Just a wee thought about democracy, this fine Friday evening.

It’s widely accepted that the notion of representative democracy involves people standing for election – generally, but not quite always on a party programme – then those who are elected all get together on a regular basis. They debate stuff and at the end of each debate they have a vote. Then the winners do what they said they wanted to do if they won the vote and everyone agrees that’s democracy.

At  Westminster, the government derives it’s right to act on specific things from parliamentary votes, but it  has quite separate constitutional legitimacy too, extending from The Crown. At Holyrood, the Scottish government is essentially the executive of the Scottish Parliament. That’s not to say we should go back to the old days of calling it an executive – it’s simply to point out that unlike at Westminster, the Scottish Government ONLY derives it’s power to act through winning votes in parliament.

What seems to be happening at present, though, is that unionist politicians have jointly agreed to question the legitimacy that wining votes in parliament confers upon the Scottish government. And in doing so, they’re undermining the very legitimacy of the Scottish Parliament itself.

For example, for the unionist parties the SNP did not simply put a motion to parliament agreed by the (Labour) presiding officer as competent, which was then duly debated and voted upon. They “forced a vote through parliament”. The only possible implication of using ‘force’ it this pejorative way is that somehow handsomely winning a parliamentary division is disreputable;  It sort-of doesn’t count. And that’s how these parties are justifying their position that they; “will never support a referendum”.

It’s bizarre, and of course astonishingly cynical. It’s like trying to stay alive by eating yourself.

When unionists regard harming the Scottish parliament itself as just another bit of unavoidable collateral damage, they’re playing a dangerous game.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to Unionists playing dangerous game undermining Scottish parliament
  1. And of course they deliberately ignore the Greens and their separate mandate for a referendum which added to the SNP’s gives the Yes side an absolute majority in the House.

  2. Unfortunately, this trend has been going on for some time, with the cries of “one party state”. They are trying to portray the SNP as undemocratic and by extension, the SP.

  3. Unfortunately Eric,the unionists and the Westminster establishment do not regard Holyrood as a bona fide parliament but rather more just a Parish council whose sole purpose is to enact decisions made at head office.
    That was well and good until a party of independent means and thought took over the running and gave Scots (some at least) the aspiration of self government through their democratically elected representatives.
    There is no doubt however that May and her hard right friends regard what is currently happening in Scotland as High Treason and are going to ensure,if we allow them,that this will not be repeated.
    I doubt the majority of Scots will stand for that though and there is definitely going to be trouble ahead.


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