The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The stagnant pool

Posted on May 11, 2016 by

We’re supposed to be taking a few days off, but it’s been tipping it down outside for 36 solid hours, so when an alert reader emailed us a question relating to this article from Monday, we couldn’t help but go and research it just to pass some time.


They’d asked how many of the Tory MSPs elected last Thursday had been rejected by the voters of a constituency seat on the same day, and we were startled by the answer – of the 24 Conservative members of the Scottish Parliament elected on the list last week, every single one was also a failed constituency candidate.

And that got us thinking.

In total, 67% of the opposition MSPs taking their seats in the chamber – 44 out of 66 – when the new Parliament convenes will be constituency rejects. (There’s a full list below the main text of this article.) 18 of the 44 came 3rd in the seat they contested, and one finished 4th. 11 lost by margins of more than 10,000 votes.

Rather remarkably, given those statistics, we could only find a single seat – Inverness and Nairn – where the winner, runner-up and 3rd-place finisher ALL ended up MSPs.

The solitary candidate who stood in the seat and DIDN’T end up in Parliament (the Lib Dems’ Caroline Caddick) must feel pretty left out, but the 86% of voters who cast their votes for one of the other three must be wondering why they bothered.

In such circumstances it surely can’t be entirely coincidental that turnout in Holyrood elections is consistently lower than Westminster ones. In well over half of Scotland’s 73 constituencies, voters rejecting a candidate hasn’t prevented them strolling into the Parliament anyway, sometimes having won as little as 8.6% of the vote.

(Annie Wells of the Conservatives in Glasgow Provan, who gathered just 2,062 votes, although to be fair to her that’s still a couple of hundred more than Tory leader Ruth Davidson got in 2011, becoming an MSP despite finishing 4th in Glasgow Kelvin.)

So what (if anything) should be done about it? When we raised the subject on Twitter yesterday several options were suggested:

1. Switch to Single Transferable Vote

This is the option preferred by the Electoral Reform Society and used in council elections. The upsides are that it tends to produce roughly proportional results and avoids “wasted” votes. The downsides are that it loses the constituency link prized by voters, and somewhat falls apart in the event of by-elections.

2. Prevent incumbent MSPs from standing on the list

Some people have suggested that any MSP who’s already in a seat shouldn’t be allowed to have a backup list spot, on the grounds that having already been in power, voters should have the ability to make a judgement on their record and throw them out if they want, improving accountability and therefore engagement.

The upside is that it still lets new talent have a chance to prove itself by coming through on the list. The downside is that such a rule would probably require small parties to change their leader at every election. Had it been in place this year, for example, the Greens would have lost both of their “co-convenors”.

3. Restrict the number of “loser’s spots”

This is an idea of our own that we haven’t seen anyone else propose. Parties would only be allowed list seats for a set number of “losing” MSPs (it could be a total number, say 10 nationwide, or one or two per region). Once those spots were used up, the seats would go to the next people on the lists who hadn’t been rejected in a constituency.

That way parties would still be able to get their leaders and experienced figures into Parliament if they had no “safe” constituencies to run in, but the “old guard” wouldn’t be allowed to hog all the seats, as happened this year with Labour.

(As far as we can tell, 16 of the party’s 17 constituency losers who got backup list seats were already sitting MSPs.)

We can’t identify any obvious drawbacks to the plan. It seems to be better both for the electorate, who get more ability to reject unsatisfactory MSPs, and for the parties themselves, who are forced to refresh and renew their ranks.

(How can Labour possibly rebuild from the ruins when almost all of their MSPs are the same ones who got them in such a mess?)

So just for fun, we thought we’d solicit your opinion.

What should be done about the Holyrood electoral system?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...



* denotes a candidate who finished in 3rd place
** denotes a candidate who finished in 4th place


Liz Smith lost by 1,422 in Kinross-shire
Gordon Lindhurst lost by 2,456 in Pentlands
Alex Johnstone lost by 2,472 in Angus North & Mearns
Ross Thomson lost by 2,755 in Aberdeen South
Douglas Ross lost by 2,875 in Moray
*Miles Briggs lost by 3,625 in Edinburgh Southern
*Rachel Hamilton lost by 5,284 in East Lothian
Peter Chapman lost by 6,683 in Banffshire
Dean Lockhart lost by 6,718 in Stirling
*Alexander Stewart lost by 7,232 in Clackmannanshire
*Donald Cameron lost by 7,721 in Argyll
*Maurice Corry lost by 8,631 in Dumbarton
Jamie Greene lost by 8,724 in Cunninghame North
*Margaret Mitchell lost by 9,655 in Hamilton
*Maurice Golden lost by 10,129 in Clydebank
Murdo Fraser lost by 10,353 in Perthshire North
*Jeremy Balfour lost by 10,681 in Midlothian
Edward Mountain lost by 10,857 in Inverness
*Adam Tomkins lost by 10,950 in Anniesland
*Annie Wells lost by 11,078 in Provan
Liam Kerr lost by 11,630 in Donside
*Graham Simpson lost by 12,099 in East Kilbride
*Alison Harris lost by 12,383 in Falkirk West
*Brian Whittle lost by 12,450 in Kilmarnock


*Ken Macintosh lost by 1,851 in Eastwood
Alex Rowley lost by 3,041 in Cowdenbeath
Rhoda Grant lost by 3,496 in the Western Isles
James Kelly lost by 3,743 in Rutherglen
Elaine Smith lost by 3,779 in Coatbridge
Lewis Macdonald lost by 4,349 in Aberdeen
Kezia Dugdale lost by 5,087 in Edinburgh Eastern
Neil Bibby lost by 5,199 in Paisley
Richard Leonard lost by 6,192 in Airdrie
Johann Lamont lost by 6,482 in Pollok
Claire Baker lost by 7,395 in Kirkcaldy
*Mary Fee lost by 7,474 in Renfrewshire North
*Claudia Beamish by 7,826 in Clydesdale
Neil Findlay lost by 8,393 in Almond Valley
Jenny Marra lost by 8,828 in Dundee West
Mark Griffin lost by 9,478 in Cumbernauld
*David Stewart lost by 11,786 votes in Inverness


**Alison Johnstone lost by 5,755 in Edinburgh Central
Patrick Harvie lost by 4,048 in Glasgow Kelvin


*Mike Rumbles lost by 6,138 in Aberdeenshire West


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 16 05 16 12:24

    Primum apud victos (First among losers). – Unrealised Realities

399 to “The stagnant pool”

  1. Anne Bruce says:

    I understand that the voting system cannot be changed by Holyrood but would need the English Government’s permission to change it.

    As is very evident to all of us, EVEL is a one way system. No SVSL.

  2. I’m not sure it’s really a problem. For all parties other than the SNP (and perhaps the Lib Dems in the Highlands and Islands), the number of seats they win is solely determined by the list vote. The only effect the constituency vote has is to cause some candidates to be elected rather than others.

    Given that Labour got more constituency seats than list seats, one might even argue that it would actually be in their interest to stop putting forward constituency candidates altogether.

    Anyway, I agree the voting system should be changed, but I don’t like STV, either.

  3. Papko says:

    I dont see what the issue is

    a Turnip could stand for the SNP in West Fife and get elected by 40% of the constituency votes (at least )

    Does that mean that everyone voting SNP likes Turnips ? or doe sit mean you just vote for the party you like .

    rub being its not just a FPTP system , its D’hondt as well , and the make up in the Parliament roughly reflects the voter turnout and choice .

    22% voted Tory , they get 24% of MSP’s

    and so down the line

    Whats wrong with that ?

    As to Turnout , well when things matter , people turnout .

    They turned out for the REF , and they tend not to bother about who manages the refuse .

  4. Papko says:

    As to “liking a candidate ” and voters rejecting a candidate .
    I would argue voters dont really know them so it does not matter .

    Apart from the party leaders , I doubt if I could name an MSP

    Or a decent Scottish footballer , currently playing for the National team .

    (Could be a clue there , if they were any good they might stick out ) .

  5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The only effect the constituency vote has is to cause some candidates to be elected rather than others.”

    Um, yes. That’s the point. The voters keep voting against people who become MSPs anyway. That’s bad for accountability and may be part of why turnout is low.

  6. Holebender says:

    I voted STV because, after 17 years it is clear that Scotland’s electorate can’t fully grasp d’Hondt. If an effective education programme could be run to convince people that list votes aren’t second preferences I might support one of the other options.

    Having said that, the varieties of d’Hondt proposed above will do nothing about tactical voting for FPTP seats or smaller parties trying to game the list system, so I think I’ll stick with my STV choice just the same.

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “As to Turnout, well when things matter, people turnout.”

    Then why is is always lower for Holyrood than Westminster? Scottish MPs can generally achieve nothing at Westminster, being just 59 out of 650. At Holyrood they control health, education and taxation, to name just three major things that affect people’s daily lives. By almost any measure, voting in Holyrood elections should matter more to Scots than in UK elections.


  8. Prefer NEEPS masel’: North East Ethnic Pairty.

    Sorry to hear it is raining in Barf. Maybe they could use the watter.

  9. Hobbit says:

    A bit O/T, but would there be any advantage in moving to a national list (Germany, New Zealand), instead of regional ones? In the NZ case, the process is made a lot clearer: it is made quite clear that the Parliament’s distribution of seats is based on the party vote, less the constituency seats won by a party. It can result in an ‘overhang’, where a party wins more constituency seats than would be justified by its share of the list vote, but I digress.

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “the varieties of d’Hondt proposed above will do nothing about tactical voting for FPTP seats or smaller parties trying to game the list system”

    They’re not trying to do anything about those things.

  11. Cookie says:

    “Murdo Fraser lost by 10,353 in Perthshire North”
    It was a lot closer than that in Perthshire North!

  12. Holebender says:

    They’re not trying to do anything about those things.

    I didn’t say they were, but the fact that they don’t influences my choice.

  13. Cuilean says:

    Surely the other unionist parties for next year’s council elections must see that the Tories are going to come out with the ‘secure the union only by voting for your fav ice cream vendor. Instead of attacking the SNP they have to start attacking the real govt of Scotland, the Tories.

    Davidson proffering ice-cream during the campaign was redolent of the child-catcher from ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. “Come along kiddie-winkies, free ice-cream all day today”.

    There’s never free ice-cream.

  14. The Man in the Jar says:

    My former sitting MSP M. McMahon (Lab) was defeated by Richard Leonard (SNP) I notice that McMahon did not stand on the list. I suspect that he saw the writing on the wall and decided it was time to get out.

    Probably the most astute decision that he took during his period in office.

  15. Richard Thomson says:

    No option for Proportional Representation?

  16. Steven Stewart says:

    With the third option would that require all 129 current MSP’s to jostle for the 73 constituency seats at the next election? (If all 129 were to stand again). As none of them would be allowed on the list?

    It perhaps already says that in the post, and I’m just not seeing the wood for the trees.

  17. heedtracker says:

    Its quite an eye opener to see just how badly the tories actually lost May 5. And yet all weekend, tory BBC led headlines were roaring away, SNP Holyrood fail.

    Jump in anywhere to “Poll success shows how Scottish Tories came back from the dead” Mure Dickie in Edinburgh. Whatever Mure Dickie’s on, he/she’s a great example of how the Britnat lie machine works.

    “One of the two Tory candidates elected on the Glasgow list was Adam Tomkins, a law professor and a one-time advocate of abolition of the monarchy. The other was Annie Wells, a food retail manager and single mother with a working-class accent who told one campaign rally how she had won over a sceptical voter who started their conversation with the comment: “Ah’m no a Tory, hen.”

    UKOK attack propaganda at its worst from FT but that not a tory hen’s in for a surprise when she meets Ruth MacThatcher.

  18. Ken500 says:

    FPTP. Or do them all. It is an absolute affront to Democracy. Leading to a weaker Parliament and less getting down in line with the electoral wishes. To get over 50% of votes and not have a complete majority is more than annoying and frustration. It should be illegal. All the crowing losers will be ejected the next time. When the voters wisen up to the system. Just vote for Party chosen (1) and (2) absolutely. No deviation.

    It will be another frustrating few years as totally rejected MSP’s who had a total cheek to describe voters who pay their substance, as ‘viruses’ and ‘not able to run their own affairs’ from ignoramouses who can’t count, prominently displaced throughout the Parliament. It turns people’s stomach and makes people feel physically sick. The idea seems to be to turn people off, but more will get annoyed and angry and further engage. Until this is sorted.

