In light of all the comments and discussions recently regarding a rerunning of the Independence Referendum and whether this should be included in the SNP’s 2016 manifesto, Munguin thought it would be interesting to air his thoughts on how most boxes could be ticked for supporters of both “yes” and “no” and how this could be included in the SNP manifesto and be almost impossible for the Westminster Government to withhold its approval.
Instead of just re-running the simple Yes/No vote. Why not restructure it as a Redefinition of Scotland’s Place in (or out of) the UK, and to that end have a multiple choice four way split where people are asked to choose between the following four options:
1. Full Independence
2. Devo Max
3. The Status Quo
4. Return to direct London Rule
Full Independence: This speaks for itself, essentially what we would have got had “yes” succeeded last September.
Devo Max: This time the term would be pre-defined by the Scottish Government in advance of the vote, and not some woolly vow cobbled together in desperation at the eleventh hour, where nobody knew what it meant and it was easy for tricky politicians to swindle us out of after the fact. As a definition, Munguin would suggest full fiscal autonomy and control of everything except Foreign Affairs and Defence.
The Status Quo: That’s simply what it says. Things stay as they are now.
Return to Direct London Rule: We abolish the Scottish Parliament and return its powers to Westminster and a beefed up Scotland/Scottish Office reporting to Westminster.
In order to make things totally fair we could run the referendum on a PR basis similar to the way London Mayors are elected, where everyone ranks their choices for a first round of voting. If no candidate receives over 50% at the first round, then the two with the least support are eliminated and their second choices re-apportioned until one of the remaining candidates gets over 50%.
Munguin doesn’t imagine the above scenario will appeal to everyone but it’s a fair compromise, allowing a choice of all four possible outcomes. It could easily be included in the SNP manifesto and it would be hard for the Westminster Government to say no to as it’s not a rerun of the first independence referendum but a redefinition of Scotland’s future.
In view of the fact that even on the “Yes” side of this debate there is division on the ‘ifs and whens’ of running a second referendum, it might be the best compromise possible.
Munguin personally does not want to wait till yes is guaranteed to win, as seems to be the view of Lallands Peat Worrier.
When is that going to be? When “yes” is at 75% in the polls?
It is a perfectly understandable view that running a second referendum and losing it could spell the death knell of the whole independence movement.
But there is attraction for Scot Goes Pop’s proposals that we strike while the iron is hot, and the SNP is on a roll, and go for the second referendum sooner rather than later.
Stalling for a protracted period of time might squander the momentum we have, and who is to say the SNP will continue to form majority administrations at Holyrood given that the system is stacked against that outcome?
Clearly in the above scenario the Devo Max option is probably the most likely to triumph. And naturally that is not to the taste of those who want independence. But it is Devo Max on Scotland’s terms and it can be viewed as another step on the road to independence.
Once Scotland has control of almost everything, and has proved that it can run efficient democratic government for all its people, not just the few, we could look at the possibilities of referenda on individual matters…for example to make Scotland nuclear free, or to not send Scottish troops to fight in wars unsanctioned by the UN.
Eventually in the fullness of time, it would seem natural for there to be another referendum in which people would be given the opportunity to cede from the union altogether and take responsibility for foreign affairs and defence.
Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated.