Darling, It’s a loaded question!

When the wording of the proposed question for the referendum came out on Wednesday. ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an Independent country?’, my first thoughts were, ‘They wont wear it!’
I decided not to make an article on the subject at that point, because I don’t like giving Unionists ideas or reasons to argue against Independence.
I did not have long to wait for the howls of protest though! Darling, Forsythe and Rifkind were all on tv that night, spitting mad about the question, and all trying to suggest a question which would suit the unionists. Something along the lines of …You don’t really want to separate from the United Kingdom do you?

I knew however, why they had taken such a massive dislike to the proposed question, and it was not difficult to see.
I very much doubt that question will remain in its current form, and so feel free to comment.

What is wrong with the question? It is loaded or leading, and it wont be allowed.
It is a leading question, because its wording naturally directs the person answering it down one channel as opposed to another.

Let me lay it out for you, and you may see what I mean.

Do you AGREE that Scotland should be an Independent country?
The word ‘agree’ gives a suggestion of travel for the answer, and we are much more likely to automatically respond in the affirmative to it.

In my opinion, and I may be wrong, I feel that the wording will almost certainly change, and we will get a variation of that question instead.

What do I think the final question will be?

I know the Brit Nats want it to be about leaving the UK, but they wont get it.
I think instead it will be much more like this;

Should Scotland become an Independent Country?

Without the word agree, it is not loaded, but still focussed on Scotland. It can’t be disputed for being potentially biased to an outcome, and is an open question.

Who would have thought it would be so hard to ask a simple question?
Mind you, getting to ask the question at all, is the one thing they tried so damn hard to stop, and they have failed.
They will not stop the answer they are going to get either! AYE !

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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9 Responses to Darling, It’s a loaded question!

  1. By the time Autumn 2014 comes, is it possible that anybody with enough mental capacity to be able to cast a vote could be completely ignorant of the matter up to that point in time, and thus be “led” by the simple question on the ballot paper ? …..I really can’t see anybody reading that question and thinking “do I agree ?” ….hmmm “oh, go on then. I agree” …..

  2. I think the unionists would complain regardless of the wording. To be honest i hadn’t thought of the question as leading til now, course thats mainly because I knew what my answer would be. Not sure if it would cause non believers in independence to be swayed to agree though.

  3. gedguy2 says:

    I think that this is the same for the devo-max question; they are bargaining chips to be horse-traded so that we get a fair and free referendum. I also suspect that the 16 year old voting rights will be a bargaining chip too. I’m not too bothered about the wording of the question as long as we get a referendum that is going to be legally acceptable to the rule of law in such a way that once the result is declared then the UK government will have no option but to allow us to leave the Union of the Parliaments. We all know what happened to the last referendum when the UK government gerrymandered the result. We want a simple majority without there being any provisos inserted into the referendum. If it is good enough to elect a government then it should be good enough to decide on treaties.

  4. Tris says:

    Interestingly, I heard a radio article the other day suggesting that 16-17 year olds are not particularly independence minded.

    I’m not sure if their supposed preponderance to vote “yes” (or to vote SNP in any elections) is behind the proposal to give them a say, but if it is, it may be counter productive.

    I suspect, however, that it is the fact that in Scotland a 16 year old is considered to be an adult, but by English law he is still a child, that is behind the proposals. Obviously for UK wide elections we all have to work with the same electorate, which would, of course, be the English one. But in stand-alone Scottish elections it is right that all our adults have a say. No taxation without representation!

    I’m also a little bemused that the Liberals find themselves to be against this reduction in age, as only a few short months ago in their referendum for voting systems, they were for it. Still, odd things happen when you are wearing someone else’s shoes

  5. EricF says:

    To mirror 1997, two parts:

    “I agree that Scotland should become an independent country

    I do not agree that Scotland should become an independent country”

  6. Scottish republic says:

    Do you want Scotland to become an independent country with a directly elected sovereign parliament in Edinburgh?

    If that fails then a referendum on FFA

  7. rai says:

    the unionists are really scraping the barrel, it’s staggering that the unionists think that the people of scotland couldn’t understan it, but i suppose it just goes to show how scard they are of loseing all their westminster power and freebies

  8. EricF says:

    There is nothing wrong with the question currently being proposed. Get one of the critics to state publicly that they do not believe people are capable of stating whether or not they agree with a simple proposition and see what they say. The phrase “independent country” is the normal phrase to describe the status being aspired to. Yes, you could also ask “Do you agree that Scotland should stay within the United Kingdom?”, and that would be equally clear, though “pointing” in the opposite direction. But Scotland IS in the UK, and the referendum is asking about a proposed change. I have no problem with the 1997 two-statement approach I quoted above, but to describe the proposed question as “rigged”, as Michael Forsyth does insults the electorate.

  9. Tris says:

    Eric: Until they dug up a professor of marketing from the USA, no-one mentioned rigging. In short Ruth Davidson, Willie Rennie and Mrs Lamont saw nothing wrong with the question, nor did any of their bosses in London.

    Arizona.. that’s how far they had to go to get an objection.

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