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Last Thursday, 28th June, a distinguished panel featuring Patrick Harvie, Lesley Riddoch, Elliot Bulmer, Kate Higgins, Sally Foster Fulton, Willie Sullivan and Ross Martin held a discussion on what a future reconstituted Scottish state might look like.

This event was held in the Scottish Parliament in front of an audience of 100 people, and was filmed with the specific intention of widening understanding of the benefits, or otherwise, a written constitution might bring to an independent Scotland.

The debate was organised by the Scottish Constitutional Commission (SCC), a non-party political body interested in advancing the arguments for having a written constitution.

The debate is reproduced here with the kind permission of the SCC and we hope that readers will agree that the event was both worthwhile and thought provoking.


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Comments  

 
# freeussoon 2012-07-05 23:26
I am sitting here after watching the debate and there is an enormous lump in my throat as large as Scotland!

Without a constitution even an Independent Scotland could emulate that which we are all desperate to get away from!
One thing is certain, we 'aint going forward without engagement....Bring it on!!
 
 
# fynesider 2012-07-07 23:05
Can I (possibly) be the first to nominate Lesly Riddoch for the 1st President of Scotland?
 
 
# Ben Power 2012-07-05 23:37
This is important and fascinating material. Thank you NNS for making it more broadly available.

A written constitution that in addition to other matters assures the rights of Scots to their homeland regardless of the actions of their ancestors is essential.

Scots culture has historically recognised family as many generations forward and previous of any current generation.

Current UK laws only allow people born here and children under 21 of such absolute unfettered rights to live here. That is incredibly unjust to Scots and Scots forced out of Scotland in previous times.

It would be a peculiar Scot leaving Scotland who would relinquish their right or their descendants rights to return of "home" to Scotland. (ie: They would not!!)

But that prevention of return of Scots descendants is exactly what London based immigration laws have consciously perpetrated on Scots now and into the future.
We need a constitution that prevents that sort of human rights atrocity into the future.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-07-06 00:16
Next time can we not have Ross Martin from the so-called 'independent, cross party' CSPP who said very little about the wider context of a written constitution except to say that it should be used to take away public spending decisions from the Scottish parliament and place it in the hands of other organisations and enterprises - by the very vague description he uses, I'm presuming that he means private sector firms.

He also cites the recent 'twitter/blog' thing of that schoolgirl and her chosen (from a menu) choice of school dinners that she then rates the nutritional value of as an example of how to 'improve' such services.

Has common sense finally left the building ?

Kate Higgins also jumped down the throat of the constitutional expert Elliot Biulmer quite unnecessarily when he was trying to make the point that too many people writing a constitution could be a problem - ie, 'too many cooks spoil the broth' - which i think is a fair comment to make but she seemed to interpret that he was suggesting some kind of 'restricted' constitution, which he wasn't.

Overall I thought it was very good but they all miss the elephant in the room. Most lamented the lack of debate and engagement amongst the population, and also made it quite clear that the political tribalism we are witness to at present has to end, and we engage in a more open, positive debate.

However, many of the politicos there, especially the rather angry looking ex-labour councillor from the Electoral Reform Society who set up Scotland's biggest labour think-tank, Willie Sullivan, could not help himself but show his political tribalism by getting in a mention of recent polls and his belief that a referendum will fail.

How these hypocrites on that panel can lambast a partisan online audience over their 'tribal politics' and yet will not hold to account the Scottish media that is the driving force behind such an atmosphere because they are

A) unwilling to bite the hand that pays them

or

B) not going to risk getting bad press

is simply beyond me. It seems that while they are happy to lambast a public that does not have the reach to the population that they do, they will not have a go at the more powerful media organisations.
 
 
# Macart 2012-07-06 07:56
Its rare to see Lesley outgunned for comment or commitment, but all you can say to the opening statements of Sally Foster Fulton and Patrick Harvie is wow.

