a remarkable degree of pragmatism should band together in an attempt to have the loaded referendum question proposed by the SNP reworded in a less emotionally charged manner (your report, 11 July).
What is of extreme concern, though, is that the SNP should refuse to have any truck with it. Spinning furiously, the SNP glibly denounces the panel as a “desperate and silly gimmick”.
This is the party that has even tried to control the language used by its activists and MSPs when there is any mention of independence.
How the SNP, as with much of its ill thought-out strategy, ever thought this would go unchallenged shows just how far they are out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent.
How many constitutional experts does it take to write a question? A whole panel of them, apparently.
The news that an expert panel is going to compose a single question for the referendum on Scotland’s future really begs the question: don’t these academics have anything better to do?
Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on developing devolution? Or at the very least listen to what the people of Scotland are saying?
Poll after poll has shown that there is a desire for a more-powers option to be put to the people of Scotland. These views must not be ignored in an attempt to stifle debate.
If this is the most important vote the people of Scotland have faced for 300 years, then it needs to be a full and open one.
If people are going to have confidence in any question on the ballot paper they need to be involved in setting it and it must reflect the options they want to vote for. The very first step, however, will be generating a meaningful debate that they actually want to engage in.
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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