Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
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Referendum strategies and manoeuvres | ScottishRepublic.eu

Referendum strategies and manoeuvres | ScottishRepublic.eu | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

I suspect Alex Salmond is quite happy to be attacked by Jim Sillars (again) on referendum strategy. There seems to be an almost universal belief amongst commentators and opponents that Salmond is playing a game with Devo-whatever to hedge his bets and have more gradualist progress to fall back on when the independence referendum is lost. I am not so sure they are right.

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Lallands Peat Worrier: #Indyref: In Defence of "Process"...

Lallands Peat Worrier: #Indyref: In Defence of "Process"... | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
URGENT - only a few months to include question on devo-max ! “@PeatWorrier: devo-maxers take note.

 

"I don't see how we can shift properly onto the substantial debate, without knowing what sort of discussion we can expect to have, what options are being put to the people."

 

Not strictly true. We know for an absolute fact that a straight yes/no question on independence will be on the ballot. So there is nothing to prevent substantive discussion of that option. Nothing, that is, except the all-too-evident lack of any pro-union case to form a basis for comparative analysis. All we get are increasingly ludicrous scare stories and downright lies.

 

There is no pro-union campaign. There is only the anti-independence campaign. A campaign characterised by dour doom-mongering and a litany of utterly depressing negativity.

 

And while we don't yet know for certain that there will be a "more powers" option, we know that it is a possibility. And, at the risk of sounding like Donald Rumsfeld, we know that it is not a complete unknown. It has to involve full fiscal autonomy. A concept which, for all the talk of vagueness, is pretty well understood. Certainly sufficiently well understood for it to be discussed as an alternative to independence.

 

But there is even more reluctance to engage in reasoned discussion of "devo max" than of supposed positive aspects of the union. It is a baton that absolutely nobody wants to run with.

 

The problem facing the referendum campaign is not lack of substance but lack of credible participants other than the SNP.

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Lallands Peat Worrier: One reason why "devo max" won't be on the #indyref ballot...

Lallands Peat Worrier: One reason why "devo max" won't be on the #indyref ballot... | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

One early conclusion which seems indicated is: given the pressures to ask concise referendum questions, practically, it will be exceedingly difficult to frame, never mind ask any devo-max question that doesn't borrow the Scotland Act's structure, enumerating reservations rather than powers to be devolved. Moreover, because of the pressures to ask short questions, tersely phrased, the inclusion of a devolution max question in any pre-legislative referendum would tend to discourage long lists of reservations, and promote much increased rather than more limited devolution.

 

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