If SFFs opener doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, nothing will. Some very good points by Elliot Bulmer on process and need, interested to note that he intends to vote YES. Agree with you tartanfever, no idea why Kate Higgins jumped onto Elliot's comments on process and lack of wiggle room. I thought his comment fair. Equally fair though, Kate Higgins did make a pretty fair hand of tearing into corrupt and manipulative media through her Borgen analogy. I believe there were also comments by one other on allowing media access to government and effectively governing the country through the front page headlines.

I've said it before, the constitution may be the best unused weapon in the YES camps arsenal. Getting people to start thinking about the country they want and better yet, having a hand in it, I am convinced would be a vote winner. I have already made up my mind, I'll be voting YES regardless because even though as it stands we'd be effectively voting for the same process of governance as we have, I believe our tendency toward social justice in our culture and our left of centre politics gives slightly better outcomes to that process. Also I believe we would work toward evolving our government through creation of a formal constitution anyway.

But we're talking about undecideds here, people who've thought about independence but do not know what independence means, what an opportunity is being given to them, what a literally historic privilege has been presented to them. They are in point of fact cautious or even afraid of what they are voting for.

We are so often given facts and figures based on economy, defence, oil & gas, legal precedent and all are skewed through media or political source. Its not enough to know and prove that we are being poorly governed, we have to prove we have a vision for doing it better. We are advised to throw historical arguments and flags in the bin, stay grounded in the here and now.

Well, this is what independence means to me, the freedom for the electorate to determine the path of their country's future, to decide who they want to be and what they want to pass on to their children, to leave something behind in a better state than it was given to them. For those who are undecided, they need something to vote for and I don't mean five hundred or a thousand quid better off incentive here. They need to believe their vote has actually made a difference for the betterment of themselves, their family, their community and their country.

Just a few thoughts.
 
 
# Lamplighter 2012-07-06 09:07
I'll be voting YES in the referendum - I've known that for some time now. I'd like to have a written constitution for the new Scotland, in fact I believe it's essential for any 'democratic' country.

But my goodness, that debate was incredibly long-winded and really, also pretty boring - unless you're right into minutiae. And yes, I know someone has to be!

That sort of debate isn't going to electrify the general public and firm up their views and opinions. That's going to switch them off entirely, and that's not good for Scotland.
 
 
# cirsium 2012-07-06 11:40
thanks NNS for posting this - definitely interesting and food for thought. I hope that you will continue to post discussions as they become available. This is one way of publicising the ideas.

I especially liked Elliot Bulmer's analogy of a constitution as the title deeds showing that we the citizens own the state.

It struck me as strange that only Patrick Harvie spoke of YES in 2014. If the discussions do not have practical outcomes and a concrete goal, they are only so much hot air. What is the point of talking about or drafting a Scottish constitution if Scotland remains part of a unitary state?

I hope that Patrick Harvie will feed the ideas into the YES campaign.
 
 
# Edulis 2012-07-06 14:03
There might be minutiae in there but there is also potential for a mass flow effect. The Consitutional Roadshow - not
Referendum Roadshow - is the best way of popularising the whole thing and giving the ordinary punter the notion that this is really important stuff. It also takes it beyond the criticism of the Unionists which would inevitably say that it is all an SNP rouse. We need somebody with free resources to lend them to this particular development.
 
 
# Macart 2012-07-06 16:30
That's very much the feeling I have on the subject Edulis. Unless it's already been planned and just not launched yet, then the YES campaign may be missing a chance here.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-07 08:51
Macart: the question you pose “What does independence mean?” was answered by Elliot Bulmer. He said, we are being asked to leave the union (secede); to create a new state called Scotland.

The existing state (UK) does not have a “Written Constitution” nor does Scotland and that is where the problem lies.

The undecided do not know whether the rules governing the new Scottish state will give them any more say.

Simply saying: “vote to secede and we will see you alright” does not even start to convince me.
 
 
# Macart 2012-07-07 09:16
I would never, ever claim that if we secede everything will be alright. The world too often comes between intent and outcome. I have only ever argued that we have the chance to both do and be better. You also know my posts well enough by now to know how essential I hold a constitution to be. But as I stated in my post I have made my decision and whether that constitution is in place or no (and I'd rather it were) then I choose an independent Scotland.

