Scottish Lib Dems attitude to SNP’s independence initiative

You can read Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen’s views over on the Scottish Liberal Democrats website.

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  • Indeed. One would think, that Liberal Democrats would accept the democratic will of the majority, even if they disagreed, but in this case Liberal Democrats for some reason don’t even allow the majority to express it’s will, whatever it is.

    If the referendum would lead to the independence of Scotland, so be it, at least the referendum wouldn’t have been useless, because it would have given the majority of the Scottish people an opportunity to express its will to leave the union.

    And if the referendum would lead to Scotland staying in the Union, then again he referendum wouldn’t have been useless, because it would have given the majority of the Scottish people an opportunity to express its will. And at least then SNP would have to shut up.

  • James Graham: “The Scottish Lib Dems have a considered view on independence and should be allowed to advocate their considered view.”

    Of course they could advocate their considered view also in a referendum, and campaign for the Union. I’m sure that you do undestand that opposing the Scottish independence is not the same thing as opposing a referendum on Scottish independence. (Same applies to the death penalty, actually. I for one think it would be better that Scotland would stay in the Union, and I oppose death penalty, but I don’t oppose referendums on either isssues.)

    But you made a good point. Scottish Lib Dems could suggest, that given number of citizens could initiate a referendum in Scotland (on independence, or on death penalty, for instance). If SNP can’t find a majority in the Scottish Parliament to support a referendum on independence, it should accept citizen-led initiatives, so that it could collect the needed signatures from the citizens and then get a referendum. Both Lib Dems and SNP would win; Lib Dems could increase democracy, and SNP could get its referendum.

  • Jeremy Sanders 15th Aug '07 - 12:53pm

    This is all really rather disingenuous by the SNP. As James Graham says, why does the SNP believe that Scots have a right to a referendum on independence, but not anything else? The answer, of course, is that the SNP support it, but they know perfectly well that the Scottish Parliament would not. It’s rather like UKIP campaigning for a referendum on withdrawal from the EU. The idea that the situation is different because the SNP are the current government is a bit of a red herring. They are a minority government which the Scottish Parliament could remove at any time, and whom a large majority of voters voted against. This does not them any sort of right to try to push through something that the majority of MSPs were specifically elected on a platform of opposing.

    The other thing to be remembered is that one of the most important points made by all of the SNPs opponents is that independence is simply a distraction from the real issues facing Scotland. By considering supporting a referendum we would effectively be saying “actually, the SNP are right, whether you support it or not, the question of independence is the major political issue facing Scotland”, which is of course exactly what the SNP want.

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