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Media firestorms, like extreme weather, seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. From Lord Macalpine, George Entwistle, Huhne and Rennard among others, the last few months seem at times, like one long storm. Globalization, the online world and the 24 hour news cycle have greatly increased the number of reporters that can swarm onto [...]
Faced with adverse opinion in parliament and amongst voters the Government decided that a campaign was necessary to prepare public opinion for entry and through the public to bring pressure to bear on MPs. The campaign lasted nearly two years was timed to peak just as the Commons voted ‘in principle’ to join at the [...]
80% NO on 58% turnout. The comparison with the result in 1997 shows a big swing in public opinion to the idea of an assembly. Tags: TS major-referendums
99% say YES to stay in NI on turnout 59%. March 8. An effective abstention campaign by nationalist and catholic voters destroyed the validity of this referendum. It remains the best example in the UK of how a referendum can exarcebate division. David Trimble revived the idea with for another Border poll in 2003 alonside [...]
In February 1974, the new Labour Government was still faced with hostile public opinion on the EU and was itself split on the issue. Towards the end of February, NOP polls establish, for the first time, that there was a public appetite for renegotiation. (This is fifteen months before the referendum actually happens and almost [...]
from the Bulletin, Saturday, April 13th 1957 Mr Derek Smith, a former Girvan provost, and twice unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for South Ayrshire, was called to order at the annual conference of the Scottish Unionist Association in Ayr yesterday when he talked about ” jobs for the boys”. He claimed there was an invisible and impenetrable [...]
This Scotsman report that Gordon Wilson is proposing a second referendum on the euro and other matters, reminds me there is yet another issue requiring a referendum. The Scottish Government recently proposed that after a YES vote, a Scottish Constitutional Convention would draft a new constitution for Scotland. At some point this would have to [...]
68% YES 32% NO with 71% turnout. All 26 Cantons voted YES. on Sunday March 3 2013 BBC News – Swiss referendum backs executive pay curbs. No tags for this post.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has told the BBC that an independent Scotland would be considered a “new country” and would have to go through the full EU accession process. The BBC reports that Latvia has now become the fifth country, including the UK, to suggest Scotland would need to apply for membership of the [...]
The timetable seems impossibly short given there is a UK General Election in the middle of it. Nor is there any mention of a referendum ratifying the new constitution even though this practice has become almost obligatory in the last fifty years. SG Timetable for Transition to Independence Tags: TS Chrono
This is the first volume in a series on Scotland’s contribution to and benefits from the Union. It argues strongly that Britain is the successor state and Scotland the new state with many important consequences. It contains much interesting other detail including the small fact that 140 UK bodies costing little public money would have [...]
The Electoral Commission reject the original question and recommends an alternative format as well as revised spending limits. The advice is accepted by all parties and governments soon after publication on January 30th. Electoral Commission on Independence Question 47 pp Tags: TS Chrono
Nicola Sturgeon invokes Sir Neil MacCormack’s ‘utility’ of Independence with social justice top of the usefulness list in a speech at Barony Hall Glasgow on 3rd December. Making the referendum sound more like a General Election manifesto with a more limited appeal seems a high risk strategy. Nicola Sturgeon’s Barony Hall speech Tags: TS Chrono
Besides the legal basis, Cameron gets a single question but surrenders referendum rule making to Salmond. The Edinburgh Agreement- October 15 – 5 pp Tags: TS Chrono
Not as funny as his previous diary as there is more sadness on several counts. Still his insights of great men with feet of clay and a Westminster that needs reformed ring true and amuses. I recommend it. No tags for this post.
Ireland became an independent country on 6 December 1921. A referendum was held on 12 December 1922 in six of the nine counties and 2 county boroughs (after 48 hours in Ireland and had to be held within a month) exercising the opt-out to rejoin UK. Strictly a referendum in Ireland but material to the [...]
Turnouts in the two referendums organised by Ross & Cromarty District Council were 68.8% and 57% respectively. Dates not known. No tags for this post.
92% YES on 84% turnout. 2,640 total votes cast. Held 26th June Tags: TS minor-referendums
73.5% vote NO Turnout 63.6%. 2,517 total votes cast. An advisory referendum organised by Dingwall Community council and conducted by ERS, it failed to stop Council carrying out the plan. Tags: TS minor-referendums
97.2% NO on turnout of 71.5% in postal vote. About 1.2m people voted. The vote was held in March. It hardly fulfills the requirements for a referendum. It was advisory but proved an effective tactic in preventing HMG’s plan to privatise water in Scotland. Tags: TS major-referendums
On a turnout of 50.3%, 73% voted NO to devolution for Scotland. Jo Grimond, the local MP had won an amendment to the referendum bill that required Shetland votes be counted separately and , if Scotland voted YES, Shetland would be excluded from devolution. In effect it was a separate referendum. Tags: TS major-referendums
The SNP plan in their own words to “tailor” the rules to Scotland. Sounds fine but it is a return to the days before PPERA (UK generic referendum law) when each referendum had its own rules set to advantage the side promoting the referendum.That lack of generic referendum law invites governments – all governments not [...]