By the by exel, I'd love to meet anyone who could convince you of anything without some damn good and very lengthy reasoning involved. I'd shake their hand and buy them a tincture of their choice. :D))

Fact is I'm all for the idea of the YES campaign taking the constitution to the people. As I said above, I can't think of a better way of involving the people of Scotland than giving them direct a say in the shape of their governance.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-07-07 09:30
exel, you're always mentioning the need for a written constitution, certainly for as long as I've been posting here. What's your thoughts on this initiative and any suggestions ?
 
 
# exel 2012-07-07 10:59
tartanfever 2012-07-07 10:30
“exel, you're always mentioning the need for a written constitution, certainly for as long as I've been posting here. What's your thoughts on this initiative and any suggestions ?”

Holding the debate in the Scottish parliament, with only a limited number of the electorate present does not exactly spread the word. It needs to be taken to a much wider audience.

As we are presently in the “consultation mode” of the referendum, it seems to me that a Constitutional Convention under the auspices of a select committee of the Scottish Parliament should set up.

Taking evidence from, bodies such as, the Constitutional Commission, civic Scotland and all other interested parties.

The convention should meet in public.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-07 10:32
@Macart 2012-07-07 10:16
“I would never, ever claim that if we secede everything will be alright. The world too often comes between intent and outcome. I have only ever argued that we have the chance to both do and be better. You also know my posts well enough by now to know how essential I hold a constitution to be. But as I stated in my post I have made my decision and whether that constitution is in place or no (and I'd rather it were) then I choose an independent Scotland.”

Forgive me Macart; I was not accusing you of anything.You are entittled to vote as you see fit.

The aim of the YES campaign seems to be along the lines of my statement above, “vote to secede and we will see you alright”.

I was trying to make the point, as always, that voting yes the way the present question/debate is going, is that we secede and then start trying to sort out what sort of state we want to live in afterwards.

My contention is that this is the wrong way to go about convincing a settled majority to say YES.

In my opinion that would require a further referendum and further years of the status quo.
 
 
# Macart 2012-07-07 12:44
You don't need to ask exel, nothing to forgive.

I agree with the point you made to tartan fever. I'd opt for a public forum on a written constitution. Elliot though made a valid point in the discussion - the French had two tilts at the windmill. The first took a good deal of time to draw up, was highly inclusive and considered a wide spread of opinion, yet failed miserably. Their second took four bods and a few days, has worked fairly well and is still in place today.

Even when putting together a constitution which has the best process at its heart, there is no guarantee of a successful outcome (a case in the first instance of too many cooks?). His closing line on that point being trying to achieve a balance between process and outcome.
 
 
# derick fae Yell 2012-07-07 10:48
It's not often I agree with the poster excel but a draft constitution is a must BEFORE the referendum. I see no reason why a constitution could not be adopted by the existing Scottish Parliament. And given legal force by act of Westminster (they would never do that of course). I am increasingly convinced that a Senate of the Regions is also a must have. See Hazel Lewry's recent post and the contribution from Mike Granados on the Constitutional Commission facebook page. A senate is both a good thing in itself, and a means of engaging the periphery such as Shetland who remain dangerously unengaged with the debate on Scotland's future. btw I see the Forvik nutter got nowhere in court. Good!
 
 
# graememcallan 2012-07-08 03:50
These vids are brilliant, thanks to NNS - we know what's on offer for Scotland from Westminster - here's some advice I give to my kids, which is something to think about:

"If you think you CAN, you MIGHT - if you think you CAN'T, you WON'T"

I think we CAN, and we SHOULD be going for a YES vote ;-)))
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-08 11:06
@ derick fae yell

This obsession some people have with constructing a constitution now (or over the next 2 years) is a total distraction. Worse, it is more than likely to endanger the prospects of gaining the support of enough undecided voters for a "yes" vote. Vanishingly few of this vital voters actually CARE about the minutiae of a future constitution; even those who do care would be wise to consider whether now is the best time to be debating the ins and outs of the constitution before we have actually gained the prize itself.