  19. orica macdonald says:

    Pretty sure Murdo Fraser did’nt lose by that margin, I think that’s the figure for the 2011 election you have there.

  20. Shazy says:

    Can the same analysis be done for the SNP? I am in the south of Scotland and I would suspect that changing the system would effect the caliber of candidates being selected to run for a constituency seat in areas where the chances of winning are poor. We need great candidates to stand against the tories, but we wouldn’t then want to lose their talent in the Parliament.

  21. Hugh Barclay says:

    I’d make 2 changes, firstly it would have to be either a constituency candidate or list but never both, how can it be right being rejected or coming last can still get you elected.

    Secondly list MSPs when it comes to voting on matters in Holyrood, their vote should only count as half a vote, seems only fair to me 🙂

  22. Papko says:

    “Then why is is always lower for Holyrood than Westminster? Scottish MPs can generally achieve nothing at Westminster, being just 59 out of 650. At Holyrood they control health, education and taxation, to name just three major things that affect people’s daily lives. By almost any measure, voting in Holyrood elections should matter more to Scots than in UK elections.”

    That’s what you may think, but since the start HL has had average turnout low 50%, GE low 60%

    Using your logic, people interact with their local council far more than their Govt. (bins,council tax , pot-holes,etc)

    Yet TO (for councils elections ) is round 40%, lower still when you interact more ?

  23. Mik Johnstone says:

    I am truly surprised at the amount of failures that have sneaked in via the proverbial back door, I am also surprised that the SNP never had any get in this way, who according to the Tory/Labour/Lib Dem fan club, lost quite significantly after the vote count, and whose numbers have been cut because less people have voted for them despite the fact that numbers prove the SNP have grown stronger… the way the voting is used for Holyrood was put in place to runs this happening so that all parties got a got proportional representation, (I think) but I think SNP have broken that… Lmao

  24. Morag says:

    I can’t vote in that poll, as my preferred option (which I was trying to punt on Twitter yesterday) is to bar incumbent constituency MSPs from standing on the list.

    Added to that I would suggest a limit on the number of terms an MSP can serve as a list member. Two, or perhaps three? If they haven’t secured a constituency by then, maybe it’s time for some new blood.

    I would exempt from that second stricture, members standing for parties which have won no constituencies at all during the period in question (two or three terms, whatever). That would allow small parties without enough support to win constituencies to support a stable parliamentary presence without having to keep changing their personnel.

    I’m just sorry Stuart either didn’t understand what I was proposing, or took heed of a different and less workable proposal from someone else.

  25. scav says:

    I’m not sure a move to STV would solve more problems than it creates.

    I like the idea of a social norm of disparaging parties who keep putting unprincipled careerists at the top of their list, but that can happen without a change to the rules.

  26. Kevin Evans says:

    Common sense would suggest if someone is not supported in the constituency seat by such a margin they should not be allowed to get in by the back door.

    Much with the same idea as a lost deposit if a candidate loses by a certain percentage of the vote in a constituency then that should immediately bar him from standing on the list.

    It would make party’s consider more carefully where they stand candidates.

    Technically if the tories had pol pot and hitler getting not a single vote in there constituency vote which no one would argue they should get any votes but if there on the list they get in.

    Even something as simple as “losing candidates must achieve a minimum of 30% votes of the winners total (so if the winner got 100,000 votes the list msp must get 30,000 minimum) or even 50%. Failure to get that reasonable number should be heard as the voice of the electorate not supporting that candidate.

    Just an idea.

  27. Albantawe says:

    I really don’t see why you are so bothered by losing constituency candidates getting through on the list. Folk vote for their preferred candidate on the constituency – they don’t vote against anyone. Restricting losing constituency candidates from list places is granting a veto to the largest group of electors which could be only 35% or less.

    As regards turnout, I think it is relatively low for Holyrood mainly because:
    (a) The Scottish Parliament’s powers are so limited.
    (b) We don’t have a proper independent media to give Holyrood elections high status coverage

  28. Reidy1987 says:

    Given that I can’t get my head round the list system, it may not be a good idea for me to vote here.

    I don’t like the STV, it usually means you end up with the candidate that the fewest voters didn’t want.

    Not sure about the “no sitting MSP’s either. All they need to do is resign their seat a week before the election, and there you go…

    So I’ve voted for the restricted loser’s spots option.

    Although I can’t for the life of me see why the party that receives the most votes in a region shouldn’t get one seat, but like I said earlier I don’t understand the system so their must be a reason.

  29. Morag says:

    I’m a bit perturbed by the rhetoric of “failures sneaking in through the back door” without qualifying this at all. Nicola was a failure sneaking in through the back door in 1999 and 2003. She failed to win her constituency and was elected on the list.

    I don’t have the slightest problem with a candidate agreeing to fight a difficult or unwinnable seat also appearing on the list. It’s a great way for new blood to work a constituency. Here, Christine Grahame was a list MSP three times, but won the constituency on the fourth (and fifth) attempt by sheer hard work. I applaud this aspect of the AMS system. The new young blood list MSPs keep the constituency MSPs on their toes by creating an arms race for service to the community.

    What I do find problematic is the use of the list by has-beens on their way down, allowing them to stay in Holyrood long after their expiry date. Hence my suggestion that sitting constituency MSPs be barred from the list. If they can’t hold the constituency they already won, they should go. And if this deprives a party of their leader, tough.

    It would be absolutely ludicrous to bar list MSPs from standing on the list for a second term, and I’m sorry Stuart even suggested it. I don’t know where the idea came from because it certainly wasn’t me. (I do think a limit on the number of terms a list MSP can stand should be considered though, to prevent numpties being handed a permanent safe place by their party.)

  30. Bill McDermott says:

    I voted for STV. I think the link with constituencies is overrated. Basically, with STV you have a chance of personalising the system, meaning that individual candidates have to compete on genuine popularity amongst the electorate.

    Another feature is that you can go to the MSP of your choice when it comes to getting help. What is not to like about that?

  31. While I would have preferred the use of the single transferable voting system for holyrood.

    I don’t know if STV would have seen our MSP Tricia Marwick getting elected, as she did under the current system in 1999 when she stood on the constituency as well as the list for Holyrood.

    Its fine complaining about the voting system when your winning, but I suspect the introduction of any new voting system would probably create just as many problems and complaints if we had lost.

  32. Morag says:

    Common sense would suggest if someone is not supported in the constituency seat by such a margin they should not be allowed to get in by the back door.

    I don’t really think common sense suggests anything of the sort. There are always going to be seats that are unwinnable for a particular party, and yet they want to field a complete slate of constituency candidates. I don’t see why someone who agrees to fight the impossible constituency should be barred from the list as a punishment for doing that.

    The problem is failed sitting constituency MSPs using the list to get back in when their constituents have indicated they no longer want them. That’s the thing to focus on. Not people who have rather heroically fought difficult or unwinnable constituencies for their party.

  33. Sledger says:

    Tirnout is interesting… I’d link elected representatives’ salary and expenses proportionally to turnout.

    55% turnout = 55% salary / expenses.

  34. Tony Williams says:

    I favour dispensing with the second vote and applying D’Hondt and the list system to the total constituency vote in a region. Advantages:
    1.It forces parties to contest constituencies and not rely on piggybacking.
    2. Only one vote required.
    3. Genuinely proportional to votes cast, not “let’s think about this again.”

  35. Morag says:

    I voted STV because, after 17 years it is clear that Scotland’s electorate can’t fully grasp d’Hondt. If an effective education programme could be run to convince people that list votes aren’t second preferences I might support one of the other options.

    STV is horrible, and if we changed to that there would be tears before bedtime.

    The AMS system using d’Hondt to achieve proportionality is in my view an excellent system. It has numerous advantages I’ve outlined before. (I just don’t like incumbent constituency MSPs avoiding the wrath of the voters by going on the list.) The problem is voter education, and worse than that, active lying and misrepresentation to voters by people who want to trick these voters into gving them their votes.

    I would be really sad if such a good system were to be junked by people who didn’t understand it, because people didn’t understand it, because self-serving politicians had been lying to the electorate about it.

  36. Breeks says:

    Hmmm… these unelected MSP’s still given a seat in parliament beyond the reach of the electorate’s power to oust them…

    Easy solution. Round them up, call them lords, and stick them in a second chamber where they can mill around all day half pissed or fully asleep and nobody has to listen to them.

    What could possibly be wrong with that idea?

  37. Harry Scott says:

    Constituency seats and List seats should be separated more. In a one chamber parliament, it’s a good idea to make sure there’s a sure way to balance between representation and ideology, Party policy and pragmatism. To this end, you could consider these changes:

    Prevent incumbent consituency seat holders only from running on the list too, so constituency seat holders are fully accountable on local issues with no backdoor to parliament.

    Pool list seats nationally instead of by region. There’s no real reasons to tie them to regions anyway, as we have seen with candidates running for list seats many miles from their actual homes.

    This system would encourage parties to place all of their “big guns” on a national list as a government (or opposition) in waiting to be judged on their competence and party manifesto at a national level. Party leaders and cabinet hopefuls would be at the top of their lists and wouldn’t sit on constituency seats so would effectively be competing for a mandate, not for a seat. This might be seen as guaranteed jobs for career politicians, but it might also encourage people to join or at least engage with political parties through unions and lobby groups. So If you don’t like the Labour leadership or the direction of the party, join the Labour party to vote them out or have your say etc.

    Constituency seats would be contested on more local issues and candidates local standing, knowledge, activity and record, possibly without even needing a concrete party affiliation. Committees should have mandatory majority representation of constituency members to guarantee effective scrutiny of government initiatives and engagement of what will essentially be back-benchers.

  38. wee e says:

    Ruth Davidson says she sacked the whole list of Tory candidates and selected these people herself. So one person appointed them to parliament, even though thousands of voters rejected them.

  39. Doug Daniel says:

    I think you’re focussing on the wrong problem here, because the whole point of proportional representation is that it’s not a “winner takes all” approach, so the idea of “losers” getting elected is pretty much built-in. Short of removing the FPTP element entirely, any attempt to get parties to choose between the list or the constituency for candidates means making them choose where to put their best talent. That risks both the 2011 scenarios – Labour getting a bunch of deadbeats elected on the list because the better candidates were all in constituencies, and the SNP getting someone like Bill Walker elected in a constituency because no one thought he had a chance of winning it.

    The real problem is the public not being able to choose who gets elected off the lists. I’ve less problem with Johann Lamont being in Holyrood than Anas Sarwar or any of the other Slabbers who didn’t have the guts to try and get elected in a constituency. At least constituency candidates have to do a bit of campaigning – it’s currently possible to get yourself in a prime list position, and then just sit back and watch everyone else do the work for you.

    Open Lists are the answer, like they have in Sweden. It gives the public the power to decide who is actually worth electing from a party’s list, so it wouldn’t be enough to get your dad to throw a fancy dinner to try and win favour amongst local members so they give you a good list position – you’d need to actually win favour with the voters as well. That would also give an impetus to list MSPs to properly represent their constituents, since they’d need to keep winning their approval for re-election.

    However, one of the fundamental problems we have in Scotland is the multiple voting systems. It’s ridiculous, and it’s no wonder the public gets confused, which I’m pretty sure is one of the factors in the lower turnouts for non-Westminster elections (and it’s why we can’t have Scottish and council elections on the same day as well). Since Open Lists would be yet another system, I currently favour introducing STV to Holyrood, so that folk at least only have to learn the one voting system for both Holyrood and council elections. If nothing else, some folk already think the list vote is a second-preference, so let’s just have proper preferential voting in place. It’s not really proportional, but at least it gives the public a way of not electing Anas Sarwar, Mike Rumbles and James Kelly.

    Once we have independence, have Open Lists for all our elections, and maybe also move back to council and parliamentary elections being on the same day.

  40. Breeks says:

    Just out of curiosity, is it possible to extrapolate how Holyrood would look if the recent election had been first past the post?

  41. heedtracker says:

    Morag says:
    11 May, 2016 at 12:16 pm
    I’m a bit perturbed by the rhetoric of “failures sneaking in through the back door” without qualifying this at all. Nicola was a failure sneaking in through the back door in 1999 and 2003. She failed to win her constituency and was elected on the list.

