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The Referendum

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Scotland's Future It's in your hands - 00442777.pdf. STILL UNDECIDED? With less than a fortnight to go, there are still many people who have not yet come to a final decision on how to vote on 18th September. The referendum has engaged people like never before because it is such a unique decision – an opportunity we might never have again.

That’s also precisely the reason why people will take their time in making up their minds. There’s also a huge amount of information out there, and new information emerging every day. We think that's a good thing - as we believe (and research shows) that the more that people engage with the arguments and see the facts, the more likely they are to move to Yes. But find out for yourself! On this page we’ve gathered together links to pages which answer some of the most frequently asked questions. If you’re still needing more help on grasping what it means to be independent, we’ve a briefing for you – setting out both the opportunities and also the hard work involved. The economy Public Services Pensions and benefits Defence.

Scotland's Future It's in your hands - 00442777.pdf. Scotland’s Future - scotlands-future.pdf. Scottish Independence: Darling's Thrashing Proves Folly of Labour's Faustian Pact with Tories. Alex Salmond (r) was the clear winner in the heated debate with Alistair Darling (l)REUTERS/David Cheskin/Pool How did it come to this for the former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling?

Dying a death in a crucial live TV debate, as he half-heartedly defended the consequences of Tory rule in Scotland, while offering only the occasional plaintive reminder that he isn't strictly speaking, a Tory himself? The answer may seem obvious – Darling ended up in that position because he accepted the job as head of a cross-party anti-independence campaign that includes the Conservative party, which was a poisoned chalice that some unfortunate soul was going to have to grasp.

But in fact there was nothing inevitable about any of it. The former Labour First Minister, Henry McLeish, offered a very straightforward way out of the dilemma. When an audience member asked the ultimate killer question – "if we are Better Together, why are we not Better Together already? " Our man on the scene. There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter and Facebook of irregularities at the referendum counts, leading to accusations that the referendum was somehow fixed, culminating in a petition to have the procedures investigated, or even the referendum re-run. As with most conspiracy theories, this is largely down to people not understanding what they’re seeing, as the videos flying around the internet showing bits of the count have been removed from their context. For example, there’s a video showing a counting table with a No sign on it with a pile of ballot papers, with the top paper showing a cross beside Yes. To the uninformed observer, this looks like Yes votes have been dumped on a table of No votes; but in reality, the pile of votes were still waiting to be split up into Yes and No at this point, and if the person making the video had bothered to check, they’d have found this out.

So, at 10pm on the 18th September, the count began. Welcome to Referendum TV | Referendum TV. Scottish Independence: Key questions answered - Top stories. WELCOME to The Scotsman’s comprehensive guide to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014. It is our intention to draw all of The Scotsman’s coverage together in one place to answer key questions, outline facts and provide a practical and simplified overview to voters and those interested in the referendum. Timeline to the Scottish independence referendum >> • What date will the Scottish independence referendum be held on?

Scots will go to the polls in the historic vote to decide the nation’s future on Thursday, 18 September, 2014. • What will be the Scottish independence referendum question? The question that will be put to voters will be “Should Scotland be an independent country ?”. • What is the voting age in the Scottish independence referendum? The Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Act gave 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in next year’s referendum. • What would happen to the oil?

• What currency would an independent Scotland have? • Would Scotland be allowed in the EU? The postponement of the 2015 General Election | Arc of Prosperity. Of course the thoughts of anybody from the Glasgow area are with the victims of the Clutha helicopter crash today. However, there’s another story in the news today that needs commenting on, namely Angus Robertson’s call for a delay to the 2015 General Election: That is actually an issue for the UK Government to consider.

Predictably, the Unionists are trying to portray this as an evil Nationalist ploy: Margaret Curran, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary, said: “The SNP want another year of the Tories. It’s important to reiterate that this isn’t a Scottish problem. Does any rUK politician really want to conduct a general election campaign six months after a Scottish Yes vote (which would have to take place in Scotland, too)?

To be honest, it might be in Scotland’s interest for the 2015 election to go ahead, simply because the Scottish negotiation team will find it much easier to run circles round the newly elected rUK government than to deal with one negotiation partner throughout. Scotland is going it alone – regardless of the referendum | Steve Richards. I have spent the last month in a different political world from the one I am used to. As Scotland prepares for its historic referendum next year on independence, comment pages in the Scottish newspapers are crammed with columns relating to the referendum.

