A campaign to utilise the coalition government’s Alternative Vote (AV) referendum in order to hold a ‘referendum’ on Scottish independence has been announced today.
The plan, which involves asking supporters of independence to write the word ‘independence’ on their electoral reform ballot slip on May 5th is a defiant gesture towards Unionist parties who have consistently refused to allow Scots any say in the nation’s constitutional future.
The campaign is being co-ordinated by the team behind the respected Bella Caledonia political blog. A spokesman for the campaign team said:
“The London government has decreed that the second ever British-wide national referendum will take place on 5th May 2011.
“This referendum will be on whether or not to move to AV voting in each constituency. In reality it is a minor electoral change to the Westminster system which will do very little to move towards genuine proportional representation.
“If the London government propose tokenistic tinkering with their electoral system then fine, that’s up to them.”
The spokesman urged those who are in favour of Scottish independence to grasp this opportunity to make their views known and added:
“Let’s make sure the piles of “spoilt” ballot papers rejecting the British electoral system – and rule from London – are greater than those voting Yes or No.
“This way we can finally have our first national referendum on Scottish Independence.”
Scotland has a troubled history when it comes to referendums. The infamous 1979 ‘Home Rule’ referendum witnessed a high turnout of 67% and a majority win for the ‘Yes’ vote. However the Westminster Parliament had rigged the election using the infamous 40% rule and over-ruled the majority decision of the people of Scotland.
The timing of the AV vote, on the same day as the Holyrood elections, has also been attacked as an attempt at undermining the Scottish election campaign. The SNP criticised the date clash calling it disrespectful and said: “It just shows that the Tory-led coalition government with the LibDems is treating the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland with contempt.”
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has already stated that the Scottish election will be fought primarily on the case for Scottish Independence.
The recent announcement of a Royal Wedding date just one week before the Scottish election also caused more concerns that the Holyrood campaign could be overshadowed.
The audacious bid to ‘hi-jack’ the AV referendum may well be a masterstroke. As the campaign team themselves say “This way we can finally have our first national referendum on Scottish Independence. The beauty of this initiative is that the London government will fork up their own cash to print and distribute a voting slip to every person in Scotland. Which is very generous of them. Thank you London!”
For more details on the announcement visit: http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/