    So its probably better left as it is. Its failing to do what unionists planned, block Scottish independence but its certainly holding it back.

    Tartan Tories roar back to kill off independence: PM hails Conservative performance as Labour has its worst result in Scotland since 1910

  42. Morag says:

    Pool list seats nationally instead of by region. There’s no real reasons to tie them to regions anyway, as we have seen with candidates running for list seats many miles from their actual homes.

    That’s quite a good idea I think. Any further thoughts anyone?

  43. Senlac says:

    Trying to be completely fair, we would have to acknowledge that somebody failing to win their constituency seat does not necessarily translate as people desperately wanting rid of them.

    In quite a few areas people are often torn between local personality and their party.

    I know, for instance, in Ayr, the Tory John Scott is very highly regarded and many voted for him on a personal basis, but gave their actual preferred party their list vote.

    Others gave their preferred party their constituency vote, even though it wasn’t their preferred candidate.

    I suspect the latter would have been very pleased if, for example, the SNP had won the constituency seat, but John Scott had nonetheless managed to secure the inevitable Tory list seat, even though they “rejected” him.

    That, of course, isn’t the case across the board, but it is something worth considering.

  44. Morag says:

    I’d make 2 changes, firstly it would have to be either a constituency candidate or list but never both, how can it be right being rejected or coming last can still get you elected.

    Secondly list MSPs when it comes to voting on matters in Holyrood, their vote should only count as half a vote, seems only fair to me.

    Why should someone who fights an unwinnable or very difficult seat for their party be barred from standing on the list? That’s precisely the route many of the SNP’s big hitters took to the position they’re in now. Fought unwinnable seats, got in on the list, worked hard in their region to show voters what they were capable of, and finally won these “unwinnable” seats. It’s a strength of the system, not a weakness.

    And it’s monstrous to suggest that list MSPs should have only half a vote. It entirely negates the proportionality of parliament. Would you have suggested than in 1999 or 2003 when the SNP was mostly list MSPs? Then, Labour and the LibDems were pouring scorn on list members for being second-class. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now.

  45. Ali says:

    Is it better that a “losing” candidate should take a spot or somebody for whom no votes at all were cast? The losing candidate was voted for by at least some people. By definition anyone who stood and didn’t win would be a losing candidate even if they lost by 1 vote. The biggest problem is that the parties choose the list candidates and not the electorate

  46. G Cooper says:

    Should the loser spots on the list, or rather the ranking of them on the list, be based upon votes? This would be fair as it should only allow those narrowly defeated, or at least garnering a reasonable vote share, to top the list?

  47. indigo says:

    Are all parties the same in that it’s the party members who vote to select and prioritise the list? Based on what happened in the south of Scotland that would seem a solid way of deciding who local party representatives would be on the list.

    In the case of the south, party members ranked a member of the cabinet low down on the list, and ranked a mix of strong existing list MSPs and new prospects very highly. In so doing we seem to have a good mix of elected members that are reflective of the priorities of the people in the south. I’m not seeing the problem.

  48. Anagach says:

    Surely there is at least one SNP as well Rev ?

  49. John Dickson says:

    My penny’s worth, the party that gets the most votes on the list gets the first candidate elected, then you practise the d’hondt formula from the second list vote onwards.

  50. Ken500 says:

    Under FPTP Nicola could have had a constituency seat earlier. She was not rejected and sneaked back in the list. She stood in a seat she had not won constituency ever. She was not elected and them rejected to 3rd or 4th. No one had ever experienced her ever winning a constituency seat. She did not sneak back in in any way. She had never won a constituency seat because of Holyrood Electoral system.

    These ignoramouses are being elected on to Constituency seat, totally insulting the electorate verbally and with actions and being totally rejected and then come back in. Time and time again. How do you get rid of them? It is different. She also was not picking and choosing a seat to get in. A total farcical insult.

    It is different – proving your worth on a list seat and then winning a Constituency seat.

  51. Morag says:

    Um, yes. That’s the point. The voters keep voting against people who become MSPs anyway. That’s bad for accountability and may be part of why turnout is low.

    I think you have to distinguish between people who (sometimes rather heroically) fight unwinnable seats for their party to allow the party to field a complete slate of constituency candidates, and people who have held a constituency in the past and been unceremoniously booted.

  52. Glamaig says:

    I voted keep the existing system. D’Hondt is a good compromise between having a constituency MP while keeping it proportional.

    Would we complain about it if, say, Swinney had lost narrowly in Perthshire this time round, and got in on the list?

    While it is frustrating that absolute chancers like Tomkins can get in, my opinion is coloured by the fact that I think he’s an arse.

    Maybe it wouldnt be so bad if he had at least come second – is there a way of putting a bar on them like a minimum number of votes, and if they dont achieve that they drop down the list?

    The most important thing though is an education campaign on how the system works. It should be emphasised that the list vote is key to the make up of the parliament. It should NOT be called the second vote.

    STV is abysmal, and Im afraid we might find out why, next year.

  53. Ken500 says:

    If it was FPTP it would have been a wipe out. Same as GE. Total numbers of seats.

    Cameron confidently forgot to mention the different voting system when congratulating Davidson. He probably doesn’t know. He doesn’t care.

    Before he made the insulting, sleekit remark about the Scottish Gov coming asking permission for a Panda for Edinburgh Zoo. Insulting the Chinese as well. Insults many other countries. Alcoholics don’t care. All they care about is were the next drink is coming from. Paid for by the embezzlement of public funds.

  54. Doug Daniel says:

    Ken500: “To get over 50% of votes and not have a complete majority is more than annoying and frustration. It should be illegal. “

    Nobody has ever gotten over 50% of the votes at Holyrood.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    Whatever system you come up with, one thing is clear, we get people we didn’t vote for, moreover we get people we voted against and that’s bad for voter confidence because you can’t keep saying to people you must get out and vote because your vote counts when clearly it doesn’t

    I think it becomes a more obvious problem for us in Scotland when the party which has caused the electorate the most offence stack up all their own pals in the waiting room queue to proceed to park their backsides back in the seat the electorate originally voted them out of

    What this does and will do to voter confidence over time as both Tory and Labour will be the ones to benefit from this system is to cause voter apathy which probably will lead to an even bigger drop in votes for the party we actually do want in government

    The only vote that is probably 100% secure is the Tory vote purely and simply because it’s an anti SNP vote so I think you can see where I’m going with this one

    So yes the system needs changing but that’s for cleverer folk with numbers than me but one thing I think is certain and profound, apathy will cause the Tory vote to look better, and probably get better

    And that’s something the vast majority of us in Scotland don’t want

  56. Roboscot says:

    As Doug Daniel says, one answer is to have ‘open lists’ rather than ‘closed lists’, so the voters can decide for themselves the order in which a party’s candidates get elected in any particular region.
    The Scotland Act 2016 devolves control of the electoral system so it can now be changed by Holyrood rather than Westminster.

  57. Ben says:

    A right good thing to pick a fight over. Stir it up that Holyrood wants to change its voting system and the Tories are stopping us doing it. Can’t see that going down well

  58. Brian Fleming says:

    I’d suggest Scotland adopt the system used in Finland, a country with a similar size of population. The country is divided into multi-member constituencies, preserving the connection of elected members with constituents. In each constituency, each party (sometimes small parties can form an electoral pact with a larger one to increase their chances) puts forward a list of candidates. Each candidate has their personal number, and the voters vote for the candidate they want. So the electorate decides the order of candidates on the list. Each party is allocated a number of seats corresponding to said party’s total percentage vote in the constituency (say 5 seats). The 5 most popular candidates from that party are duly elected. I think it’s a great system. No system is perfect, but this one is good.

  59. Ann Rayner says:

    Not sure if this has been suggested as short of time to read all comments but could each party in each region supply a list of, say 6 candidates, though more could be possible, in alphabetical order.

    Voters could then rank these in their own order, which would give them a much-,needed say in the process. It would be cumbersome but surely easier than all STV, and would allowi the public to judge ‘failed’ candidates.

  60. IndyForEvil says:

    I like the idea of restricting the number of Consituency MSP’s being entered on the list. Of course we will end up with all the Generals being on the list but the young spotty Cannon Fodder chosen to replace them will gain experience and we may even occasionally end up with an accidental MSP. The downside is that stronger established politicians such as Yousaff, Sturgeon etc will end up being opposed by Tory boy’s and girls barely of the age of consent, and in their case the age of consent is not being their main barrier to an active sex life. So a ‘shoey-in’ for established MSP’s is a downside but way better than being guaranteed to be an MSP by merely standing regardless of the vote.

  61. yesindyref2 says:

    I’m a do nothing, in a very biased kind of way. All the pro-indy parties combined achieved 49.4% of the vote on the list (less on contstituency), which if represented totally proportionally in some magic way would have given us 64 MSPs against 65 Unionist MSPS. As it is we got 69 pro-indy MSPs.

    Tamper ye not!

  62. BreadMurderer says:

    It would be interesting to see (not to mention very time consuming!) if the past Scottish election results were fed into 3 of the options proposed and how it would have turned out…

  63. Capella says:

    I voted STV above mainly because Patricia Marwick, in her excellent interview on Sunday with Gordon Brewer, preferred it. But I must admit it’s hard to understand. I’ve checked it out on the Electoral Reform Society website and read the interesting pdf download by Prof Curtice on the Scottish LA elections.”Scottish Local Govermnment Elections 2012″.

    Does it answer Tony Benn’s 3Qs for democracy:
    Who put you there
    What power have you got
    How can we get rid of you

    All equally important and the “how can we get rid of you” is the most cheated by allowing constituency candidates to stand on the list. Maybe Morag’s solution is the best.

  64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Can the same analysis be done for the SNP?”

    Of the SNP’s four list MSPs, two were rejected in constituencies.

  65. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “No option for Proportional Representation?”

    Um, AMS is proportional representation.

  66. DerekM says:

    Aye Rev its a bit of a shambles ,i havnt voted because you left out the it doesnt matter as you aint getting to change it Scotland under westminster box.

    We will just have to live with crappy electoral systems until we can tell westminster to get lost.

    None of these systems would be relevant in indy Scotland to start with we will need to break up the existing constituancies to make FPTP MSP`s or we would only have the places to fill half the seats in our parliament.

    Nope i vote for FPTP its the only fair way to ensure that deadwood politicians cant sneak in the back door,they might sneak in the front door but at least then they would have the support of the voters who voted for them and need to campaign hard to win their place in our parliament.

    And you are right its not so much as people dont care they just cant be bothered with all the electoral bullshit,why vote when its clear that our parliament is a joke and there is no way to get rid of politicians they no longer want to serve their constituancies,the whole thing is designed to breed apathy.

    PS its sunny in Scotland Rev get your butt up here lol

  67. Onwards says:

    I think the current system is a reasonable compromise.
    STV could hurt the SNP with Tories and Labour always tactically voting for each other.
    There was a time when Labour used to vote SNP to keep out the Tory and vice versa. Now the split is unionist/nationalist.

  68. Papko says:

    “Dr Jim says:
    11 May, 2016 at 12:53 pm
    Whatever system you come up with, one thing is clear, we get people we didn’t vote for, moreover we get people we voted against and that’s bad for voter confidence because you can’t keep saying to people you must get out and vote because your vote counts when clearly it doesn’t”

    Exactly , i voted Lib Dem then Tory, and got a Lib Dem MSP, and 24% of my MSP’s are Tory

    So I am reasonably satisfied.

    Everybody gets a vote , and it does not bother me that 45% voted SNP, as I like our FM (very well turned out,articulate,and conciliatory)

    basically SNP tax policy ideas are in line with my own , keep it low and make the best of what you have spending wise.

    I care passionately for those that are unfortunate to use a “Foodbank”, i just don’t want to pay £2 a week extra in tax to help them.

    So I am like the vast majority of Scots (SNP+Tory ) 65% of electorate.

  69. yesindyref2 says:

    On the constituency vote the SNP got 46.5% of the vote, and Greens 0.6%, If all 129 seats were in some way FPTP, the SNP would have 60 MSPs, and the Greens 1, a Unionist majority of 8 if they put up the PO.

