FOR all the fine words about the people’s leading role in drawing up the constitution for an independent Scotland, there is one extremely significant issue which gives cause for concern. The SNP seems to be determined, without consulting the people, that there will be no second chamber.
The justification offered is that the current system of cross-party committees is sufficient to prevent the abuse of power.
This may have been the case as long as no party had an overall majority but SNP ministers have discovered that by packing the committees with their own MSPs they can secure absolute power by effectively silencing other voices.
A possible alternative would be the replacement of the current failed system of proportional representation with the much more democratic Single Transferable Vote which would be, according to the Electoral Reform Society, a major step in the further democratisation of Scottish politics by preventing the absolutism of one party government.
While the white paper, Scotland’s Future, notes that the electoral system could be revised by the Constitutional Convention that would be too late for the election of the first, undemocratically elected, possibly autocratic, government which would have too determining an influence on the long-term direction taken by an independent Scotland.
There is quite a democratic deficit here which the SNP does not want to acknowledge. No surprise there.
And by the way in the event of a No vote the Unionist parties must introduce STV as part of the revised devolutionary package.