BBC Radio 4 has a season of George Orwell and his work. These are his ‘rules for writers’ most of which I break everyday. (1) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. (2) Never use a long word where a short one will do. [...]
The research by the Electoral Commission shows voters are well aware of the more powers debate and want more information from London as to what happens if they say NO in the independence referendum. This is a clear challenge for the NO side and the Prime Minister and one which will not go away Tags: [...]
Tony Blair’s Referendums 8pp PDF No tags for this post.
Support for Independence over 35 years No tags for this post.
Independence referendum will bring novel feature to Britain. While voting will be restricted to residents in Scotland, interested parties from all over the UK will be legitimate campaigners for either side. These RoB campaigns are what the Americans, who have a word for everything, call “out of State” campaigns. There may be resistance at [...]
Generic rules beat bespoke rules for referendums. The Electoral Commission having considered the bespoke tailoring proposed by the Scottish Government for the independence referendum, has made recommendations on the question and spending that should be accepted. They turn out to be not too bespoke! As readers know, I recommended against the question and would have [...]
On the radio at the weekend, I heard Lord Douglas Hurd dissing referendums in favour of the wisdom of Parliament. I would have reminded him that the ‘wisdom’ would have had us in the euro if it hadn’t be barred by a referendum. The elites got it wrong again in Sweden in 2003 when the [...]
This week I met Kaye Darveniza, an Australian MP (Australian Labor Party) from the State Parliament of Victoria, in Melbourne. She was touring the UK investigating the effects of devolution. In the brief below, she points out that Australia is centralizing just as the UK decentralizes. She thought the political impulse came from the sheer [...]
The FT published my letter on 17 January 2013 recommending the Government and the EU aim for material negotiations not the tokenism of 1975. The point being that even if substantive negotiations result in little change, they have more chance of being accepted in a referendum as a genuine effort and the end of the [...]
The question proposed by the Scottish Government should be rejected. Here are the reasons I gave to the Electoral Commission in November 2012 as part of its consultation on the issue. The Commission can only advise the Scottish Government who need not accept the advice. Response to Electoral Commission on the Independence Question + No [...]
The Hola camp papers were released last week. Although the events at the camp, brutality and maladministration leading to the deaths in British custody of eleven Kenyan detainees, happened more than fifty years ago, the news instantly recalled a night from my youth. In 1959, when I was barely eighteen years old, I visited the [...]
Yes 63.4% No 36.5% turnout 35.3% Tags: TS major-referendums
Cameron gets his history wrong on referendum thresholds | Full Fact. A useful “factcheck” but it doesn’t make absolutely clear the difference between a threshold based on REGISTERED voters and one based on votes actually CAST. Cameron is right in the particulars – his type of threshold based on CAST votes hasn’t been used before [...]
Today, the opening day of the offical campaign, William Hague Foreign Secretary and Patron of the NO campaign, asked on R4′s Today programme about the anonymity of the NO donorssaid that he fully expected these to be revealed. His statement follows a week during which NO were put on the back foot over this issue [...]
I read this account before a visit to Jordan and Syria in February 2010. Although a textbook, it has a well written narrative style and is superbly organized in sections and subjects. The content gets as near to being unbiased as history gets. No tags for this post.
The notion that Parliamentar is Sovreign has been circumscribed for the second time if not the third. The Good Friday Agreement being the first. That Agreement requires any transfer of Northern Ireland to the Irish republic must be agreed by a referendum. The Scottish Parliament which came with a referendum most likely could only be [...]
San Francisco/Marburg – Europe’s efforts to bring the citizens into transnational agenda setting will be highlighted this weekend in San Francisco, California, when more than 300 professionals from six continents will gather for the 2010 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. Welcomed by Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, the high-level [...]
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Quotas & Thresholds: Neither the GLA or the Welsh Assembly would exist if these hurdles had been used
Over much of the referendum world such quotas and thresholds have been incorporated in the referendum process either in a covert way or at unreasonable levels with the (usually) wilful intent of crippling the referendum process. With the result that in many referendum jurisdictions, neither the Greater London Assembly nor the Welsh Assembly would exist. [...]
Tags: 2011 AV
A reminder that the web is playing a greater part in campaigns than ever before. This “trick” will ensures that searching for any information about Yes to AV will also list the Yes to AV alternatives from the NO campaign. If they don’t make it clear were they really come from could be confising especially [...]