    On the regional vote the SNP got 41.7%, Greens 6.6%, RISE 0.5%, Solidarity 0.6%. SNP would have 53-54 MSPs, Greens 8-9, RISE not quite 1 and Solidarity not quite 1. A Unionist majority of at least 1.

    Looks to me that any reform would have resulted in LESS SNP MSPs.

  70. Papadox says:

    O/T More to the point, after watching “Scottish questions” (from ENGERLISH MPs) with the ignorant runt Mundel bad mouthing his own country and countrymen with the help of the nasty Nat basher Ian Murray. Then they have a go at belittling and bad mouthing the daft jocks in PMQs. They and the EBC go on about the second referendum. They are trying to trap Scotland into this situation so they can slam the door in our faces, then the whips will come out and we will be very sorry.

    I have said constantly the WESTMINSTER GOVERNMENT WILL NOT let Scotland go at any price they will do ANYTHING TO KEEP US IN THIS SORDID CORRUPT UNION. Read into that what you will!

  71. gus1940 says:

    In many other countries elections are run in 2 stages.

    Can I suggest that we adopt a similar system without changing the current basic d’Hondt syatem.

    In Week 1 the elction would be for Constituency Candidates only.

    In Week 2 it would be for only the List Candidates.

    Using such a system voters would know in advance the result of the Constituency Vote and would be able to work out where to place their list votes without trying to guess the system as happens under the current set-up.

    If such a sytem had been in operation last week there is a pretty good chance that the end result would have been an SNP Overall Majority.

  72. James Robb says:

    Hello again Stu

    I was chatting with a few people about the list and what I found was quite interesting and its left me wondering if any of your other readers are finding the same.

    It seemed that before Scotland’s political awakening most folks didn’t pay much heed to list candidates concentrating more on the how’s and the whys each party gets awarded the seat.

    The Scottish election last week has now brought into focus who actually gets the seat.

    The general feeling is its a bit of a anomaly that you can stand for both.

    Surely a simple way to correct this is too change the rules so an individual cannot stand in election for both ?

    In this way you would have the fptp constituency vote and campaign as normal and then for the regional list votes each party would select there candidates for the list seats
    These candidates would then campaign for the list votes. The voting slip for the list would have each party and a number. The voter can then vote for an individual candidate on the list.

    This would probably also have problems which I’m sure my fellow wingers will point in due course ??
    The point I think is that people are not very happy with politicians and parties using the list vote in a way that is undemocratic and not the in the spirit of the way it’s devised.

    I’ve been reading wings since it started and this is my first comment although I did send the Rev an email the other day about another matter (possibly for another day Stu?)
    Thanks to all for reading and glad to be part of the debate rather than following

  73. Jimmy the Pict says:

    Make the regional selection random from the candidates list. It is a party choice not person.

    That should convince parties to put quality candidates for the whole list.

  74. Grouse Beater says:

    It’s a pathetic system that rescues discredited, voter rejected candidates, and stops fresh talent from access.

    Unless we can alter it for the better, Billy Connolly’s unforgiveable insult is given credence, “It’s a pretendy parliament”.

  75. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Rev Stu,

    You had no First-Past-The-Post option?

    I would go for FPTP for Holyrood until we get Independence. The Tories in Westminster keep telling us it leads to strong government.

    That way we can properly hold the Unionists to account! 🙂

    After indy we can introduce STV/AMS, etc…

  76. Thomas Valentine says:

    Single vote.
    100 odd constituencies. Won by first past post.
    Parties get voting power based on % of national vote.
    1 vote each FPP – MSP the other % votes used by party/group leader.

    Parties get vote share of power.
    But those heard in debates and able to influence have to get public approval to get a seat in the chamber.

  77. carjamtic says:

    Slightly O/T

    What really gets my back up is:

    Exit polls – at Elections/Referendums should be compulsory. (Not doing them is a ‘false’ economy’)

    Postal Votes – In this country the percentage seems high or is that just my perception ?

    These are the things that matter to me at the present,in Indy Scotland lets get all party/voter agreement on a system,decided democratically/fairly.

  78. AhuraMazda says:

    Rev Stuart: “voters rejecting a candidate hasn’t prevented them strolling into the Parliament anyway, sometimes having won as little as 8.6% of the vote.”

    The voters didn’t reject them if the voters knew that the candidates were also on the list and the voters then voted for them in sufficient numbers on that regional list.

    You shouldn’t be dividing the AMS system into two for the purposes of making a judgement on the system as a whole. That’s unreasonable.

    The system as a whole works perfectly well and can’t be blamed for political parties making bad decisions in terms of who goes on lists.

    Moreover, the SNP had people fighting on the constituency side who were also on the list. By doing that they endorse the system and exhibit a willingness to do what we are now criticising others for.

    The biggest loser in this election was RISE, not Labour. Why? Because the system is designed to give representation to smaller parties. Despite that bias, RISE failed to win a single seat.

    The electorate expressed something important with that judgement. RISE and others should listen to the electorate.

    As I just said to Grouse Beater next door, it suits us if the same tired old failed morons are representing Labour. We should celebrate that and attack anyone who dares tinker with this system.

    The electoral system is our best and biggest friend, apart from Wings (of course). Thus far, it’s the only institutional construct that hasn’t screwed us. Love it.

  79. kailyard rules says:

    The scenario of omni-loser Johann Lamont as Presiding Officer at Holyrood would be a gross insult to the place. She is a reject as is Sarwar.

  80. Fred says:

    This wholesale fiddling of the vote must be what’s meant by Ulsterisation.

  81. Luigi says:

    Every time people don’t get the exact result they wanted, they start complaining about the voting system. 🙁 No system is perfect. These things have a way of balancing out in the long run.

    I’m happy with D’Hondt. 🙂

  82. Derek Morison says:

    Losing constituency candidates haven’t been ‘rejected’ by voters they just didn’t come first in a FPTP contest. Personally I don’t think much of J. Lamont but 31% of Pollok voted for her. The idea of a PR voting system is that these 31% are entitled to representation in parliament.

    However the current system is too compicated. I can’t see why we need TWO votes on TWO different ballot papers? Why can’t we have a system with a single constituency vote electing constituency MSPs by FPTP as at present – and then simply allocate additional regional seats by summing the total constituency votes for each party and allocating regional seats on a proportional basis? ONLY candidates who had stood in a constituency in that region could be on the list and they would be ranked in order of the percentage of votes they had received in the constituency vote.

  83. Chris says:

    I would remove the ‘second’ vote to determine the overall composition of Parliament. Instead the list MSPs would be decided based on the proportion their parties got in the constituency votes in the region. In my opinion this would stop parties trying to game the system, avoid accusations of wasted votes and encourage the electorate to vote for their party of choice rather than tactically.

  84. G H Graham says:

    A precondition of standing for MSP is to pass an IQ test with a score of at least 54 which is the mark just above the “Severely Challenged” interval.

    So, that would possibly rule out Johann “Stairheid Rammy” Lamont, Jackie “Five Bellies” Baillie & Willie “Pet Friendly” Rennie.

    What’s the downside?

  85. Luigi says:

    Instead of folk pulling their hair out over the “lost” SNP list votes, perhaps we should pay some attention to all those lost Labour ones. We know where the expected SNP list votes went, but where the hell did the expected Labour ones go?

    This is going unnoticed by many, but it could be crucial. If a significant number of the Labour constituency voters voted for tory on the list, then we could be in for one hell of a fight. Until the analyses are done, the jury’s out.

  86. Big Jock says:

    The more you learn about this system. The more you realise the unionists corrupted it to stop the SNP. They could never have imagined the SNP on 47% of the vote and still 2 short of a majority. Cameron has 37% and a majority of 10 or so.

  87. Mark says:

    About STV: “The downsides are that it loses the constituency link prized by voters”.

    Not really. Instead of having one MSP representing your constituency, you’d have several MSPs representing your constituency. Even if by some fluke they were all from the same party, they’d still have to work hard at constituency level to retain their first preference votes (FPVs) at the next election. STV has been used in all elections in Ireland for decades and Irish TDs are much more responsive to the concerns of their constituents than UK MPs.

    You’re right about (most) constituency by-elections. Any election where there can only be one candidate elected (e.g. Irish presidential elections) effectively turns STV into AV.

  88. orri says:

    I voted STV but would rather have additional members on top.

    The way it’d work is that you have a single ballot paper. Entries are for all parties standing in the region with only those contesting the seat named.

    The first round of votes might pick a winner but regardless of that votes get saved for later. The election in the constituency then goes ahead as normal.

    One all constituencies are filled you proceed to the regional list. The STV election might be slightly slower but the regional list has already been counted so overall it’s faster.

    The criticism of AV/STV is that it might favour compromise candidates or still be unfair to minorities. However if it results in a more proportional result you might be justified in fewer list seats.

    For the next election I’d go for the same numbers of constituency and list MSPs. Especially if there is a unionist conspiracy to freeze the SNP out.

    The main improvement is that it’s always your first vote that counts.

  89. Rev Stu said: “The voters keep voting against people who become MSPs anyway. That’s bad for accountability and may be part of why turnout is low.”

    Fair enough, but given the electoral system, what is the alternative? If you prohibit putting the same people on both ballots, you’ll just end up with MSPs who haven’t got a single personal vote.

    Just for the record, I think Scotland should go Nordic and introduce a system similar to the one used in Denmark.

  90. Labhrainn Macfhearguis says:

    The answer is fairly simple.
    Scrap the constituency seat. It is utterly unnecessary.
    This leaves just the party lists.
    OK. Now how do you get rid of someone you don’t want.
    The answer is found in Norway.
    In Norway you cross off the candidates you do not want to vote for.
    This was used very effectively by the feminists in the eighties. They were sick of the fact that women were not being elected so they started a campaign telling women to vote for whatever party they wanted, but to start at the top of the list and cross off names until they came to the first woman. This basically placed the woman at the top of the list.
    The result was a sort of “feminist coup d’etat”. A large number of rather surprised men suddenly found themselves without a seat and the same number of equally surprised women found themselves with one.
    I said the eighties. Crossing off candidates then only applied to local elections. The present government has recently changed the election law so that crossing off candidates now applies to the General Elections as well. How this is going to play out I do not know. But it does mean that there are no truly safe lists. Voters can get the party of their choice in and remove a particular candidate if they wish. Or if you prefer, they can have their cake AND eat it…
    Coincidently, the “Coup” in the eighties forced the parties in Norway to ensure they had balanced lists and resulted in a general increase in the number of women in politics.

  91. Hobbit says:

    Harry Scott, Morag:

    Pool list seats nationally instead of by region. There’s no real reasons to tie them to regions anyway, as we have seen with candidates running for list seats many miles from their actual homes

    This is what is done in New Zealand, I gather.

  92. Doug Daniel says:

    I’m slightly worried by some people’s approach, especially those who want full FPTP. Folk seem to want to base the voting system on the current situation. Have we learned nothing from the mistakes of the unionists?

    If Holyrood had been purely FPTP in 2007, Labour would have won. It’s only because of the list element that the SNP was able to get 47 MSPs and become a minority government in the first place.

    Labour and Tories have always favoured FPTP because it has allowed them to get parliamentary majorities without getting a majority of the vote. That’s why the system will never change at Westminster.

    Just because FPTP would suit the SNP right now, doesn’t mean it always will. That kind of hubris is what led to Labour’s downfall, as they assumed the system they put in place to give them a permanent advantage would always give them a permanent advantage. Labour have effectively been hung by their own petard.

    Let’s not be like them, eh?

  93. pitchfork says:

    To be honest I’m less upset about this than many others appear to be.

    %seats at holyrood matches pretty well to %votes cast so proportionality is fine. The constituencies do keep some ties to local area.

    Lets not forget that it wasn’t so long ago that most SNP MSPs (including Sturgeon) were elected by the list having failed to win FPTP constituency.

    I can see some attraction in tweeking the system to allow canidiates on the list paper to be ranked in order. either from the entire list, or perhaps bettre within the single party that the voter choses. However I’m not sure that the ballot paper might not end up too complicated. – Remember what happened when that political genius Dougie Alexander organised the Scottish Local elections to run on the same day as Holyrood elections?

    I could live with STV, but I think d’hondt isn’t all that bad.

