Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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No camp must take heed of Henry Mcleish's warning | Scottish National Party

No camp must take heed of Henry Mcleish's warning | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Henry McLeish, the former First Minister of Scotland, refusal to join the Tory-Labour anti-independence pact has been welcomed by the SNP today.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The stand taken by Henry McCleash is all very well. But at some point he is going to be obliged to acknowledge that his preferred option of devo-max is not on offer. He is going to have to choose between the options that are available.

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Warning that some 16-year-olds may miss out on referendum vote

THE Electoral Reform Society has called on the Scottish Government to publish the legislation it intends to use to give a referendum vote to 16 and 17-year-olds amid fears that some may miss out on voting.
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Scotland has already tried devo-max. It didn't work.

Scotland has already tried devo-max. It didn't work. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
CRAIG GALLAGHER is a man of many talents. Schooling everyone on Scottish history is but one of them.
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Campaigners for devo-max will fight on

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue making the case for extending Holyrood's powers despite Alex Salmond's admission there will be no devo-max option in the 2014 referendum.

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Jeremy Purvis: Devo Max question just muddies the waters

Jeremy Purvis: Devo Max question just muddies the waters | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scots want clarity in the independence debate, yet we could be about to make the choices more confusing, writes Jeremy Purvis...
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Peter A Bell's comment, September 6, 2012 3:50 AM
If devo-plus is not to be part of the referendum then how is it any less pointless than devo-max? If there is not a formal proposal with an appropriate option on the referendum ballot then this vague "coalescing" of the anti-independence parties amounts to something no more substantial than the tenuous jam tomorrow promises hinted at by Cameron - but ruled out by Ruth "Line In The Sand" Davidson as if to emphasise just how meaningless the platitudes are.

The devo-plus waffle adds little to the constitutional debate. And nothing at all if it is to be no more than an option for the UK Government in the event of a NO vote. An option that there is no reason to believe they would choose. For all the rhetoric from Jeremy Purvis, a NO vote remains a vote for the status quo. A vote for no change. A vote to put Scotland's constitutional fate firmly in the hands of a UK Government that we didn't vote for. Why the hell would we do that?
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Devo-max option is no problem, says Pete Wishart

A LEADING SNP politician has declared he has “no problem” with a question on devo-max appearing on the ballot paper alongside independence in the 2014 referendum.
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Peter A Bell's comment, August 24, 2012 4:50 AM
Given that winning more powers for the Scottish Parliament is a fundamental aim of the Scottish national Party, second only to independence, it would be surprising if there was hostility to the concept of devo-max - assuming that to mean full fiscal autonomy (FFA). It is only on the matter of its inclusion on the ballot paper that there is any significant disagreement among party members.

This disagreement arises, not from antipathy to the idea of FFA, but from differing assessments of how the inclusion of a second question might affect voting come the day. There are those who think it will draw votes away from the independence option. And there are those who think it will attract NO voters. And that, even if it does take votes from the YES side, this will be compensated for by a greater reduction in the NO vote. The thinking is that moving significant numbers away from NO is a worthwhile achievement in itself, and one which prepares the ground for a massive YES vote in a subsequent referendum in a few years time.

Thinking among party strategists is almost certainly more subtle and complex. While the effect on voting patterns must be a consideration, they will also be considering how inclusion of a "more powers" option will shape the debate leading up to the vote. Simply hinting at the possibility of a second question has already had an impact on that debate. It means that people who would otherwise be talking about a NO vote are talking instead about more powers.

The anti-independence campaign has been deftly danced into the position of supporting only the status quo with no wriggle-room at all. As a result it is difficult for that campaign to find a place in a debate which has already effectively rejected its position. And this defence of the status quo will only come to look ever more irrelevant as discussion increasingly focuses on what are rapidly coming to be regarded as the real choices - full fiscal autonomy or independence.

The next step is for the YES campaign to direct attention to the inherent limitations of FFA. A task made all the easier by the fact that the NO campaign has already done most of the ground work.