Any constitution agreed or adopted by the current Holyrood parliament would have a very shaky mandate; how many independent countries have gone cap in hand to their erstwhile rulers to ask them if it was OK, could they kindly give them permission?! Pshaw... did the Baltic states ask permission of the Russians? Did the US states ask permission of Westminster?

No.. of course they didn't. Your plan for the Scottish parliament to ask leave of Westminster simply reinforces the Unionist narrative that it's a "wee pretendy parliament", or worse that the rest of the UK should have some veto over whether we are entitled to independence at all!

Whether we have a second chamber is neither here nor there; plenty of small states manage with unicameral legislatures. Even if it is the settled will of the Scottish people to have a second chamber, it's a detail that can be addressed after a yes vote in 2014, not something that is going to have ANY significant impact on how people vote.

The time to worry about the constitution is post 2014. Once independence is achieved, the Scottish people should be asked how they want the matter settled, either via a specifically convened constitutional convention for the sole purpose of drawing up a constitution, or indirectly via a newly elected parliament or committee thereof. It needs to be inclusive, but there are a number of different methods of achieving it, and none of them can or should be decided now.

It does NOT entail as excel erroneously claims living with the status quo for years post a "yes" vote in 2014. A constitution based on our history, institutions, and the settled will of the Scottish people need only take a matter of months.... in the meantime, the sky will not fall, the sun will still rise, taxes will still be paid.

Scotland will be an independent country both in law and in fact whether there is a written constitution in place on day 1 or not.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-08 15:34
Galen10 2012-07-08 12:06
“This obsession some people have with constructing a constitution now (or over the next 2 years) is a total distraction. Worse, it is more than likely to endanger the prospects of gaining the support of enough undecided voters for a "yes" vote. Vanishingly few of this vital voters actually CARE about the minutiae of a future constitution; even those who do care would be wise to consider whether now is the best time to be debating the ins and outs of the constitution before we have actually gained the prize itself.”

No one is talking about the “minutiae” of a constitution. What this debate was about was creating a new state called Scotland.

The YES vote depends on more of the undecided being convinced that we are creating a much superior brand of democracy. In my opinion a constitutional democracy is such a brand.

The “snake oil salesman approach” vote for us and we will fix everything convinces no one.

I repeat: “As we are presently in the “consultation mode” of the referendum, it seems to me that a Constitutional Convention under the auspices of a select committee of the Scottish Parliament should set up.

Taking evidence from, bodies such as, the Constitutional Commission, civic Scotland and all other interested parties. The convention should meet in public.”
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-08 18:06
Sorry, but lots of people ARE getting diverted into talking about the minutiae, and that very diversion risks turning some people off the whole prospect of independence, and diverting the energies of many who are in favour or "convinceable" down a cul-de-sac of constitutional wrangling that is mis-timed and unnecessary.

The brand of democracy chosen is a question for AFTER securing a yes vote; whether we have a second chamber, the detail of the constitution, membership or not of the EU, NATO etc...more questions amongst many others that can safely be left for later.

There is NO appetite and no necessity for these things to be addressed now. The time and place for a Constitutional Convention is post yes vote. I repeat (and will do so until you come u with a convincing answer... faint hope I know!!) who will chose this convention, what mandate will it have, what legitimacy will it enjoy?

By all means, let's have the widest possible involvement of all Scottish citizens into the proposed constitution.... but lets ensure that we know it's worth the effort by concentrating on achieving a yes vote first. It isn't a snake oil sales pitch... it's called realism.

The Scottish people won't be convinced by anyone telling them everything will be rosy if they vote yes, any more than they will by those telling them the sky will fall if they do.

What MIGHT convince them, particularly the one third who are undecided, is a set of positive messages that, all things considered we would be better off economically, socially, in terms of security and in terms of promoting the kind of progressive future we want for out children if we vote "yes" than if we remain within broken Britain.

