Thursday, May 12, 2016

The pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament has just increased to 69-59

The Presiding Officer doesn't have a vote in the Scottish Parliament (except in the event of a tie, when he or she is expected to vote in line with certain conventions), so the news that all five candidates for the post are MSPs from unionist parties automatically changes the arithmetic.  It now works out as...

Pro-independence parties : 69 seats
Anti-independence parties : 59 seats

PRO-INDEPENDENCE MAJORITY OF 10

SNP Government : 63 seats
Opposition parties : 65 seats

SNP MINORITY OF 2

And if, as everyone now seems to expect, Labour MSP Ken Macintosh gets the job, the once-mighty Labour will be left with just under 18% of the votes in the parliament.

51 comments:

  1. So, no green or snp member can go forward now? Is that how it works?

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  2. This will be spun as another victory for unionism!

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    1. It is - we have one of our own effectively chairing the debates in parliament. It's a powerful position.

      Aldo

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    2. Erm, it's a politically neutral position. Silly man.

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  3. Glad Nicola Sturgeon is going to push the independence stance this summer ,but it will have to continue on for the next five years .The ten seats difference is not nearly enough if you are looking for an overwhelming endorsement to take Scotland out of the UK .The governance of the country in the next five years will also decide if the people are ready to go it alone .Time will tell .

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    1. John, I'm sorry, but that's an absolutely hopeless line of argument. If you want us to wait until there is an overwhelming majority for independence, that will never happen, or at least not within anyone's lifetime. It's an argument for Scotland to never become independent, or at least not within anyone's lifetime. If we actually want it to happen, rather than just chase our tails for the next few decades, we're going to have to be a hell of a lot bolder than that.

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    2. There are still an awful lot of people out there who have to be convinced James . I hope we are not talking decades , I'm hoping by the next Scottish Elections we will have convinced a lot more people to come to our side . If we get a very clear majority in favour of leaving the UK then we will know we have most of the people behind us .

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    3. I just despair. Seriously, John, whether you realise it or not, you're arguing for Scotland never to become independent. If "very clear majority" is code (as I suspect it is) for 60% or 65% plus, we might as well pack up and go home.

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    4. Well James 60% is what Nicola suggested , I think she might know what she is talking about .

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    5. I think any consistent poll lead > 52%? The 60% figure is given with no rationale of how OR WHEN it will come about. It seems pulled directly for that intimate orifice wherein the sun don't shine.

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    6. John, nope, Nicola Sturgeon has never suggested that. It was reported in the press last year that anonymous "SNP sources" said something of the sort, and I pointed out at the time how mind-bogglingly stupid it was if there was even the slightest grain of truth in it.

      Frankly, I don't care who (if anyone) said it - it's an argument for Scotland never becoming an independent country. That much should be clear to anyone who thinks about it for more than...oooh, three seconds.

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    7. A majority for independence will never exist in the wider country - not until the SNP can give satisfactory answers on the deficit, currency and trade.

      Also, Hosie in charge of persuading the country is clearly a sign that Sturgeon has booted this into the long grass. The man is snide, arrogant and incompetent. He couldn't persuade a dog to chase a stick. Start and read between the lines as to what is actually going on, you gullibles.

      Aldo

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    8. Have to agree with a lot of that Aldo , people want a good future ,they want to know more definitely how that will be achieved , and as I said , good governance . If we prove over the next five years to a good majority of the electorate we are very capable of looking after ourselves without Westminster interference , we're home and dry . The SNP can do it , of that I am convinced .

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    9. as to overwhelming majority, that would be a first in history . don't think England had that til like 1600 from France. Or Spain even, and they never had England. What year did 70% of Scots first support being under the British crown, wasn't it a shared crown first.? I don't recall this requirement for anyone else.

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    10. A state of devolution isn't comparable to the state of being independent, John. You have to give answers to tough questions - and some of those questions have no satisfactory answers. If we're going to be too different from the union, people don't want that. If we're going to be the same or similar, people ask "what's the point?"

      Aldo

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  4. I see the Electoral Commission are taking the Tories to Court over election expenses fraud allegations.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36271515

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  5. If Nicola is intent on pushing the independence line this summer we must have definitive answers on what currency we'll use? or our position within, or out for that matter, on the EU? or defence? or a central bank? Or a dozen other questions that unionists used as a big stick to beat us into submission.


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    1. I agree with you Anonymous , these are big questions that need to be firmly answered . We really do have to make a good case for going it alone , if we do people will come to us , sooner rather than later .

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    2. Why? It was mainly the MSM that pushed that old chestnut.

      Since the £ sterling is an internationally traded currency they cannot stop us using it. We could do as Ireland did, and wait till it is convenient to us to bring in a new currency of our own.

      After that, we could consider whether or not we get into the Euro. From my perspective I would not want to do so until the Euro users sort things out with the banks and financiers.