Most political journalists seem unable to perceive the true nature of the YES campaign from inside their little bubble of smugness. Either that or they are ideologically disinclined to acknowledge just how clever and effective the strategy is. And perhaps the most satisfying thing about it is that, even if the Tory/Labour/LibDem coalition was aware of how they have been manipulated, there's precious little they could do about it. The die is well and truly cast.
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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Devo-Max?

What do we do about devo-max? This peculiar, but simple, constitutional option seems to be causing a great deal of consternation amongst all sides in the independence debate and no-one seems to kno...
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'Devo' options still alive for poll | Herald Scotland

'Devo' options still alive for poll | Herald Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Supporters of a second question on the independence referendum insist that the so-called "Devo" options are not dead.

 

The Westminster Government has declared the results of its consultation suggested little appetite for another question.

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Max-Headache for the Unionist Parties

Max-Headache for the Unionist Parties | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

88% of independence supporters would support “Devo Max” as an alternative to the status quo, as would 53% of those who wish to remain part of the UK. 89% of SNP supporters, 62% of LD supporters and 59% of Labour supporters support at least “Devo Max”. Even 38% of Tory voters support it.

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Scottish independence: SNP risks ringing death bell for independence, says Jim Sillars - Politics - Scotsman.com

Scottish independence: SNP risks ringing death bell for independence, says Jim Sillars - Politics - Scotsman.com | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond would be “ringing the death bell” for Scottish independence by having the devo-plus option included on the referendum ballot, the SNP’s former deputy leader Jim Sillars has claimed.
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Where is the sun shining now?

Where is the sun shining now? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The sun shines on the Right. Ruth Davidson takes her small but determined group of Tory MSPs on an away day in the North-east - just as it is forecast that the area will experience record February temperatures.
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Peter A Bell's comment, February 28, 2012 3:00 AM
A bit of unionist double-think evident in Brian Taylor's little offering. He admits the generalised nature of demands for further devolution, listing the LibDems 100-year commission under Menzies Campbell and a couple of other bodies set up as independence spoilers but whose purpose is otherwise unclear.

But when he offers an explanation for the Scottish government's willingness to include in the referendum an option derived from all these deliberations does he refer to the now unquestioned public demand for same? No! His instincts kick in and he insists that this openness is prompted instead by a self-serving desire for "a form of parachute should independence fail to find favour".
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Kenny Farquharson: It’s time to call Salmond’s bluff on more devolution - Comment - Scotsman.com

Kenny Farquharson: It’s time to call Salmond’s bluff on more devolution - Comment - Scotsman.com | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THIS small, argumentative and rather wonderful country of ours currently finds itself in a bit of a pickle.
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Peter A Bell's comment, February 25, 2012 8:40 PM
The rather obvious question is, what bluff? Salmond's position on the issue of a "devo max" option has never been unclear. If journalists are confused it's because they've been confusing themselves by misrepresenting that position. The stated position is that the SNP will back only a straight question on independence and campaign for a "YES" vote.

The Scottish government has said that it is open to the inclusion of a "more powers option". But the Scottish government is not looking to the SNP for any formal proposition because the SNP has stated that it will back only a straight question on independence and campaign for a "YES" vote.

Any "devo max" proposal will therefore have to come from some other quarter. If any bluff should be called it is Cameron's and Darling's. They, along with a few others, are the one's doing all the talking about an improved form of devolution. So far, it has been nothing but vague talk. There is absolutely no reason at this stage why Alex Salmond should help them out by putting flesh on a proposal that isn't his and isn't even a proposal. Time for the anti-independence campaign to ante up.
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Wings Over Scotland | Supping with the devil

Wings Over Scotland | Supping with the devil | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Guardian carries a rather provocative piece today, suggesting that the SNP and the other nationalist parties might do a deal with the Tories at Westminster to push through their controversial proposals on changing (or gerrymandering, as some would have it) the UK’s constituency boundaries, in return for a radical overhaul of the Scottish constitution which would hand an unprecedented package of powers just short of full independence to the Holyrood parliament.