Your plans are as useful as a detailed guide as to why you should slice off the pointy end of a boiled egg first, and about as relevant.
 
 
# mountaincadre 2012-07-08 18:51
At last realism, well said Galen.
 
 
# cirsium 2012-07-08 12:27
well said Galen10
 
 
# Edulis 2012-07-08 19:36
You miss the point Galen 10. What we would be doing is the same as the Icelanders have just done. It gives the prospect of Scotland's people becoming involved in shaping their own future. What is not to like about that? Your approach encourages a toss up between uncertain futures on both sides with the scare tactics of the Unionists winning simply because of inertia within the majority.

No-one above is talking about a detailed constitution before the 2014. We need bullet points which offer the prospect of a modernised governance, a move away from imperialism and top table mentaility to a Scandinavian model social democracy and communitarianis m.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-08 20:29
Edulis 2012-07-08 20:36
“You miss the point Galen 10. What we would be doing is the same as the Icelanders have just done. It gives the prospect of Scotland's people becoming involved in shaping their own future. What is not to like about that? Your approach encourages a toss up between uncertain futures on both sides with the scare tactics of the Unionists winning simply because of inertia within the majority.”

Of course he misses the point Edulis! Galen like all SNP sycophants only wants power transferred to the Scottish parliament, not to the people of Scotland.

Galen10 2012-07-08 19:06
“Sorry, but lots of people ARE getting diverted into talking about the minutiae, and that very diversion risks turning some people off the whole prospect of independence, and diverting the energies of many who are in favour or "convinceable" down a cul-de-sac of constitutional wrangling that is mis-timed and unnecessary.”

Herald, Friday 6 July 2012
Salmond appoints constitutional expert as adviser. What is he going to be consulting about?
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-09 08:59
@ excel

I'm not a member of the SNP, or a supporter of the party. I do support independence for Scotland. So, you are wrong that I'm an SNP sycophant, but more to the point you are wrong that I am against the people of Scotland having a voice, and want it controlled by the Scottish parliament.

In fact, I am arguing the exact opposite, since I don't think the current Holyrood parliament should be in charge of organising or granting a future constitution, it should be done by a body which represents ALL of the Scottish people. My issue is that it should only happen after a "yes" vote in 2014.

As for Salmond's advser, so what? Seems perfectly sensible to me... but as I've been arguing all along (and you and your Unionist Uncle Tom mates have been avoiding all along) the future constitutional shape of Scotland is not and should not be in the gift of the SNP or any other party or interest group.

So both your points are wrong; well done... care to be wrong some more?
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-09 08:41
Sorry, but this just won't do. Firstly, Iceland already has its independence, which was gained from Denmark in 1944. Secondly the example doesn't support your argument: Icelandic home rule was granted in 1874, expanded in 1904, and operated as a personal Union with Denmark under a constitution written in 1874 and revised in 1903.

Between the Act of Union with Denmark in 1918, and the establishment of the Icelandic republic in 1944, Iceland was a kingdom, recognised as fully sovereign state whose defence and security interests were represented by Denmark (Devo-max anyone..?).

Iceland became a republic following a referendum in 1944, after the Althing cancelled the constiution of 1920 which was already in place. The Althing announced the referendum on both independence and the "new" constitution to be held in 1944. 97% voted in favour of independence, 95% in favour of the "new" republican constitution.
Also, in terms of the current review of the Icelandic constitution, the special commission examining it was elected by popular vote, so at least it has a mandate. It is also NOT happening at the same time as a vote on independence, so is not comparable with the Scottish situation at all. Nobody is arguing that a future constitution shouldn’t be widely debated, we are discussing when it is appropriate to do so, and you are (surprise, surprise) avoiding the criticisms of why it might be a bad idea to combine the 2 things, particularly with respect to what mandate and/or legitimacy any draft constitution would have.
 
 
# HelenL 2012-07-09 05:51
Such a lot of bickering on the comments here. Shame have such a wonderful debate.

Detail? Where? Weren't you all listening?

