OK, I can't resist, one more outing for AM2-watch. In reply to the comments on his latest post berating all three unionist parties for not getting the anti-SNP "core message" right (only a true 'Alpha Male' could imagine that three completely separate political parties are all 'off-message' just because they happen to be diverging slightly from what he personally would like them to say!) he returns to the old red herring of the possibility of independence coming about on a 'minority vote' in a multi-option referendum. The example he gives is one in which independence and the status quo both received 35% of the vote on the first count, and the option of greater powers for the devolved parliament received only 30%. In this scenario, the second preference votes of those who voted for enhanced devolution would decide the result, and it would be perfectly conceivable that they could break in favour of independence. This is not AM2's "idea of democracy", he sniffs. The trouble is this result would perfectly accurately reflect what people had actually voted for - so what exactly is AM2's idea of democracy?
People wouldn't go into the voting booths with their eyes closed. Someone who supported enhanced devolution would know perfectly well that they were answering the question 'if your preferred option is no longer possible, would you prefer the status quo or independence?'. It may seem incredible to AM2 that such a person would opt for independence in response to that question, but if they did so in all conscience where is the problem? How would a majority obtained in that situation differ from one obtained in a single-option referendum on independence where supporters of enhanced devolution would still effectively be giving their second preference? Actually, the only difference is they wouldn't have the opportunity to express their first preference - how is that any more 'democratic'?
But there's a simple antidote to these utterly bogus objections to a multi-option referendum - and that is to conduct it under a run-off system. If none of the three options achieves an absolute majority, a second ballot would be held a week later to choose between the two most popular options. Then, everyone would know exactly where they stand, and there could be no question of anything going through "by the back door" or "on a minority vote".