Monday, 9 September 2013

The Sign for Scotland Parliament

A Yes vote in 2014 will return power over foreign policy, social security, taxation and much more to Scotland.  We’ll be able to decide what we believe to be right and important, and have more opportunities for honest and frank debate.  But what will our first parliament look like?  Thanks to our own highly unscientific research, we can provide some answers.

First the data: Sign for Scotland has been running a poll on our blog asking our readers which political party they would be most likely to vote for following a Yes vote.  We offered 8 choices; Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish Democratic Alliance, Scottish National Party, Scottish Socialist Party and Other.  The chart below shows the number of seats each party would hold (proportional representation has been used).

The Scottish National Party would be the largest (although short of a majority), Labour would form the official opposition, with the Green Party close behind.  Possible Governments include:

SNP minority
SNP + Labour
SNP + Green
SNP + SSP + Another
SNP + Liberals + Conservatives + SDA

Labour + Green + SSP + Liberals
Labour + Green + SSP + Conservatives + SDA
Labour + Green + Liberals + Conservatives + SDA + Others
(65 seats required for a majority)

What would this mean?
Modern politics is not as simple as ‘left vs. right’ (a concept created in 18th century France).  The Political Compass, a website which compares the policies of various groups and individuals, also includes an ‘authoritarian vs. libertarian’ perspective.  It scores the main parties as follows:

SNP – Nearest the centre of all UK political parties
Labour – Right of centre with a strong authoritarian position
Greens (they look at the Greens in England, which is a separate entity, although the Scottish Party has similar policies) – Left of centre with a strong libertarian position
SSP – Very left of centre with a slight authoritarian position.
Liberals – Right of centre
SDA – no analysis, although their policies are likely to place them to the right of the liberals
Conservative – Very right of centre with strong authoritarian position
The numbers above show that:
24% of the parliament would be left of centre
33% would be right of centre
35% would favour more state control
15% would support more personal liberty

This shows that we would have a balanced parliament, with views from both the left and the right represented with open and frank debates regarding state ownership vs. civil liberties very much possible.

Let’s compare this chart to Westminster:
The only two parties who can form the government are Labour and the Conservatives, and they usually do this with solid majorities.  No combinations can alter any decisions they agree upon.  Both are right of centre economically and both are nearly equally authoritarian in outlook.  The conclusion we can take is that even if votes from Scotland strongly influenced which half of Westminster won (which they don't) they wouldn’t really make much difference…whoever forms the government will follow broadly similar policies.
Here is how the two parliaments currently compare using the chart above - which one do you believe is more representative? (Those not listed by political compass have not been included)
Our poll isn’t very scientific, and it doesn’t reflect the fact that the Labour Party in Scotland would be very likely to shift away from their shadowing of the Conservatives and return closer to their traditional values, and the Liberal Democrats could become more liberal minded, but it does show that if you want choice, if you want debate, if you want sound government and if you want influence, then you need to vote Yes in 2014.
Dramatisation of a Westminster election
Alternatively you can stick with Westminster and hope that you favourite from its ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’ routine wins.  Just as long as you accept that your opinion will never matter.

If you like this blog, then please consider visiting our other sites:
Facebook - Sign for Scotland
YouTube - Sign4Scotland
Twitter - Sign4Scotland

No comments:

Post a Comment