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    3. That is the kind of discussions we must have , but we must have more coherent answers this time that people can relate to . Don't forget they threw everything at us the last time and people fell for it . It will be the same scenario the next time also , they will all be here with their scare stories , MSM, BBC, Politicians ,Queen ,Bank of England US President , Europe , you name it they will be there .

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    4. We had definitive answers for those questions last time round, it's just that the media refused to accept that they were answers, and kept at the "lots of unanswered questions" lie.

      If you want, we can go through each of those things again, but you might as well just look up the WoS posts from before the referendum where they were covered in great detail.

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    5. Not definitive enough obviously ,we didn't win . We have to be ready with very positive short clear answers that everyone will understand . We also have to reach a much bigger audience , not everyone reads WOS

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    6. Illy.


      Yes we did have alternative answers to those questions, but Better Together only needed to say "No you can't use the pound" and it was enough to frighten those who were unsure, that can't be allowed to happen again.

      We must have rock solid options that can't be undermined, like the introduction of our own currency. However again the unionists may claim, and for that matter Scottish businesses, that cross border trade may be damaged or reduced.


      Which leads us back to keeping the pound and yes you guessed it the BT camp claiming we can't. We could however peg our currency to Sterling, though I don't know the financial ins and outs of such a manoeuvre.


      I do know we must not loose a second indy ref.

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    7. What's wrong with:

      The pound is an internationally traded currency, if they wanted to stop us using it then they'd cripple the financial industry that the City of London relies on (because they'd have to stop *everyone* from using it). Also, how many shops in Edinburgh accept Euros?

      There's really no need for an "official" currency for a country. After all, it's just an accepted proxy for trade value. London runs on currency issues, because it's a banker's paradise. That doesn't mean normal people need to care.

      What's next? EU?

      The UK seems to fundamentally want out of the EU, and Spain's fishing grounds are dependent on Scottish waters being within the EU. It took something like 4 years of talks for Greenland to extricate itself from the EU (It joined because it's a protectorate of Denmark). There's every chance an Independent Scotland could inherit the UK's membership, rather than England. Also, the EU is wanting to expand, do you *really* think they'd turn down new members?

      Defense:

      How long did it take to get the Russian sub escorted out of the firth? How did the MoD find out there was even a Russian sub in the firth? Yeah, we get jack shit defense from being in the Union anyway.

      Central bank: See currency. Or we could inherit and beef up RBS. It's supposed to be nationally owned since the bailout, right?

      Seriously, these are non-issues once you start thinking about them. They were picked because they're fast questions to ask, but take a bit more to answer.

      It's like asking "why is the sky blue?" it's a really fast and simple question to ask, but the answer goes into some pretty deep optical physics to explain why blue light bends more than red in the atmosphere. And the media isn't only wanting the quantum mechanics level of explanation, they're wanting it in three sentences or less, *and* they're pretending to not understand the simplest bits of geometry in the explanation.

      *That* is why trying to answer the questions they raise is a mugs game.

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    8. Since the £ sterling is an internationally traded currency they cannot stop us using it. We could do as Ireland did, and wait till it is convenient to us to bring in a new currency of our own.

      But that wasn't the SNP position. They didn't suggest using the pound as an interim step. Their proposal was to use it indefinitely.

      Sturgeon has acknowledged that there were problems with the case presented, so I'm hopeful that they're going to iron this stuff out.

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  6. John May: "... push the independence... have to continue on for the next five years .The ten seats difference is not nearly enough... The governance of the country in the next five years will also decide"

    No it won't have to continue for the next five years. It need only continue to until the point where it is adjudged we have a very good chance of winning, which may or may not be within the next 5 years.- note NOT the CERTAINTY of winning - we could wait several lifetimes for that and it will not come. You never have a p-value of one going into any genuinely democratic electoral ballot.

    A ten seat difference is not enough? Seriously? I'll be happy with a parliamentary majority - any parliamentary majority. For our purposes a majority of one seat is enough and an electoral majority of 50%+1 of the votes cast in a referendum.

    As for how we will know when the People are ready to go it alone, we will know ONLY when the votes in the plebiscite are counted. We may draw inferences before balloting from opinion poll results but these inferences are drawn from data that is probabilistic and subject to error, random and otherwise.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. You never have a p-value of zero for H0; thus 1 for H1

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    3. So you keep holding referendum after referendum until a majority of 50%+1 is achieved and then, that's it - Scotland is independent? I have the feeling it will be a hollow victory - as the country will have been torn in two in the process followed by a mass exodus and possibly armed conflict.

      Luckily, we are all just armchair politicians on here. These matters will be decided by professional politicians in both parliaments, the judiciary, and what is considered acceptable under international law and convention. You'd better get used to the idea that it is out of your hands.

      Aldo

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    4. Aldo...eff you and your "possibly armed conflict".

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    5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 12, 2016 at 9:44 PM

      Scotland has had a history of armed conflict between Clans and also the English. It happened in Yugoslavia. Are you saying humans in Scotland are different from others?