Liberal Bureaucracy: Thoughts from the Train: is the Yes to AV campaign a distraction?. Tags: 2011 AV, LibDem, RP combination
Denis MacShane MP is Labour MP for Rotherham and a former minister writes The referendum is proposed for the same day as the important Scottish, Welsh and big city elections next May. Parliament should reject this. A sound principle in countries where referendums are more common is that they are separate independent consultations and not [...]
For a long time I have held the view that the Independence referendum would not be held in this Scottish Parliament. Now its official. The decision was always going to come late because Alex Salmond is an experienced a leader. He was bound to wait till the majority of supporters have also come round to [...]
I re-read this book before my visit to the States this year. It doesn’t shirk the task of explaining just how much tension even violence occurred as successive waves of immigrants were absorbed and new land acquired. For example, the Chinese in the West and Irish in the East. Nor of course does he ignore [...]
Mark Littlewood was Director of Liberal Vision from September 2008-December 2009. He is now the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs. He writes here in a personal capacity. Liberal Vision » Blog Archive » Alternative Vote referendum: The YES side is staring at defeat. Tags: 2011 AV
We visited the HQ of the Yes campaign as part of our pre-conference tour before attending the Global Forum on IR in San Francisco this summer California Marijuana Initiative Lead Narrows, Poll Finds | StoptheDrugWar.org. No tags for this post.
I overhead a conversation in our local petrol station the other day. Three visiting Welsh girls, in their early thirties, revealed they had never heard of Neil or Glenys Kinnock – one nearly PM of Britain and still an MP and his wife an MEP. This struck a bell because only a month previously a [...]
An interesting proposal giving the mainstream majority a chance to debate the issue without being drowned out by the extreme Right as well as strengthening his hand in negotiations. I got a glimpse of the problems when I spoke at a conference in Tel Aviv in 2004 on the potential use of referendums in Israel. [...]
Did the FT simply get this wrong or are they trying to manufacture a split in the No side? We will see soon enough when the AV Bill gets a reading in the Commons in the next fortnight. FT.com / UK / Politics & policy – Vote reform foes split on poll timing. Tags: 2011 [...]
The BBC published this report today following the Electoral Commission’s judgement yesterday. I agree with them if the the issue has to be explained in the preamble then the referendum campaign debate hasn’t done what it is supposed to do – wise up the voters on the issue BBC News – Referendum preamble an ‘insult’ [...]
In 2002 ,The Government considered holding a referendum on the euro at the same time as the devolved General elections in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland but were warned against doing so by the BBC Chief Political Advisor who said it would make the job of the broadcasters to provide impartial balance in both elections [...]
George Eustice, newly elected Conservative MP for Cambourne & Redruth is helping to set up the “No to AV” with my old colleague Lord Leach. Tags: 2011 AV, Lord Leach
True Wales also believes that, in order to achieve a democratic result, there should be a requirement that at least 40% of all registered voters consent in the 2011 referendum to the transfer of primary lawmaking powers from Westminster to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff. The catch is registered. On the turnout of the last [...]
Professor Hazell’s warning yesterday that Devolution will transform the British state and release powerful dynamic forces beyond the Government’s control should be widely heeded. As Chairman of the ‘Yes’ Campaign during the Scottish Devolution referendum, I would add my view that if the reforms do not have these effects they will have failed Britain. Tags: [...]
An exciting account of Arnie’s use of referendums in his rise to power and as Governor of California. We see the tremendous advantage that a well known face and name has in getting coverage in a political race. Worth remembering how the Republicans used the Reagan name in California and the Democrats Hillary Clinton’s. In [...]
I watched this film with a contemporary who like me, was old enough to remember the days when the leader of the Westren world was toppled. We agreed it good account with Nixon superbly acted making it seem like yesterday No tags for this post.
This is an old trick. Refendums on major issues split across party lines so this is an attempt to dragoon their supporters in behind the Party line. There are difficulties for broadcasters who one moment represent parties for the general election then a moment later have to find a 50:50 balance between the two sides [...]
Mike Russell has been recalled to Alex Salmond’s side and his old job at Enviroment where he was responsible for the Forestry Commission in Scotland goes to Roseanna Cunningham. Tags: Campsie Glen, Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland
I know. I worked closely with them during the 1997 referendum. Apart from Alex who is an energetic campaigner who goes down well with voters on all sides, Mike ran a tight office behind him. They were at least as good as the Labour Party who were on a high after their General Election landslide [...]
Vote for the US President, local officials and 14 referendums on one ballot paper in Colorado and California. Try it. Tags: US
The Swiss vote to admit foreign workers
The team at Open Europe have produced this thorough research on the methods the EU uses to promote itself, some of them dubious, and the costs involved. Open Europe: Eu Communication Policy Explained. Tags: EU, Open Europe
THE issue of a border poll last came up at a serious level almost 20 years ago. but then secretary of state Jim Prior finally decided against a repeat of the exercise held 10 years earlier. He said recent elections had shown a large majority wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom and a [...]