Each day there are front-page news stories on the latest twists and turns. Bump into any politician in Scotland, political adviser or pollster, and the talk turns intensely to the battle ahead. Yet the battle is already won. The referendum plays an ambiguous role in the unstoppable sequence. There have been three staging posts that will, I suspect, prove to be more significant than next year's referendum. The more influential ministers in the coalition ache above all to radically challenge the role of the state, to achieve the reverse of the 1945 Labour government.

As a result Scotland becomes more markedly different than ever. The distinctiveness will deepen whatever happens in the referendum. Here we (something) go. Alex Salmond announces Scottish independence referendum date | Politics. Alex Salmond has announced that Scotland's independence referendum will be held on 18 September next year, giving the independence movement 545 days to convince a largely sceptical population to say yes to leaving the UK. Both the pro- and anti-independence campaigns launched online clocks counting down to referendum day, which the first minister had decided would come four weeks earlier than some expected.

Around 4 million voters, set to include 16- and 17-year-olds for the first time in a major poll, will be asked a single six-word question: "Should Scotland become an independent country? " Salmond said 18 September would be "a date which becomes etched in our nation's story as the day Scotland took a decisive step forward to a better, fairer future". But opposition leaders said Salmond knew that independence was unpopular: a series of opinion polls has consistently shown that about a third of Scots back independence, with support for remaining in the UK commanding majority support. Scottish independence is fast becoming the only option | Kevin McKenna | Comment is free | The Observer. Those among my friends who have lost their religious faith have described it as a desolate process. Rather than experiencing a rush of euphoria at liberation from a restrictive credo, they speak of their sadness as, one by one, the illuminations on their once cherished pillars are extinguished.

It may be approaching apostasy to equate separation from the divine with the dawning of scepticism about the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Yet when it becomes increasingly more difficult to find good reasons why Scotland should remain in the union you begin to wonder if your crisis of faith is curable or terminal. The champions of the union these days have curiously little to say that is positive about their cherished political nirvana beyond the Queen, some shared former glories and a nebulous "stability". Last year, over coffee in Glasgow, I was discussing the strategy of the Better Together camp with a prominent Labour politician. We won't be lacking friends, either. Iain Macwhirter Now and Then: Is the independence referendum already lost? It was a packed and raucous show, with a mostly young audience. The compere – a tubby guy from Edinburgh whose name escapes me – launched into an obscene rant about Alex Salmond and Scottish Nationalists who, apparently, are people of a sordid sexual disposition who need to be put down in various brutal ways.

And anyway, he said, the Scots "could never govern themselves 'cos they are totally and completely f***ing useless". As a punchline, he bawled out: "Does anyone here support independence? " Not a soul spoke. You can't judge the politics of a country by its comedy, but if this had been Barcelona, that comic would have been lucky to escape unharmed.

Catalans, who are also having an independence referendum in 2014, are fiercely proud of their abilities, whether they support independence or not, and would have taken exception to this affront to their national dignity. Opinion polls confirm that Scots still just don't get independence. You won't hear any defeatism in the Salmond camp. Joyce McMillan: Political nit-picking serves no-one. The future of Scotland must be determined in broader terms than the simple Yes-No option currently offers, writes Joyce McMillan Welcome 2013: lucky for some, perhaps, but not, it seems, for the unfortunate people of Scotland, doomed as they are to another year of fruitless, divisive and increasingly ill-tempered debate about the nation’s future, as we travel the long, long road to the promised independence referendum of autumn 2014. The end of 2012, after all, offered a frightening glimpse of just how nasty that debate could become, before the votes are cast and counted.

Under the conditions of our increasingly polarised Yes-No independence debate, though, there was no chance that Gray’s remarks, or those of the very few to express anti-English hostility to Vicky Featherstone, would be left to languish in relative obscurity. Citizen Space - Your Scotland, Your Referendum. Your Scotland, Your Referendum. ERS backs no strings referendum. The SNP have welcomed support from the Electoral Reform Society for the principles that no strings should be attached by the UK Government to Scotland's referendum. The ERS, which describes itself as “an independent campaigning organisation to champion the rights of voters and improve UK democracy”, says it examined legislation, took on board opinions and spoke to experts before coming to its conclusion. In today’s Herald newspaper the ERS’s Juliet Swann is quoted: “We are recommending the Scottish Parliament be provided with a no-strings-attached legal mandate to call a referendum at a time and with a question or questions of their choosing.”