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Andrew McFadyen: We in-betweeners denied our real choice

Andrew McFadyen: We in-betweeners denied our real choice | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THERE is big support for more Scottish powers, but this will not be an option in the referendum vote, writes Andrew McFadyen...
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Euan McColm: Battle begins to woo the 40% who will decide Scotland’s future

Euan McColm: Battle begins to woo the 40% who will decide Scotland’s future | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
IF IT’S historic moments you’re after, be sure to hang around for tomorrow. It’s going to have the lot. Fountain pens, flags on desks, Huw Edwards, excited, in a marquee – you name it. I have bought a large bag of Revels.
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Scottish independence: Vote no and Tories will veto devolution, says Darling

Scottish independence: Vote no and Tories will veto devolution, says Darling | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Alistair Darling, leader of the ‘no’ campaign for independence in Scotland has revealed that in the case of a ‘no’ vote in the 2014 election, the Tories will hold a veto over plans to give Scotland increased devolution.

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So farewell then DevoMax… | ScottishRepublic.eu

The pundits seem to have concluded that the appointment of Nicola Sturgeon to lead on the referendum for the Scottish Government indicates the end of SNP dalliance with a third option/second question.

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Phillip Blond: Double devolution is best bet for the Union

Phillip Blond: Double devolution is best bet for the Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
WITH support for independence waning, a more radical devo-max is the answer.
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Peter A Bell's comment, September 5, 2012 4:05 AM
"David Cameron’s most astute political move has been to force an either/or choice on the nationalists..."

One of the saddest traits among British nationalists is their tendency to believe their own propaganda. To less blinkered observers, and those who simply go be they known facts, it is obvious that the SNP has got precisely what it wants with a single-question referendum - while the unionists have been forced off the "more powers" ground which was their best hope of securing a NO vote in 2014.

All options have been cleverly denied to Cameron and his British Labour allies by a combination of Salmond's astute tactics and their own hubris. The Bitter Together campaign is now left representing only the status quo - long since rejected by the Scottish people - while the Yes Scotland campaign represents the only possibility of achieving the constitutional reform that the vast majority of people want.
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Hugh McLachlan: A Union of convenience

Hugh McLachlan: A Union of convenience | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTLAND cannot seek to stay within the UK ‘marriage’ but seek fiscal autonomy, argues Hugh McLachlan in considering what questions to ask in the independence poll.
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Iain Docherty and Ronald MacDonald: Let’s give devo-max a look-in - News - Scotsman.com

Iain Docherty and Ronald MacDonald: Let’s give devo-max a look-in - News - Scotsman.com | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The public should not have to be given just a straight choice between the status quo and full independence, argue Iain Docherty and Ronald MacDonald...
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Iain Macwhirter Now and Then: Devolution: plus, max, minus and squared.

Iain Macwhirter Now and Then: Devolution: plus, max, minus and squared. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Readers of this column will be aware that I've been complaining about by gob being smacked on a regular basis by the twists and turns of unionist policy. Each week a new destiny is revealed for Scotland: independence light, devolution max, devolution plus, skinny devolution lite with a shot of max... You could be forgiven for thinking that the politicians are few clauses short of a full constitution. But bear with me because there could just be a happy ending here.

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More options develop for devolution | Public Finance — official CIPFA magazine

More options develop for devolution | Public Finance — official CIPFA magazine | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
First Minister Alex Salmond's independence referendum is only one of several possible routes to Scottish constitutional change, according to the chair of the think-tank behind the 'devo-plus' option.
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No way out

No way out | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It's time to stop messing about.

 

Either Scotland is big enough and strong enough to stand up on its own or it isn't.

 

Either we're ready to become a vibrant, confident nation in our own right, or we're better off maintaining a strong, united front with our neighbours.

 

Scots have already had the devolution vote — the same thing with a few added powers doesn't make a huge amount of difference.

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Maxing the debate

Maxing the debate | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
On finding definitions for constitutional positions There has been much talk in recent months about a third way between the options of independence and devol...
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