  94. Kevin Evans says:

    Morag @ 12:19

    If someone got near to winning there constituency and only lost by a small margin then that qualifies them to a list seat. But if someone loses spectacularly like many of the list msps then the voters have clearly rejected the idea of them as an msp.

    So I stand by the statement that is common sense.

  95. pitchfork says:

    Also my gut instinct is to worry about how tactical unionist voting under STV might impact on next years council elections. But I’m confident this is exactly the sort of topic which Stu and James K are likely to examin in some detail.

  96. G4jeepers says:

    So it should have been SNP1/Ruth Davidson CON UNI2 in order to kick the Tories out of Holyrood?

  97. Doug Daniel says:

    Chris: “I would remove the ‘second’ vote to determine the overall composition of Parliament. Instead the list MSPs would be decided based on the proportion their parties got in the constituency votes in the region. In my opinion this would stop parties trying to game the system, avoid accusations of wasted votes and encourage the electorate to vote for their party of choice rather than tactically.”

    I rather like this idea. If nothing else, it would eliminate tactical voting – for instance, a Labour voter couldn’t vote Tory, because then they’d be reducing Labour’s proportion of the vote. So you wouldn’t get Willie Rennie winning a constituency thanks to tactical unionist votes.

    And it also means parties can’t try to get elected off the back of nicking list votes off of a more popular party – they’d have to actually do the hard work in constituencies as well.

  98. call me dave says:

    Even if the parties in Holyrood agree to a different system (fat chance) would it not require the nod from Westminster?

    Best to leave as is until we, in an independent Scotland, can start on a fresh page.

    Murdo (tory) and Elaine (lab) throw their hats into the ring now.

    The Presiding officer is ‘neutral’ and doesn’t vote having resigned from the party which we all know but the other two deputies can retain their party allegiance and vote.

    New ship (not built in Scotland) will be anchoring somewhere in the West of the Shetlands soon to exploit (not Scotland’s oil)
    and tax of this oil will be going to WM (not Scotland’s friend)

    But never mind Eh! We voted NAW!

    Gordon has spoken darn Sarf! Can you hear me running?

    Good song…Mike and mechanics.

    Swear allegiance to the flag
    Whatever flag they offer
    Never hint at what you really feel
    Teach the children quietly
    For some day sons and daughters
    Will rise up and fight while we stood still

  99. Grouse Beater says:

    Doug Daniel “I’m slightly worried by some people’s approach”

    It has bugger all to do with what suits the SNP now.

    A duff candidate is a duff candidate no matter which party, especially if they’ve had years in office to prove it.

    We complain bitterly about Westminster’s career politicians. Well, we have a system to nurture our own.

  100. Papko says:

    Doug Daniel

    “Just because FPTP would suit the SNP right now, doesn’t mean it always will. That kind of hubris is what led to Labour’s downfall, as they assumed the system they put in place to give them a permanent advantage would always give them a permanent advantage. Labour have effectively been hung by their own petard.

    Let’s not be like them, eh?”

    Prescient words, the writing is on the wall.

  101. wee e says:

    In response to Breeks, if it was FPTP, The SNP would have 59 seats, Tories seven, LibDems four, Labour three, Greens none.

    Even if all 129 seats were FPTP constituency seats, and even if the SNP only got half those extra 56 seats, the result would still have been a big SNP majority, more than 80 seats.

  102. Derick fae Yell says:

    Control over the electoral system has been devolved to Holyrood, subject to a 2/3 majority in Parliament for any changes.

    As follows:

    Section B3 of the Scotland Act 1998 reserves to Westminster

    “Elections for membership of the House of Commons, the European Parliament and the Parliament, including the subject-matter of—
    (a)the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002.
    (b)the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Representation of the People Act 1985, and
    (c)the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986,”

    The Scotland Act 2016 Section 3 (1) amends the Scotland Act 1998 by removing the words ‘The Parliament’. (the Scottish Parliament) from 1998 B3

    Therefore the provisions of the three Acts a, b and c above are no longer reserved to Westminster, and are now controlled by Holyrood

    These three acts basically are the whole of electoral law.

    Section 11 (5) of the 2016 Act gives the Presiding Officer the duty to require a super-majority of 2/3 of MSPs before an act changing any of:

    “a)the persons entitled to vote as electors at an election for membership of the Parliament,
    (b)the system by which members of the Parliament are returned
    (c)the number of constituencies, regions or any equivalent electoral area, and
    d)the number of members to be returned for each constituency, region or equivalent electoral area.”

    The Scotland Act 2016, Section 11 (5)(b) is the method of election.

    Elect via, D’Hondt AMS, STV, first past the post, best of five scissors paper stone., whatever. Want to ban postal voting on demand? Require ID to vote?

    All that is enabled by this section, if 2/3 of MSPs support it.

  103. Les Wilson says:

    Maybe they should only be allowed on the list vote if they were narrowly beaten, say 3000 or so, maybe less.
    The list would have a second option to choose from if the the main option was heavily rejected.

    That would be “closer” to the concept of democracy, as it is the Unionists were rejected on some big figures that should never have allowed any politician to just transfer to the list vote.
    That most certainly NOT democracy. Of course that applies to all parties, but the Unionists were the case in point.

    What these figure do show is just how bad the actual Unionist vote was, to highlight all this was excellent work Stu.

  104. Skip_NC says:

    Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina. I haven’t voted the other side of the pond since the late 1990’s and in Scotland since 1987. I’m sure things have changed. Is technology properly utilised? If not, why not?

    I think most of us could agree that too many people do not understand what they are voting for. So use technology to make it simpler. You go to a booth with a computer screen. Computer guides you through your choices. Constituency is easy. Then select the party you want on the list. From there, rank the candidates. As others have mentioned, this is used in Scandinavia. The next bit is crucial. Once the voter has cast their votes, a print-out is provided. This way, programming errors do not affect the result (it has happened here, where technology is widely-used). Feed the ballot into a scanner, which counts the votes.

    This, of course, does not solve the issue of postal votes. If it were up to me, I would return to the rule that a postal vote is for the elderly or infirm, or those who are travelling for work. Do as is done in most states here – have early voting for a couple of weeks before the election. Here in Wake County, NC (about the size and population of Lothian Region) one can vote early at any early voting site in the county. All sites are open on the weekend and most are open until around 7pm on weeknights. Proper use of technology makes it possible. They have every possible combination of ballots available – one year I had Version 32, covering over a dozen races.

    The idea behind D’Hondt is that the list vote is a list for the party. I believe that Helmut Kohl never won an election in his life. So make the rejected candidates work for their list votes from those who support that party. I know this system is not perfect. How does the average voter rank a dozen candidates of the same party? It would, though, give a voice to the electorate in deciding whether or not those rejected in the constituency should also be rejected on the list.

  105. Votadini Jeannie says:

    Would a time restriction on being allowed on the list be feasible? E.g. to be on the list you can’t have stood unsuccessfully in any election, including Westminster, for, say, 5 years. This would have prevented Sarwar from strolling back in this time, and of course the 46 failed constituency candidates wouldn’t have got in either. This wouldn’t trouble the SNP who have a large pool of talent to choose from.

    Saying that though, I do wish my SNP candidate had been on the list, but I think he felt it wasn’t necessary as he was up against Iain Gray – who saw that one coming?

  106. DerekM says:

    You do know that all your great ideas are pointless,in 2014 we voted as a country to remain in the UK so until that changes discussing electoral systems inside the UK is pissing in the wind.

    But think of it this way that could have been the last time we ever use that system because by the time we have to do it again we might be free,so if anything we have possibly one more election like this.

  107. call me dave says:

    @Derick fae Yell

    Thanks for that information.

  108. stonefree says:

    I thought Davidson stood as a constituency candidate as well as list Number 1?

  109. Juteman says:

    The main change has to be in postal voting. It has to be tightened up.

  110. schrodingers cat says:

    there was no mention of electoral reform on any party manifesto

    gutted that the labour old guard got in, even a few disgruntled ex slab constituency msps who got the dunt tweeted that kez hadnt even bothered to phone them to comissorate with them since friday

    indeed, they also tweeted that kez had not phoned them since the slab list had been published a few months back. an indication that slab had gerry mandered the lists and not everyone was happy

    anyways, surely this discussion should have been had before the election? ukip have been whining since 2015 that they got far fewer seats than the snp with a bigger share of the vote. then again, the snp did have electoral reform on its 2015 manifesto, PR and the abolition of the HOL, er, ukip didnt.

    this election is past, this thread is for the next election in 2021

    time would be better spent discussing the 2017 electoral process, i put forward a motion to the snp spring conference for a line to be added to the council reform section of the manifesto to include reform of the council electoral system. it was rejected. we have no mandate now to reform the council electoral system and will just have to use it.
    an explaination of how it works would be more useful

  111. John McCall says:

    I think it is hard to establish that voters have “rejected” a constituency candidate. You can only vote “for” a candidate. Have those candidates who did not come first past the post been rejected? Not by those who voted for them. Indeed those who voted for the “selected” candidate may be in a significant minority. That is the problem with FPTP.
    There is an argument that candidates who actually have a personal vote, even if only up to 1 less than the constituency MP, are more legitimate to include in the Parliament than list MPs who definitely were not voted for on a personal basis.
    I favour STV because it is fair and understandable. It increasingly obvious that the FPTP + d’Hondt system we have now is impossible to understand and simply generates heaps of pointless whatabootery.

  112. MJack says:

    I think one change which should be made is that the party with the largest number of votes gets first list msp before being devided which will give a stronger parliament and these votes would not be wasted as they have been when voting for the snp on the list this year in most areas.

    Why do we want a parliament which is proportional and cant get things done? Westminster is FPTP so that it doesnt produce a coalition but somehow Scotland should almost always have a coalition!

  113. Petra says:

    Thanks for the article Stu. Brilliant as usual and yes it’s an absolute disgrace that Holyrood is filled with a bunch of losers, rejects, that the electorate clearly didn’t want. You can see why many people can’t be bothered to vote when they end up with, say, a Tory in Glasgow.

    I didn’t vote in your poll because I don’t know if any of the suggestions will have the desired effect. Don’t know enough about it basically.

    Has anyone on here studied what’s happening elsewhere for example in Scandanavian countries? I also read somewhere recently that Israel seems to have a fairly decent electoral system. Mmmhh that one would have to be checked out.

    Whatever the case something has to be done about this as it’s utterly diabolical for the Scots and makes a farce of all the media bombardment we’ve been getting about the Tories in Scotland basically ‘winning’ the election. Once again you’ve shone a spotlight on the reality of the situation and combatted the media’s propaganda machine.

    The only thing that keeps my chin up is that Toothy Moothy Roothy (et al) knows the facts and that is that she’s leading a party of plonkers, in the main, that the Scots didnae want. That and a bunch of the uncontrollable (by her) OO volkssturmmann crew that will no doubt create havoc when the Indyref2 show gets on the road.

    You know the old sayings ‘judged by the company that you keep’ and ‘like attracts like’. In this case the despicable Tories at Westminster England and the dregs of humanity in Scotland. Hell mend them. Good enuff fir them.

  114. Dr Jim says:

    @Grouse Beater

    Of course when Billy Connolly made his unforgivable remark about Scotland’s “Pretendy Parliament” he perhaps should have ruminated on the fact that one day he might be a “Pretendy Comedian” and in that, he has succeeded

    Modern lights get brighter with use whereas older lights fade away and burn out (That’s my wee profoundy bit)

  115. Free Scotland says:

    Hey, let’s use the data from the appendix above – by that, I mean publicise it far and wide – to remind the red and blue tories that they are represented in parliament by a bunch of rejects.

  116. Kavinho says:

    Why not simply reduce the number of available list seats relative to constituency seats, thereby increasing the value of winning the constituency seat?

  117. DerekM says:

    I disagree the big yin got it right it is a pretendy parliament always has been and always will be inside the UK.

    Doesnt mean i agree with the rest of waffle he spouts but i can assure you he did not come up with the term pretendy parliament he nicked that from us old Labour indy folk as that is what we screamed the day we got our parliament back after figuring out those bastards in westminster and in our own party had screwed us over once again.

  118. Lollysmum says:

    Everyone seems to be proud of the fact that Scotland has proportional representation. You may not like D’Hondt but “it does what it says on the tin” as it allocates seats roughly in proportion to how the electorate voted. Living currently under the FPTP system & cognisant of its failings, I would certainly welcome D’Hondt system as a clearly better way to reflect voters wishes.

