Writing as a Federalist rather than a Unionist or Nationalist, I suggest that David Cameron takes back the initiative and organises indyref #2 as soon as possible.
A more precise analysis of indyref #1 shows that only a bare third of the whole electorate (37 per cent) voted in favour. That same percentage is also true of support for SNP in the recent UK general election. Thus, on the basis of the whole electorate, it cannot be said that the majority supports either indy or SNP. This inconvenient fact has implications for any indyref #2.
Given the huge importance of the outcome of any indyref #2 I suggest that the bar be raised to 75 per cent [turnout] of the entire electorate. This is because while 51 per cent of those who bother to turn out may (just about) be suitable for lesser decisions, given spoiled ballot papers, voter errors, illness, absence, accident, forgetfulness, faulty transport, and the like, a far wider margin of agreement either way on a matter of historical importance is surely the safer way to determine the will of the whole people.
It’s time to call a halt to the neverendum. The sooner we all know our nation’s future the better.
Over the weekend, two real “material changes in circumstances” to trigger another referendum have emerged.
Professor John Curtice said that polls showing a consistent 60 per cent Yes over a period of two years would give Nicola Sturgeon the confidence to go for it. It seems this is the unspoken view of Ms Sturgeon. The second is her acknowledgement that the SNP need to prove they can run the country better than in the last eight years. To then win the vote needs answers to economic issues, for example the near-certainty that European Union entry is unlikely with an untested Scottish currency.
A 60 per cent Yes vote means adding 600,000 votes to the existing 1.6 million. Doing too good a job of running Scotland may create an “if it works, don’t fix it” attitude in the electorate.
None of the threatened triggers – Trident, EU referendum, austerity – will push the polls to 60 per cent, therefore they are not serious material changes in circumstances.
ANY submission about Scotland requiring consent from David Cameron before a second indyref can happen comes across as an anomaly – as if in a union somehow actual freedom is lost, which if so, then tell this to any spouse in a matrimonial union, or a member of a trade union who can withdraw membership. What is so different in this union of UK states?
Considering how that old grouse about Scotland being over-financed by Westminster keeps coming up, surely it would be better for a parting of the ways to remove the fiscal liability that is allegedly Scotland’s part in the Union. One can only conclude that there have to be myriad other reasons for the possessiveness in trying to keep Scotland within the Union, but none is ever revealed in a positive way.
I am able to cancel my home insurance, switch my domestic energy supplier etc, as suits me. I don’t have to ask Mr Cameron or anyone else in the event of me opting to withdraw from such arrangements. The same applies to the political union that is GB.
I realise it is a more complex and comprehensive arrangement, but the principle of free choice is identical.