Home > Uncategorized > Rennie: Lets put Scotland in a Straitjacket

Rennie: Lets put Scotland in a Straitjacket


Willie Rennie in today’s Scotland on Sunday came out attacking those who wish to see a second question on the ballot paper.

This goes against the latest Mori poll that shows 70% of Scots believe the referendum should consider a question on a more powerful devolved parliament.

Ironically, Rennie’s piece is titled “Let’s get question of Scotland’s future straight from the start” when its Willie that wants to put the Scottish people in a straitjacket  by only asking them whether they want full independence or to keep the security blanket of the status quo.

Rennie showcases his little riddle without realising that its quite easy to solve if you use approval voting instead of FPTP. He claims experts say it can’t be done but with all arguments, it depends on which experts you choose to listen to. Rennie should always remember the phrase “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

He then insults the people of Scotland by saying ” This tactic from the nationalists to pile on extra options is a way of confusing the debate and confusing the outcome.” Its only confusing, if you allow it to be confusing. We are quite capable of following several arguments, we do it all the time. We follow many different storylines in the many TV shows that we watch as well as within our own lives so the idea that we can’t follow separate arguments about how different groups of people wish to see Scotland governed in the future is quite frankly insulting.

As for the nationalist tactic to pile on extra options, Lallands Peat Worrier wrote an excellent piece this week on the potential different reasons why Salmond wants an extra questions. According to Lallands Peat Worrier, you have a 1 in 4 chance of being right, Mr Rennie.

Bringing in the 2000 US Election, took your argument from insulting to the I-can’t-believe-you-just-did-that end of the ridiculous scale. Its now embarrassing that you lead my party. The reason why the result of the 2000 US Election went to the court wasn’t because of the confusing nature of the result but because of the rubbish nature of the way that Americans choose their President. Bush won the electoral college vote but lost the popular vote & in US elections, its the electoral college vote that matters when electing a President.

Because of Rennie’s Riddle, that is unlikely to happen if the questions and method of voting is decided by an independent party.

If I hadn’t made the decision to join the LibDems in the summer of 2010 and to be more involved in helping to shape the future of these lands, this piece and the whole nature of the independence debate so far, would have made me feel more disenfranchised than ever before.

At a time, when this country is gearing up to make the biggest decision in over 300 years, we are being led by a bunch of idiots who prefer to take pop shots at each other rather than listen to the people.

We need politicians who say, we want to hear your views, this is your referendum, lets get this right, lets take a decision that will last not just 20 years but 100 years or 200 years. If we vote for independence, that probably will happen but on the no side, its effectively a decision to have another mismanaged referendum in another 20 years.

The No campaign which officially launches tomorrow already has left me with a sense of hopelessness about the future. I agree with Kate Higgins in her post, The Audacity of Hope and the art of the possible that this debate should have a wide range of political and policy options.

We need a leader who is not scared, who doesn’t try to desperately hang on to something but is capable of being bold. To point us in a direction and offer to lead us there and at the same time say if we go off course, it doesn’t matter because we can still get to our destination.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 24, 2012 at 19:47 | #1

    You could never accuse our Willie of not taking risks. He’s prepared to stick his neck out in support of liberal values all the time. It was a huge risk to change tack on minimum alcohol pricing and incredibly courageous of him to speak in the debate at Conference. Leaders don’t normally do that – but he did and he took conference with him.

    I originally wanted 2 questions, but I have come to realise that it’s just not possible. It’s not to do with the people of Scotland not being able to understand the issues. Of course they can. It’s to do with the possibility of not getting a clear enough result. It’s also to do with the SNP claiming that a tiny majority for independence would trump a massive vote for Devo Max or whatever the third option was.

    Constitutional experts say that a referendum where two options could get 50% plus of vote can cause difficulties in working out what the actual will of the people is.

    The only way to be absolutely sure is if you have one referendum on a yes/no to independence.

    • June 24, 2012 at 20:49 | #2

      On some issues, he like all leaders take risks. In fact taking the leadership of the Scottish party is pretty risky but I could say that about most leaders today. Cameron’s “big society” idea was risky as well as Nick & Dave’s choice to go into coalition was risky. Ed M’s response to the indy ref was risky by going with England. Ruth Davidson decision to go for the leadership of the Scottish Tories was risky having only just been elected to Parliament, another risk was allowing proper debates and votes at Scottish Tory conference and that speech she made after the locals asking Scot libDems to join the Tories was risky but on this issue, I can see every single party leader north and south of the border running around like headless chickens.
      By setting up the Home Rule commission, Willie has gone some way in showing he has leadership but at the same time its safe because he knows the party will be for it. To me leaping towards federalism at the moment is risky and right.

      Again, Rennie’s Riddle can be solved if you have the determination and the rules set out very clear by an independent body in advance of the referendum then regardless of what happens the SNP can’t trump a massive result.

      It depends on what experts you talk to. Plus regardless of the result, the result won’t be clear as to what the will of the people is. How many people voted yes because they didn’t want to vote for the status quo but do actually believe in a union of some sort?

  1. June 25, 2012 at 00:09 | #1

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