Putting people off? Each to their own. A decent debate might put those off, particularly those who've been taught all their lives the big important people do the politics, us plebs sit back and get on wi life...

Try palming me off wi the perfect, very short sentence as if my feeble mind and it's nothing but an insult.

If the Scots cannae manage as the Icelanders hiv managed, then sorry Scots ye urnae really able tae run a democratic country, are ye? More suitable for the role of serf?

We are more than able, just the same as any other people from anywhere else.

Anyone who tries tae tell us otherwise is a wee toadie trying tae be the Laird wi the Loot condemning the rest of us tae serfdom. Want either of them? Dae ye?

Ye all did listen tae the videos an pey attention right? So whit's wi the party political bickering? This isnae party political. How could it be? Remind me, how auld is Labour? Will they be aroon in another hunner years? Nawe, but future generations of Scots wull be.

Aye, that's right. This is aboot Scotland and the future, no yer wee party political games. Why go there? Tae make sure naebody is talking aboot whit needs tae be discussed? Noo why wid anybody dae that? Mair toadies is it?

I've jist spelt oot whit was said, and whit we ALL know.


Take yer pick Scotland. Choose now. The clock is running.
 
 
# freeussoon 2012-07-09 19:14
Seems that despite pertinent points HelenL, naebody here is listening......

I know exactly how you feel, sometimes I despair that no-one's really listening, just getting into attack mode!!!
 
 
# exel 2012-07-09 11:30
Galen10 2012-07-09 09:59
“I'm not a member of the SNP, or a supporter of the party. I do support independence for Scotland. So, you are wrong that I'm an SNP sycophant, but more to the point you are wrong that I am against the people of Scotland having a voice, and want it controlled by the Scottish parliament.”

I am sorry if I am mistaken, I do not know you, but you give the impression that you have something to gain by refusing to acknowledge that the people of Scotland should know, in advance of the referendum, what the State of Scotland will be like.

“In fact, I am arguing the exact opposite, since I don't think the current Holyrood parliament should be in charge of organising or granting a future constitution, it should be done by a body which represents ALL of the Scottish people. My issue is that it should only happen after a "yes" vote in 2014.”

I repeat: “As we are presently in the “consultation mode” of the referendum, it seems to me that a Constitutional Convention under the auspices of a select committee of the Scottish Parliament should set up. Taking evidence from, bodies such as, the Constitutional Commission, civic Scotland and all other interested parties. The convention should meet in public.”

We are singing from the same song sheet, except for the timing. The wait only extends the life of the present parliament until at least 2016. Westminster will not just roll over, negotiations will be extensive and I suspect PROLONGED.

Correct me if I am wrong, your whole strategy is to extend the confusion and uncertainty of what is on offer by the pro independence lobby.

“As for Salmond's advser, so what? Seems perfectly sensible to me... but as I've been arguing all along (and you and your Unionist Uncle Tom mates have been avoiding all along) the future constitutional shape of Scotland is not and should not be in the gift of the SNP or any other party or interest group.”

I have attempted to keep my postings here non aggressive and without name calling, but you seem favour the opposite. I shall not in future respond to your posts if you persist.
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-07-09 11:56
exel wrote "I have attempted to keep my postings here non aggressive and without name calling"

I assume "SNP sycophant" been reclassified as a compliment.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-09 12:15
GrassyKnollingt on 2012-07-09 12:56
exel wrote "I have attempted to keep my postings here non aggressive and without name calling"

"I assume "SNP sycophant" been reclassified as a compliment."

I did say attempted.
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-09 13:30
Quoting exel:
GrassyKnollingt on 2012-07-09 12:56
exel wrote "I have attempted to keep my postings here non aggressive and without name calling"

"I assume "SNP sycophant" been reclassified as a compliment."

I did say attempted.



No loss as far as I'm concerned; since you appear determined to play the man rather than the ball, there is little point trying to engage in a reasoned debate.