    Surely it’s not too difficult to find a way around the seatwarmers problem. FPTP system just encourages careerists & seatwarmers-once in a seat it’s difficult to get rid of them.

  119. pitchfork says:

    For what it is worth I personally doubt that the voting system has much impact on turn out. I suspect more people vote in Westminster elections as that is percieved to be the more powerful body, then down the pecking order via holyrood to local councils and EU.

    If the voting system were responsible for lower turn out, then that would be a pretty poor argument for switching to STV as turn out is even lower for loal governement elections which already operate under STV in Scotland.

  120. Another option which you appear to have overlooked Stu is that no candidate should be allowed to stand on both the constituency FPTP AND the list.

  121. Big jock says:

    Dr Jim – Connolly was fond of that phrase often used by Slabour politicions:” I am an internationalist”.

    Until big brained Pat Kane said:” The word internationalist, contains the word national and nationalist.Without nations the word could never exist and neither could the extension inter. So in order to be an internationalist you accept that there are nations”.

    What he was saying was that everyone comes from somewhere as a starting point. People like Connolly think that by being fom Scotland, it makes you narrow minded unless you put it under the UK umbrella. They by default, subordinate Scotland and legitimise the UK, as a legitimate nationality.

    So Connolly is simply wrong and the phrase is a misnomer. It’s used to defend the cringe he feels at being Scottish as a stand alone nationality. In other words you cannot be a Scot and broad minded. It says so much about the brainwashing that takes place from cradle to grave in Scotland.

    He hangs about with Royals when he should be hanging about with Tommy Sheridan. The Royals use Scotland as a playground and he plays along with the joke.

    Nae time for the man!

  122. Bruce L says:

    None of the above. In terms of sitting MSP’s on the list, only party leaders and deputy leaders should be allowed.

  123. David says:

    What would be wrong with dividing Scotland into 129 (if that is deemed to be the optimum number of MSPs) constituencies and having 129 constituency MSPs all elected by FPTP. Avoids all the problems of ‘undeserving’ MSPs and has a goodish chance of returning a reasonably proportional result.

  124. Ian Sanderson says:

    PS the weather here in Tarbert, Argyll has been braw and looks good for another couple of days… You should have come up for a break….

    Had two BBQ dinners already & looking forward to another couple….

  125. yesindyref2 says:

    The other big problem with any change to the system is that on the Constituency vote, with 22.6% of the vote Labour should have had 29 seats, they got 24. Whereas the Conservatives with 22.0% should have had 28 seats, whereas they got 31. So with the proportional vote the Unionist two parties would have had 2 more seats.

    But more than that, which is the best fore Indy? Labour clinging on to 2nd place, the main opposition? Or being humiliated into third place by everyone’s “dreaded Tories”?

    I know which I prefer, and it’s what happened.

  126. cearc says:

    I rather like our system but agree that the list should open.

    In the Netherlands all candidates are listed in their party column in the order selected by the party.

    You can either tick the box at the top for the party or tick an individual name. The personal votes can then move a candidate up the list.

    In practice most would probably just tick the party. Others would vote for the family, friend or name that they recognise.

    I would think that the list MSPs would probably look much the same because it is voters who support that party who are voting for them.

    If, say Sarwar, is as unpopular with current Labour voters as he is with non-labour voters then someone else would be voted up the list.

    Andy Wightman could have been voted up the list and got in if the Greens had only won one list seat but only if the people voting for the Greens wanted him not because people from other parties think he would be better.

    You need another option Stu, as is but with open list.

  127. Robert Peffers says:

    Stagnant Pool? Rev Stu.

    Mair like, “The dead Pool”.

  128. Petra says:


    Billy Connolly: He’s made it VERY clear that he doesn’t want Scotland to be Independent. The Scotland that helped him on his way to be (financially) Independent through using us Scots, in a jokey way, by highlighting at every turn how wee, poor and stupid we are.

  129. scunner says:

    Wow, where’d you get the pic Rev?

    I pop over to Wings and see one of my childhood haunts!

    As a wean in Macduff in the ’70s, I used to go to Tarlair all the time.

    Took my kids there last year. Sad to see it in such a decrepit state – Aberdeenshire Council unwilling to spend anything on upkeep and probably waiting until it’s condemned so the can pull it down (despite its Category A listing).

    In the summer it had a cafe, I remember hanging out, Blondie on the Jukebox, Space Invaders & Galaxians coin-ops. Early ’80s they tried a Music Festival.

    Every other winter the weather would chuck wardrobe-sized rocks over (or through!) the wall and fill the pools. Cooncil would get a JCB in and empty them back. Now the changing block is a wreck and the main building is falling down.

    Sorry for being so off-topic. We can argue for the next five years about how rubbish the Holyrood voting system is but they’re not going to change it are they?

    How about in-depth analysis of the Council Elections voting System and its opportunities/pitfalls, or you can scold me and point me to an old article I’m too lazy to look for just now…

  130. Hamish100 says:

    tipping down?


    Like the article though, nice cool drink in the sun reading it through.

    The glare is a bit of a bugger though.!!

    where’s the factor 50?

  131. Robert Graham says:

    Well as more than a few have pointed out we can’t change the voting system without English MPs agreeing to it so any discussion is just that a discussion .
    Tony Benn bless him got it right , and by the results the Rev has provided the present system is pish so bin the fair representation junk it doesn’t f/n work not in some bleedn theory but in Practice .
    FPTP if a candidate gets within 10 % of that they get a seat if not piss off , life’s a bitch live with it .

  132. seanair says:

    O/T. Came out of Scottish Parliament yesterday (don’t ask) and passed a wee huddle of folk including Johann Lamont and Patrick Harvie. Sure I heard Patrick promising to get the Greens to vote for her as Presiding Officer. You heard it here!

  133. cearc says:

    By the way, what a great art deco pool, what a waste. Ok, maybe outdoor swimming in Banffshire isn’t a great money spinner but surely it could renovated with additional uses sports/conference/theatre?

    Fantastic weather here as well. I’m back out to enjoy it.

  134. DerekM says:

    For those of you who think FPTP is not the correct way i only have one thing to say the reason FPTP does not work in the UK is because of boundary changes.

    This allows sitting MP`s to remove areas inside their constituancy that did not vote for them or bring in areas that backed their party but might have lost that ward ,making it almost impossible for the opposition to win back the ward,FPTP UKOK corrupt style is not what i am suggesting.

    Boundary changes are the biggest UKOK fruad on democracy ever and is why most UK governments get 2-3 terms in office regardless if they are complete idiots,it becomes almost impossible to remove them as they can manipulate the vote.

    Boundary changes should never be the choice of government but of the constituancy affected it should be their choice if an area should move to another constituancy not a political party.

    FPTP does work just not when you let political parties who have won elections change the goal posts.

  135. Greannach says:

    Interesting to see the comments about Billy Connolly. I thought I was the only person who didn’t like the man. I’ve always thought of him as a latter day Harry Lauder: using where he came from as material to make a quick buck, whilst rising about it to mingle with his social superiors.

  136. Dafydd Williams says:

    The last Labour government in Westminster legislated to prevent candidates standing for both constituency and list seats in Wales (when Peter Hain was Secretary of State for Wales. This rule applied to the 2011 election but was repealed by the Tories just before the recent Assembly election. Interesting that the same issue now arises in Scotland.

  137. scunner says:

    Tarlair in the 60s…

    Did Labour look that good back then?

    Tarlair now:

    See last week’s news for the state of Labour now.

  138. schrodingers cat says:


    jethro tull played there in the 90s

    crowd on the rock cliffs around like a natural ampitheatre

  139. Grouse Beater says:

    Greannah: “Interesting to see the comments about Billy Connolly”

    Billy Connolly:

  140. bjsalba says:

    I don’t see this as being a problem with the system.

    If the Unionist parties want to foist these deadwood politicians on their supporters by list, if they cannot do it by constituency, that is their prerogative. I doubt that it will attract a rush of new members to their parties and that is just fine with me.

    I suspect that many of the dyed-in-the-wool Unionist voters do not care about the name or calibre of the person who sits in Holyrood, just so long as they are “their Party” and not SNP.

    Life as a list MSP a lot harder than being a Constituency MSP. There is a much larger area to cover, and no more time to do it in. The ex-constituency MSPs are going to find the travelling a burden, if they do the job properly. It will be up to the constituents to see that they do.

  141. Kenny says:

    Billy Connolly: I recently heard him crack a joke at a show that I can confirm I heard at primary school …. in the mid-1970s!!

    He is a typical 90-minute ProudScotBut judging by the way he and Judi Dench turned up in cringe-worthy “shortbread-style” tartan rags at the premiere of “Mrs Brown”…

    I never found him funny at all! He is crude, yes, but you can find that in a school playground. Personally, I think Americans do humour better anyway…

  142. Big Jock says:

    Billy Connolly stopped being funny when he stopped talking about where he came from.

    I believe it was probably the late Eighties when he was Billy big time doon sooth. The exact moment was when he made a joke about Johoba Shampoo. Then it was onto hanging about wth Charles, making films about Queen Victoria and being seen with the luvvies.

    The guy is an oxymoron. He says he believes in less bureacracy and detests patriotism. So he wants power over Scotland centralised in London. Long to reign over us. The moncarchy are the most patriotic and anachronistic relic of nationhood still in existance. He likes them but hates Scotland taking democracy back to the people who live there.

    He is to understanding politics as Donald Trump is to understanding world peace.

  143. Craig P says:

    I dont have any major beef with the current system. It is pretty proportional which is hard to argue with. The one enhancement is in the ranking of party list candidates. It is parties who choose this ranking rather than voters.

    So for example, in Lothian Alison Johnstone topped the list for the Greens despite being known for fuck all. Whereas if you wanted to get respected campaigner Andy Wightman elected you had to hope the Greens got enough list votes for two MSPs.

    However if the electorate could choose their list party and then the party ranking, there would be no doubt Wightman would have topped that list.

    The downside is that the paperwork required at the ballot box may be impractical.

    I love Sledger’s idea of turnout related pay for Members!

  144. Macart says:

    A massive injustice in electoral terms, mainly for the people of those constituencies, but also for the parties themselves surely.

    The simplest change to make of course is not to allow the same name to appear in both positions. If there is no new talent, then there is no new talent to put forward in that region and that is down to that party’s choice. What you cannot do IMO is put forward the same bod twice effectively giving them two bites at the proverbial. If a person is rejected by the population of a constituency its a pretty safe bet they have a good reason for rejecting that person. To then float them on the list party ticket is simply throwing their vote back in their face.

    Personally, from the choices above, I quite like the Rev’s idea as a replacement for the current system.

  145. how about if the leaders had a bare chested fight and the winner got the majority,which would be The Lovely Nicola,

    then say, The Ruthfuhrer fought Mad Kezzy for second place,

    Wee Wullie and Procrastinating Patrick could hold the jerseys.

    makes about as much sense as the system we have.

  146. Ken500 says:

    There are moves afoot to bring the Tralair swimming pool back to public use. There has been for some time. There could be plans coming in the pipe line depending on budgetary constraints etc. A nice area for a visit.

  147. heedtracker says:

    There’s an awful lot of yoon culture that is going to take an actual generation to change, tory BBC led media gerrymandering Holyrood elections, probably forever and dudes like Billy Connoly, who got rich mocking drunkard Glasgow. And who loved him for it, the BBC.

  148. Dave Robb says:

    I confess to being a bit of an anorak – I like the D’Hondt system.

    It has a decisive constituency element. It gives a considerable degree of proportional fairness. It’s hard to “game” successfully as we have discovered.

    I think the Party lists should be “open”. It’s not only party members who vote for the parties’ candidates, and this would allow new blood in and prevent abuse by party hacks with deep pockets or a notebook full of other people’s indiscretions.

    It avoids all the “cunning plan” attempts to get round who we would have liked to have benefitted, while chucking out our list of those we like to hate.

    If D’Hondt is complicated it’s probably best not to make it worse by too many extra combinations/ exclusions/extra rules for those we don’t like. The party list exists – people have an idea who is top of it – so ticking the candidate on your list wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

    I don’t like STV – too easy to “game” – a two-edged sword.

