I have complained loud and hard, to no avail whatsoever, that the Independence referendum debate should not be hijacked by party political politics. However, I may as well be peeing into the wind as far as the broadcasters are concerned, including programmes such as the BBCs Big Debate on repetitive questions to the same old faces, or Stvs Scotland Tonight, or BBCs Newsnight Scotland, and any other programme the broadcasters may come up, either on tv or radio. They don’t want to know.
It is no surprise the major political parties themselves don’t want to know, they see the debate as being their sole domain.
For some debate programmes, instead of the tired old format of a hand picked studio audience asking questions of politicians, why not have them lined up against each other, those pro and those anti..have select speakers from various walks of life, give short presentations,and open it up for debate.
Get the political parties off the stage…and sure, let politicians have their say, but as part of the YES or NO campaigns, and get party politics to hell.
Because what is happening right now, is that by parties taking stances, they are making the argument tribal, and that tribalism has no bearing on Independence, but will skew peoples opinion, either for or against independence, because they want to stick to their team. That has sod all to do with Independence, or the issues surrounding Independence, but rather more about political tribal animosity…It is just not on!
take the parties aligned as they are… SNP has always had as its reason for existence, Scotlands Independence, so we can assume that the vast majority of actual SNP members support that concept.
The Scottish Tories, have Conservative and Unionist in their title, and have always been for the Union, so we can assume that their members know this, and accept it.
But…Scottish Labours reason for existence has never in the past been for Unionism, and The Lib dems are not Unionists either, but federalists,if they are still to be believed.
so given that neither Labour or the Lib dems can be automatically assumed to be Unionist, why is it that both these parties have been utterly non democratic with their members,and allowed their membership the right to debate what their parties policy and stance should be on the Independence question?
Both these parties, without the say so of their members, cast against independence. Why will they not allow democracy for their membership, and allow their members to decide what the parties stance should be?
The Lib Dems in their Scottish Conference denied YES Scotland to have a stance, but allowed Better Together to have a stance..Not very liberal is it? Particularly when some LibDem members challenged the leadership on the matter, and got told to sling their hook.
On the other side of the coin, The Scottish Greens allowed their members to debate, and by a democratic majority, they came out in favour of supporting Independence, and thus while the Greens are not nationalists, they support Independence as legitimate policy. That is democracy in action within the political party system. Why are labour and the Libdems not democratic then? We know there is a group of Labour supporters who have been unhappy at how they have been represented by their party,and they have been forced to set up an independent group to make their voice heard. But the fact of the matter, is that they should not have been forced to take such a step in the first place.
But actually, Ideally….All these parties..SNP, SSP, Greens, Labour, Tory, LibDems….should be free and able to choose where they stand, without party interference. Throw their party badges away, and debate for or against.
Unfortunately they wont let it happen! And that frankly is undemocratic, and a massive disservice to the people of Scotland.
So once we do get Independence, I will be wanting this party political system shot to pieces, and we must not carry on our governance,as the UK has done..It is unhealthy and it is unequal.