Monday, 19 November 2012

Let your 'Yes' be YES!

Now that the Scottish Government have made clear their preferred referendum question "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?"  there have been cries of 'foul' from the no campaign 'Better Together'. 
Seemingly the use of the phrase 'do you agree' is a trick and voters will find it difficult to vote no in the referendum. I have to say I never knew it would be so easy to win the Independence Referendum! I am also surprised that people could fail to to understand such a straightforward question and accidentally vote 'Yes' when that is not their intention. According to head honcho of the 'Better Together' campaign Alastair Darling MP the SNP have rigged the referendum. Gosh are people that lacking in intelligence Alastair? Are people who don't want Scotland to be independent really going to vote 'Yes' when presented with the question "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?" 
Obviously I am campaigning for a 'Yes' vote and a 'Yes' victory so it could be levelled at me that I would support the question as it is wouldn't I? Yes I would because I put more faith in the voters basic intelligence to know whether they agree or disagree with the question. It is simple and easily digested.
In way of contrast here's what the good voters of Quebec were presented with at their two referendums on Quebec sovereignty or independence. 

1980 : "The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?"   


1995 : Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?.

These two questions are neither clear nor that easy to understand. Both require a background paper (I've provided a link to wikipedia for the bill and agreement from 1995). But it was the shorter of the two that came closest to winning. In 1980 the result was 59% No against 40% Yes and in 1995 Quebeckers ran the vote much closer 50.5% No to 49.4% Yes.

Whatever the final question is on Scottish Independence my 'Yes' will be 'Yes'. 

Note: The Electoral Commission's consultation on the referendum question closes on 30 November. Details here

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