  149. Bill Steele says:

    It seems to me that it would be fairer to abolish FPTP for constituency seats. All only one candidate from each party and apply the mechanics of PR. I have not really thought it through. it’s my spontaneous response.

  150. Clapper57 says:

    BBC QT this week in Aberdeen Ruth D from winning party in recent Scottish elections is on …..sound man at BBC beware as she is known to be often very shouty (with an ‘ou’ not an ‘i’ and double ‘t’) ,constantly interrupts and is generally very badly behaved in what is supposedly meant to be a civilised debate but in reality is a glorification of all things unionist.

    Can we expect a rerun of Dundee QT audience with different people ( perhaps) but same voices ? I say watch the audience and note their names and follow the line of questioning….I sense a Tory revival theme and the appetite for independence is now diminishing mantra, people want to move on, hold SNP to account ( that old yoon chestnut…again…. yawn… but not mention WM Govt. policies or Euro Tory infighting ok),perhaps a sprinkling of what’s happened to Labour party…is it the Corbyn factor? no mandate second referendum in fact a Tory unionist political propaganda broadcast.

    And if that was not enough to tempt you they also have Alex Massie …yeh….Lord Falconer…yeh…no Lib Dem…aw….or UKIP….aw….and last but not least Lesley Riddoch and John Nicolson , the two token pro Indy panelists, which is fair enough as Scotland is now a Pro Unionist country what with Tories winning election last week.

    And lets not forget impartial Dimbleby ….what the friggen hell is not to like eh…you tell me….must see TV…replace yir tin foil hat with a union jack cap….cause they will be rolling out da barrel and we’ll have a barrel of fun , roll out da barrel cause we’ve got the BLUES on da run…

    I have lost the friggin plot …stop the world….don’t want to get off just want a real dose of reality Scottish style which sadly ain’t gonna come from watching BBC QT…Abloodymen to that.

  151. Legerwood says:

    Just saw that Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood have tied in the election for First Minister of the Welsh Assembly. 29 votes each.

    As I said a couple of threads ago, better be nice to the Greens because the SNP need their votes if Ms Sturgeon is to become FM.

  152. Big Jock says:

    The other point about Connolly is his support of Celtic!

    His love of the union, if we can call it that. Does not sit well with the working class traditions of Celtic. Mind you the same could be said for warmonger John Reid.

    They appear to support one thing and then another contradictory thing at the same time. Cognotive Dissonance.

    That could describe the entire Scottish Labour party.

  153. Iain More says:

    I abhor the STV voting system there is nothing proportional about it. I regularly fume about the Scotland haters transferring their votes to each to keep us down and prop up the corrupt incompetent Brit Nat Regimes like one that is running Moray Council.

    I would like to see the STV system for the next Council elections abolished as they are nothing more than a means of propping up Brit Nat control of most of Scotlands Councils. We need rid of them before the next Referendum quite frankly.

    It is a pity we cant choose the candidate ranking in the present system but then not everybody is politically knowledgeable enough to truly make that work.

    I am quite content to see the SLAB old guard back to drag their Party deeper into the electoral abyss where they belong. So I am not really thinking of changing the system that they invented to keep Scotland down. It makes the coming fight simple for me, it is Scotland versus the Scot hating British Tory Party.

  154. Ken500 says:

    Boundary changes are necessary because of rise and fall of population in different areas as per representative members. Representation is links to population. It is supposed to bring a regulated elected members to numbers of the electorate. E.g. 1 representative to the same number proportionate of the electorate. I.e. 1 representative per the same % of the electorate.

    It is supposed to be nothing to do with the Gov at all. Their only responsibility is to make sure the organisational elements conform to the guidelines. To give conformity of representation. 1 rep per same proportionate number of the electorate (as a %). 1 rep per x thousand? of electorate – in unison. For equality and fairness.

  155. Returnofthemac says:

    Made this point previously. Don’t think the D’Hont system was set up to let LOSERS like Sarwar, Lamont, and oh aye the leader Duggie in, as I think she once put it “in through the back door”
    Pretty miserable system when, as you point out, 44 are constituency rejects.
    But then they have no shame, Is Sarwar bothered that he was booted out as an MP, then rejected as an MSP. Na. He will line up in Holyrood to hold the SNP to account. FFS.

    O/T see the Gordy monster has woken from his slumber. still pacing up and doon though preaching project fear.

  156. Ken500 says:

    Could religion be kept out of politics? If possible. Thanks – same for football. Or even American citizens who are irrelevant to Holyrood Elections. Don’t even have a vote.

    Connolly even stated, – he was staying completely out of it? ‘No comment’. Did he? He could be extremely when reminiscing. He brought a lot of money – trade into Scotland. Worldwide sales etc. tourism. Ex pats. The disaporia

  157. Edmund says:

    The voting system in Scotland is far preferable to any other in the UK.

    It maintains a constituency link. It’s simple to understand – the parties are ‘topped up’ to reflect the vote share in the second vote across the regions. It’s produced Parliaments that broadly reflect the vote at every election, and the difficulty of obtaining a majority has forced politicians to debate rather than simply argue. Even small parties like the socialists or Greens or UKIP are in with a fair chance of representation.

    The lack of dramatic ‘Portillo moments’ and high-profile beheadings of political figures is a very small price to pay when weighed up against all the advantages.

    For Westminster we are stuck with the exciting but unfair and unrepresentative FPTP. You guys up in Scotland should be trying to win the arguments rather than getting sidetracked trying to meddle with what is a very good voting system.

  158. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Legerwood, yep and it seems the only Lib Dem voted with Labour to keep Leanne out.

  159. orri says:

    The biggest problem with doing away with regions is that you let acts of god, as in weather, decide turnout which in turn decides the overall balance. Storms in one part of the country might reduce those who turn out whilst sunny dry conditions in another increase it.

  160. Proud Cybernat says:

    How did Kez vote, Rev?

    Oh wait….

  161. call me dave says:

    Welsh Assembly: Deadlock in vote for first minister

    PS: 🙂

    36% of Scots believe Scottish Labour is ‘finished’ – poll

  162. shy unionist says:

    Out of interest, how many goes did it take before Nicola Sturgeon managed to win a FPTP election?

  163. Big Jock says:

    Ken football is part of life as well. The point was made to provide an example of his Cognotive Dissonance.

    He didn’t stay out of the referendum. He chose the status quo over change. So he was backing no!

  164. Big Jock says:

    Dave I am surprised it’s only 36%!

  165. call me dave says:

    @Big Jock

    Aye I know but the dandelions and the daisies are always there too
    The remedies never quite do the trick.


  166. Brian McHugh says:

    I voted restricting losers seats… but think the number should be limited to one per region… 7 in total nationwide.

  167. Petra says:


    @ Big Jock says at 4:19 pm …. ”The other point about Connolly is his support of Celtic!”

    I don’t think that matters either way Big Jock. Lulu seemingly supports Rangers and she’s another ‘Scot’ that’s taken it on herself to speak out in interviews on behalf of the whole Scottish nation, in particular Glasgow, by reinforcing the stereotypical mean, violent drunken Scot; and how the rest of the UK just loves it …. hanging onto their every word with bated breath.

    They both grew up in families where their alcoholic fathers seriously abused them. That’s sad but it’s not everyone’s familial experience and they shouldn’t portray it as such …. just speak for themselves and not project their psychological baggage onto others. Great how a wee bit of fame, and mixing with THEIR supposed betters, goes straight to their head and turns their brains to sludge (suffering from the I am the unelected Scottish ambassador syndrome) or is more about just making a fast buck.

  168. Jules says:

    Stu the reason why Westminster elections get a higher turnout is because of the unending media hype that precedes them for weeks on end.

    We still get the vast majority of our TV from London; this is a perfect example of how that translates into behaviour and attitudes.

  169. Ken500 says:

    If a Party gets nearly 50% – + higher% than any other party they should have a majority.

    The Green (Indy supporters?) are backing Lamont. Who believes half of the people of Scotland are viruses. Along with her Parties members who believes people in Scotland are ‘not fit to run their own affairs’. Has that been discussed or does it have Green members sympathies. Has that been confirmed?

  170. Petra says:


    @ Ken500 says at 4:34 pm …. ”Connolly even stated, – he was staying completely out of it? ‘No comment’.

    He’s actually made of number of comments about Scottish Independence and Nationalism. All negative.

  171. Black Rab says:

    Wow, Tarlair outdoor swimming pool where I learned to swim. It’s in Macduff on the Moray firth coast where I was born

  172. Socrates MacSporran says:

    My take on Billy Connolly has always been – he stopped being funny the day he came out as a Celtic fan.

    In the early part of his career, he never admitted to a definite preferred football team, but, hinted at being a Partick Thistle fan – which sort of suited his image.

  173. Ross Mac says:

    “the constituency link prized by voters”

    For how many voters is this true? I woke up on Friday to find that my MSP was Ruth Davidson. The Tories were the only party who didn’t chap my door in the run-up to the vote. (Sarah Boyack appeared in person, twice!) I didn’t come across a single leaflet, never mind a poster, making a ‘link’ between people living in this area and Ruth Davidson. She didn’t even try.

  174. Tinto Chiel says:

    I agree with carjamrics thoughts @1.26 regarding the need for exit polls and about restricting postal votes to those who would be unable to vote in any other way. I find it strange that fit and healthy people who know they will be in the country for the vote can’t be bothered walking a few hundred yards to the local primary school or hall. There is also the problem of temporary residents like students and holiday-homers who seem to be able to play the system.

    No voting system is perfect but making changes to the above arrangements would ease my mind a bit about the 2017 elections. I also think the SG could do with trying to educate the electorate on what the STV system means. Confusion and misinformation are the Yoonsters’ friends.

    And deeply depressing to see the list of deadbeats in the The Rev’s article, matched only by the possibility of Johann Lamont, aka Stalin’s Grannie Mk.III, becoming PO. How can someone who called nationalism a virus possibly be impartial?

    I’d prefer even Toryboy to that grim prospect.

  175. Jamie Arriere says:

    Sorry, but this is an absolute non-issue with me. I celebrated the introduction of proportional systems in both Holyrood & local government elections, and nothing that’s happened makes me want to return to FPTP for anything – those steps by themselves ended the Labour stranglehold which held us all back for decades.

    While having an open list might help to keep out the most objectionable candidates in any party, I’m willing to let parties in the end decide who their representatives are – and if they are folk who can’t get themselves elected on a straight vote, why should anyone fear them.

    Waste of time

  176. David MCCANN says:

    It may have been hinted already earlier, but can we not have a hybrid version?
    For he constituency vote use FPTP, and for the list vote use STV, making allowances for votes cast on constituency.
    The present system, although ostensibly proportional is blatantly not fair.

  177. Ken500 says:

    The difference between voter % for GE and HE is closing. HE was 55%. (norm) A change from one of 40%. If this system continues it could go down again, I.e. ‘Why bother’. One step forward, two steps back. UK GE have regularly got 55+%.

    Re Indy Ref One comment that was reported re Connolly – on TV from his own mouth. ‘He was staying out of it’. Smile – ‘No comment’. It could have changed at some point. Love him or dislike him. He certainly put Scotland on the Map (worldwide). A positive Ambassador.

    The only way to change the present outcome. If voters wisen. If SNP/Independence. Or more Independence minded than Party. Always vote SNP both. Never deviate.

    GE are really important as long as Westminster keeps on deciding taxation, taking Tax money from Scotland and deciding how to spent it. Against majority in Scotland’s wishes. That is one of
    the main problems.

  178. Tinto Chiel says:

    carjamtic, sorry.

    Johann Lamont has a terrible effect on me noives.

  179. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    For me the worst aspects of the current AMS system are (a) the unnecessary complication of two votes when one ought to suffice, and (b) the fact that list MSPs are effectively chosen by party hacks and not by the voter. AMS is nothing more than a crude “bodge” tacked on to FPTP to make it somewhat less of a democratic affront.

    I don’t believe this “constituency link” issue is nearly as important as advocates of FTFP and AMS claim. Multi-member Scottish council wards work perfectly well – if you have an issue you can approach whichever councillor (of whichever party or none) you prefer. They generally tend to “load-share”, devoting their attentions to those areas in which their own party supporters are most numerous. The arrangement also tends to encourage inter-party co-operation.