And she added: “The Society supports votes for 16 and 17-year-olds.” Welcoming the comments, Stewart Maxwell, SNP MSP for West Scotland and member of the Scotland Bill Committee, said: “This is welcome backing from an organisation that is fighting to improve UK democracy and championing the rights of voters. The Electoral Reform Society blog. The likelihood of Scotland voting in a referendum on independence was something most Scots had accepted would occur at some stage before the next Scottish Parliament election in 2016.

We talked about it in passing, but we didn’t really know how or when it would happen. Suddenly then, in January this year, the debate became all about details. Could a referendum be legally binding? Could an advisory referendum even be called by the Scottish Parliament? At the Electoral Reform Society Scotland we’ve spent time poring over legislation, talking to experts, taking on board opinions and mulling over the options that would best respect democracy. The Society supports votes for 16 and 17 year olds, and given the importance of this vote, we see no reason why this opportunity shouldn’t be taken to extend the franchise. Having thought through these technical details, ERS Scotland is planning to hold a series of roundtables and public debates to open up the discussion.

Peter Duncan: Ten Tartan Rules to win the referendum for the Union Comment. Editorial: This pluralist Yes campaign is a new kind of politics. To the untrained eye, the campaign for independence is still struggling to find its feet. Stagnant polling and Olympics mania has given the No campaign a swagger that eventually bubbled over into full-blown chauvinism with Ian Davidson’s outburst on Newsnight Scotland last week. In the few areas of Davidson’s brain that do anything other than collect dust, the attitude is clear: Not only are Scots disallowed from making any movement towards constitutional change without the express permission of Westminster, but anybody who even ventures the possibility of an alternative arrangement must be biased.

Davidson’s rant, dealt with admirably by host Isobel Fraser, illustrated a sad reality of the No campaign: Scottish Labour, and their unionist allies in the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, have learned nothing from their shared electoral disappointments of 2011 and 2012. Two examples: firstly, the Olympics and the social union. It’s that pluralism that is our real advantage.

Alister Rutherford: Referendum Questions. The Scottish government has earlier this year announced the wording of the question it would put to the Scottish electorate in the forthcoming Independence referendum. Scots would be asked: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” Whilst the various Unionist groups are now in favour of an independence referendum, they are not at all happy with this question. Though at first most of them seemed to agree that it provided a clear and simple question. However now there have been repeated suggestions that the proposed question is a leading question and that voters should somehow be given two options - both of which you can vote yes to! Not immediately clear that this would provide precision and clarity. Anyway, to help clarify matters a little, I have done a brief google search on questions used in independence referendums. With the demise of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, many newly independent countries have been created in Europe alone.

Only a fool would call the Scottish independence referendum at this distance. “Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled – Scots, wham Bruce has aften led – Welcome to your gory bed. Or to victorie!” Punditry is not an art that suits the modest. Anyone asking people to take time and trouble to read their writing, let alone expecting them to pay for the privilege, is usually best advised to claim some sort of special knowledge or insight that repays the time invested in reading their thoughts. In that context, I suppose I can’t be surprised at the number of confident predictions being made about the Scottish independence referendum.

Yet, as David Cameron’s intervention yesterday showed, the world is full of unknown unknowns, to use Donald Rumsfeld’s much parodied but actually sensible phrase. We are still somewhere between 2 and 4 years away from a referendum on Scottish independence. Scottish nationalists must be wary of being led by defeatist Unionist commentators into the inevitability trap. Firstly, they would not be well advised to try to surf a tartan wave to freedom. Lesley Riddoch: Choice cut not to everyone's taste. Salmond's second question strategy. Declaration. A vote for independence, not for Salmond's policies. Cameron now "not fussy" about referendum date. More than one referendum needed, says Nigel Smith - Politics. We need to have a One Question Referendum. It is that simple!

How to win a Scottish Referendum – ten iron laws. Moore echoes Douglas-Home's infamous 1979 promise of "something better" 'Holyrood has authority over referendum' Another side of Lesley Riddoch: Referendum – the missing middle way. Garve Scott-Lodge - A Sorry Excuse for a Blog.

National Collective: Scotland's Referendum