You have consistently refused to answer the very simple question I put to you and those who agree with you: what mandate would this Convention you propose have, how could it be regarded as fully legitimate unless it was elected by the Scottish people, not appointed by the current Holyrood parliament, or established with reference only to itself? It certainly wouldn't represent the settled will of the Scottish people would it?

Seems to me that you are the one attempting to deny the people their full rights and representation. The bodies you refer to, whilst interesting, lack a democratic mandate. Let them propose all they like, but let us not pretend that they, the SNP or any other parties, or even the current devolved parliament is upto the job of deciding the future of Scotland's governance.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-09 18:34
@ Galen10
“You have consistently refused to answer the very simple question I put to you and those who agree with you: what mandate would this Convention you propose have, how could it be regarded as fully legitimate unless it was elected by the Scottish people, not appointed by the current Holyrood parliament?”

I must have missed that question, so sorry. I will try to now, by pointing out a couple of things you seem to have forgotten.

1. The sovereign people of Scotland do not seek mandates they give mandates. We mandated the existing Scottish Parliament to govern until 2016, I believe.

2. A constitutional convention raised by the existing Scottish parliament and run under the auspices of a select committee of that parliament has all the legitimacy it requires.
This is of course my opinion.

For example:
The Scottish Constitutional Convention (SCC) was an association of Scottish political parties, churches and other civic groups, which developed a framework for a Scottish devolution. It is credited as having paved the way for the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999.
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-09 18:51
I didn't say the people seek mandates, you misunderstood. The people mandated the current Scottish parliament, yes... but it exists within the devolutionary settlement, it is not the parliament of an independent state.

You are of course entitled to your opinion., but your plan would appear to many people to lack legitimacy, because the parliament of the devolution settlement was not instituted, or ever intended to draft a constitution for an independent state; to ensure the maximum participation and mandate a convention should be directly elected, as the recent Icelandic example was I believe.

At this juncture in our history, we don't NEED a largely self appointed SCC type body of civic worthies, we need first and foremost the yes vote in 2014, and in quick succession a new parliament and a new constitution.

You obviously have little real faith or trust in the judgement of the Scottish people to achieve these things, being convinced as you are that the sky will fall down if a constitution is not decided on first.... you have however signally failed to refute the obvious flaw that your planned way forward is mis-timed and lacks a real mandate.

You lack vision, you lack belief in the ability of the Scottish people to do better for themselves, and conveniently forget that the alternatives of the status quo or "jam tomorrow/ Devo-mebbe" are in their own ways just as risky and unknowable as declaring independence.
 
 
# exel 2012-07-09 20:50
Galen10 2012-07-09 19:51
“You lack vision, you lack belief in the ability of the Scottish people to do better for themselves, and conveniently forget that the alternatives of the status quo or "jam tomorrow/ Devo-mebbe" are in their own ways just as risky and unknowable as declaring independence.”

This is getting tedious. I have explained several times, to you, in various threads here that that the most potent tool the YES campaign has to convince the required majority: is a written constitution.

My vision is a new independent state of Scotland with a written constitution. This constitution would define the relationship between the Scots and those who wish to represent them in the Scottish parliaments of the future.

I have total belief in the ability of the Scottish people to formulate a constitution which will make Scotland a better place than it is now.
I totally reject the existing unwritten constitution of the UK, where the rules can be changed at the whim of the political party in power.

We will be no further forward if we simply transfer power from Westminster to Holyrood without a written constitution in place.

Now what is your vision?
 
 
# Galen10 2012-07-10 18:15
About the only thing you've been right about is that you are tedious, and prone to calling people sycophants when you can't marshall an argument.

A constitution before a yes vote in 2014 is a distraction; not only is it not a potent tool it actually works against the goal. Your vision is better achieved after a successful yes vote.

We won't BE transferring power without a constitution.. we'll be doing it to a newly independent country which will then decide what form of constitution it wants. You are simply too blinkered to see.. either because you're a Unionist "useful fool", or simply because you haven't thought this through. Few people other than you and a few of your acolytes see your way forward as a pressing need... I've never heard any ordinary person say they think it is urgent, let alone the most potent weapon.
 

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