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    6. Sling yer hook and take the stink of cordite with you, 23.

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    7. So you keep holding referendum after referendum until a majority of 50%+1 is achieved and then, that's it - Scotland is independent? I have the feeling it will be a hollow victory - as the country will have been torn in two in the process followed by a mass exodus and possibly armed conflict.

      Independence supporters have lived under the Union all this time without going the paramilitary route. Why should Unionists be innately more violent and unable to pursue their goals through democratic means?

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  7. teeth in the glassMay 12, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    It's heart warming to witness the Unionist obsession with "The Next Referendum". Does it ever occur to them that independence can be won at the ballot box without a referendum? The slow action train crash that is the Westminster legislature could quite possibly in such a state of disarray by the next Scottish Parliament elections that the SNP include terminating the Union in their manifesto.

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  8. Some important information for Tory voters.

    Most of us who don't vote Tory already know this, but I can appreciate you'd not necessarily trust us, so here you go.

    https://archive.is/cuJOt

    Iain Duncan Smith: Treasury is 'worst thing in Britain'

    Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has called for the Treasury to be broken up, branding George Osborne's department "the worst thing in Britain".

    The former Cabinet minister said that the Treasury dominated Government decision-making but was characterised by a "lack of vision" and a "short-term" obsession with cuts.

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  9. Back on topic..... (heh)

    Do the presiding officer's two deputies have votes? What about when one of them is in the chair? In that case does the PO still not have a vote? Ken M has 2 SNP deputies, I understand.

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    1. Only the P.O. gives up voting rights, Niall. As Linda Fabiani has said on her Twitter timeline this evening.

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  10. Why are unionists so against people re-affirming their support for the union in a future referendum?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 12, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      Does that mean all Unionists in the UK? What if the Unionists in Orkney and Shetland, Dumfries and Galloway wanted to stay in the Union!

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    2. Scottish Unionists get to retain their British citizenship, so remain British, if Scotland becomes independent.

      I'm not trying to stop you being British, and Scottish indy wouldn't take that away from you; you'd get to keep your British citizenship, as agreed by both governments.

      I'm happy for you to have yer wee British passport to look at lovingly. It's you that wants to deny me my Scottish one at all costs. You also want to take my EU citizenship away from me too, even if a majority of Scottish people like me want to keep that citizenship.

      So, away and fuck off.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 13, 2016 at 12:43 AM

      Skier, your great hero Kim gumgo Eck said he was British!

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    4. What's that got to do with the price of fish, 23?

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  11. https://twitter.com/jonsnowC4/status/730750882015531008

    Jon SnowVerified account
    ‏@jonsnowC4
    1st time in history that the Electoral Commission has started legal proceedings against any political party:Tories finally yield papers

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 13, 2016 at 1:26 AM

      Skier, you seem to be living in a narrow parochial world where a bit of fiddling is your quest. As if your Nat sis are clean.

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    2. Please remind us how many Labour MPs went to jail for massive expense fiddling...

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  12. By the next referendum the Queen will be dead and it will be Donald Trump telling us we have to stick with Boris and IDS.

    We will still have the BBC though so that makes it roughly evens.

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  13. Aldi, if Stewart House is such a poor communicator of the case for independence, how is it that in the debate he had with George Robertson at Abertawe University, the audience started out around 60 - 40 against independence before they spoke and ended up about 70 - 30 in favour afterwards?

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    1. Sorry, Hosie.

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    2. In fairness, that could be down more to Robertson than to Hosie.

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  14. We can't afford to wait much longer, next couple of years for Indy ref#2, otherwise the westmonster establishment will have imposed more fully their scorched earth operations onto Scotland. As for trade across the border, hell, how many businesses have abandoned Scotland I wonder just recently, including chairities who have taken their operations donwn to London.

    Almost every bag of supermarket veg, much of the bread etc, has the in your face, fck off britnat flag on it. I really do not think they would stop sending their goods to Scotland after independence, they depend on us far too much for that!

    Trade would carry on as normal. We need more people to fly direct to Scotland, tourism must bring in huge revenues, you can't move for tourists in Edinburgh at the moment! Scotland will manage quite nicely without being forced to send all revenues to london, to be given a few quid back in pocket as it is at the moment.

    And let's see what the EU ref brings in June shall we, before we start on with the usual, same unionist pap about currency and trade etc.

    The 'too many unanswered questions' brigade were given such huge backing by the establishment media, it was incessant in the lead up to our independence referendum, never mind the huge dodgy power cuts, and old folks not being able to get their pensions from their P.O. accounts just before the vote.

    100% media bias and lies lost the refernedum last time, many have become wise to their lies now!


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  15. Folks, there isn't going to be an indyref 2 this side of the next Scottish Parliament election. If there is a majority of pro independence members after the next election (having ran with that in their manifestos), then you may be on to something. But that is doubtful.

    It has been well and truly punted into the long grass. Democracy is being served.

    Aldo

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