    No voting system is perfect, but the simple choice STV offers voters to place candidates in a simple ordered list (with as few or as many selected as they wish) is very easy to understand, and offers the possibility of a true tactical vote for those inclined to exercise one.

    Best of all, it eliminates the most unsatisfactory aspect of AMS – this unhappy divide between “first-class” and “second class” MSPs.

  180. call me dave says:

    The Sainte-Laguë method is named after the French mathematician André Sainte-Laguë, and is similar to the current system used to allocate seats on Holyrood list vote.

    It was proposed by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2011 as the method for calculating the distribution of seats in future elections to the House of Lords before reform of the upper chamber was dropped.

    Who are these campaigners?

  181. call me dave says:

    UK industry in recession for third time in eight years

    Among the ruins…

    However, the oil and gas industries saw sharp gains, increasing production 17% in February, and 10.9% in March from the same months a year earlier.

  182. Ken500 says:

    Things change since 2000. Using 2003 etc elections to illustrate now, is not helpful. Without comparing the differences. Voter turnout age, gender etc. Electoral numbers. No of 16/17 year old etc. The same SNP progression is likely to happen in any case. It is likely it could/would have still happened. Under any system. E.g. same happened GE but FPTP. Still increased.

  183. Dr Jim says:

    Scottish entertainers

    When in Scotland they toady up to whichever side of the city they think will buy more of their product (Rod Stewart) big case in point
    When these same entertainers are in England they become Scottish accented Brits big time and their whole tone alters to sell their product down there

    Thus it is thus it will always be, even with Independence

    The only thing they do wrong is when they open their big stupid mouths and answer questions on politics which they should never do, instead making it clear the ballot box and their conscience is a private matter

    Because the big mouthed gossipy English right wing press will bellow it print it and show it on the telly for all they’re worth because they loathe us that much and hope it will also damage the nitwits who allow themselves to be put in the position

    I’ll just leave this name: Stanley Baxter

  184. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T Maybe.

    Heavy police presence at St Giles Cathedral today about 3.s0.

    had to go for train.

    Any Ideas?

  185. Ken500 says:

    Were Connelly’s ‘Pretendy Parliament’, ‘Nationalist’ comment not made nearer the time the Parliament was set up? 2000 + A lot of people were making ribald comments. Even those who totally agreed with Devolution etc. (Having a laugh). Not at the time of the Ref 2014.

    The ‘I am staying out of it’ laugh ‘No comment’ seemed to relate to him getting a lot of stick previously for comments. Or he must have been making different comments, of which folk are unaware. His health seemed to be failing at the time. The helicopter crash period. Nov 29 November, 2013.

  186. Lollysmum says:

    Robert Kerr at 6.03pm
    Brenda’s eldest Charlie was there apparently.

  187. Almannysbunnet says:

    @Robert Kerr says:

    Prince Chucky was at the kirking of the Scottish parliament.

  188. Marco McGinty says:

    Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, spewing more of his anti-Scottish hatred today.

    Unionists are such nice people.

  189. galamcennalath says:

    IMO there should be the present system with one small change.

    There should only be one vote. Initially they should allocate FPTP constituencies. Then all the votes across each region should be added up and deliver the top up from a party list, as now.


    Easier to understand. One vote. One party. A concept which is well established.

    The Rev’s point about rejects being voted in doesn’t bother me. They are top ups for parties and therefore the party’s choice. If you don’t like the party, or those at the top off the list, don’t vote for them.

    What about small parties, some will say. Tough. I don’t like the idea there are two levels of party, one which stands in every seat, and one which only appears on lists. I think this is getting in by the back door. The list should be to top up not deliver alternatives.

    So how do small parties get started when it costs about £40k to put a candidate up in every constituency? Perhaps the cost should not be per constituency, but a lower one off for all. Say £10000.

  190. Ken500_fan says:

    Please, more comments from Ken500.

    Why can’t he be commissioned to write whole articles?

  191. ephemeralDeception says:

    I guess I am with Morag and Doug on this.

    However the real change that is really, really really, really needed must be to:

    BAN BLOODY POSTAL VOTES, as many other EU countries have done due to potential of massive fraud.

  192. Robert Peffers says:

    @Edmund says: 11 May, 2016 at 4:36 pm:

    “You guys up in Scotland should be trying to win the arguments rather than getting sidetracked trying to meddle with what is a very good voting system.

    Aye! and perhaps you guys outwith Scotland should remember that the Establishment of England has imposed EVEL upon the, “Her Majesty’s Parliament of Her United Kingdom”.

    Yet there actually is not a single matter in that den of iniquity that is English only. That is because it is, “Her Majesty’s Parliament of her United Kingdom”, established on 1 May 1707 by the Treaty of Union 1706/7.

    Thus it is, “Her Majesty’s Treasury of Her United Kingdom”, that funds every single item in Her, (three country), English Kingdom. There is no such Treasury nor any such funding as England, (the country). England, the country, is being funded, and treated, as Her Majesty’s United Kingdom – which it clearly is not for the English Kingdom on 1 May 1707 had annexed Wales in 1284, (Statute of Rhuddlan), and annexed all Ireland in 1542, (by The Crown of Ireland Act).

    Thus, “The Treaty of Union, (1707), undeniably a legal bipartite treaty between the two equally sovereign Kingdoms of Scotland and the three country Kingdom of England.

    Under which bipartite treaty it is totally illegal to have the bipartite parliament split up on the lines of countries, as opposed to a Kingdoms.

    The figures are such that Her Majesty’s parliament has stacked the parliament against one of her two former kingdoms. There are at present:-
    533 England Members.
    59 Scotland members.
    40 Wales Members.
    18 Northern Ireland Members.

    That is there are 533 England Members who thus can outvote the 59+40+18=117 A.N.Others as follows:-

    533-117=416 a clear England majority of 416 over all others. Yet the English are so frightened of losing Scotland that the brought in this evil EVEL legislation which will assure that the United Kingdom has ultimately legislated itself out of existence.

    Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!

    It’s comin yet fir aa that.

  193. Wulliie says:

    Ruthy MacThatcher. I like that lets rub it in.

  194. Karmanaut says:

    Maybe some way to penalise unpopular candidates?
    One ballot paper.
    If, as a party, you don’t win a constituency, your candidate’s votes go in a nationwide pot. Then you can use that vote pot to top up votes for each of your candidates so they match the winning candidate’s total. So someone who lost by 100 votes will only need 100 votes from the pot to become an MSP. But someone who lost by 10,000 would use a big chunk to get through.
    Haven’t thought it through, but it *seems like* you would get a proportional system if you choose the most popular of your candidates to be MSPs. But if you wanted to force through unpopular candidates, then you would have fewer MSPs. But that case wouldn’t be proportional… So…

  195. G4jeepers says:

    Vote for your choice of diddy for presiding eejit

    Limited choice, couldnae rate none o them.

  196. K1 says:

    I’m just delighted some people who voted No seem to be commenting on Wings, come on people come forward and let’s hear more of what your thoughts are on everything, we’re not enemy you know, just people with differing views…it’s good to talk…let’s find common ground 🙂

  197. K1 says:

    Oh look at the state of Duncan Hothersall on that Labour uncut article…hahahaha…he’s losing it…again:

  198. FairFerfochen says:

    Also in the commons today

    Alberto Costa (the wee Skoddish maffioso greaseball in Lie cester)

    “May I also congratulate Oliver Mundell on his election to the Scottish Parliament?

    Will the Secretary of State confirm that he will continue to champion the Scotland Act 2016, which he steered through the House and which has given so many powers to the Scottish Parliament to ensure that the Scottish people continue to benefit from being not only in the UK, but in the EU?”

    Odious little git.

  199. One_Scot says:

    Hands up, I don’t really know anything about it, but would anyone know, are we getting hammered on the postal vote side of things.

  200. Dragoon Guard says:

    The photo brings back child hood memories. it’s Tarlair beside Macduff.

  201. Bob Mack says:

    The problem with leaving it as it is, means you are agreeing to a system specifically designed to limit the power exercised by the SNP or any party outwith Westminster control. It was a system created to control Scotland,not liberate it.

  202. Ken500 says:

    Some not well supported Parties can’t get members. There is limited choice because of such low numbers. So can’t get enough credible members to stand. They only have a choice or can chose from incompetents. Especially if they are unpopular becaues of previous behaviour. Those who can do. Those who can’t join Unionist Parties. The SNP is funded by it’s members so can make economic gov choices more freely. No vested external presure from outside interests. = good governance.

    Parties do get Gov funding enbloc, for electoral administration and expenses. It goes by nos of elected members seats etc. Separate from each individual members expenses. Small parties do get funding for these expenses. Covers loses. At Westminster it can be £Millions even for smaller Parties.

    UKIP Got £Millions £134Million? There were arguments with Farague and elected UKIP MP (s), because Farague wanted to get his hands in it and take more (extra) than the MP was prepared to claim. To fund the Party. The MP wasn’t happy because he wanted to keep it right. Big argument. Big fall out. There are political rules. Political Parties are not supposed to be funded by non allocated public money. They are supposed to raise other Funding separately. Members or donations or contribution. Supposed to be strict Political rules. If broken it is electoral fraud. Punishable by prison. Some politicians have gone to prison for electoral fraud. It is classed as embezzlement.

  203. Breeks says:

    Out of interest, is this the first time the d’hondt system has directly influenced the difference between a hung parliament and an outright majority? Isn’t it perhaps a quirk of the vote rather the system itself being faulty?
    I’m curious specifically how the SNP got their outright majority last time and not this time. What changed? Why didn’t the same d’hondt system reel in their majority last time with list seats designed to offset the SNP’s majority?

  204. Alan of Neilston says:

    Have you all noticed that after last weeks Elections all over the “U.K.”. Scotland’s Parliament was portrayed as having elected a “Minority” potential government by all the M.S.M. However no mention of a similar position in the Welsh Assembly!! Now see what is reported today when the Welsh Assembly is attempting to appoint a First Minister. Come on Leanne Wood. Both she and Carwyn Jones are tied in a 29-29 draw. The M.S.M. at their worst.

  205. ronnie anderson says:

    @ cearc Sorry for not getting back to you sooner been busy shopping getting things ready for hope to see you soon

  206. Balaaargh says:

    It’s all swings and roundabouts. The first two parliaments saw a lot of SNP MSPs from the list who didn’t win in the constituency.

    What matters to me more is that the best representatives of each party are there so there are no excuses from the opposition about a one party state.

  207. caledonia says:

    question time in aberdeen tomorrow
    and someone from financial times/sunday post merryn somerset webb

  208. ronnie anderson says:

    @ cearc Sorry for not getting back to you sonner been busy shopping & getting things ready for

    last post disappeared.

  209. Ken500 says:

    @ stop making veiled threats about any Greenie blocking Nicola for FM. (Being nice to Greenies? etc) It has been noted. Typical Greenie. They do act like Brownies, looking for smarties. { : > ) } yellow smiley face or not? ? In honour of Trump the great green donator. Along with the other donations $ cheques which flowed into the coffers to fund the big campaign. From Landowners and abroad. The international family. Kerr Ching. The louder the squeals, the bigger the total. Never mind what the local majority felt. They had to be telt.

    @That would be the final straw. Go for it. There would be riots in the streets of Edinburgh and elsewhere, pitchforks would be out.

    It might be more productive to grow some organic vegetables and sell them at the street market. The random boxes are said to be very popular. More so than the smarties.

  210. Much has been made of our lack of an SNP overall majority. This is deceptive. SNP governed over most of the last parliament from a minority position as it supplied the Speaker, lost three members who went independent and lost one on a domestic abuse conviction. So with the opposition supplying the speaker this time the SNP position is now exactly the same.

  211. Ken500 says:

    QT is that all Unionist majority again. Won’t be watching. The BBC will never learn. Totally non self aware.

    £3.7Billion for that nonsense. (Enough to relieve poverty) They have to cut it £100Million (austerity). The luvies are moaning.

  212. Ken500 says:

    @ Epic convoy.

    That looks brae. Good luck. An adventure especially in fine weather. Watch the midges. Avon preparations. Does the trick every time. Any dogs – mind the lymes tabs.

  213. Grouse Beater says:

    Lethally mediocre MSPs and the plain inept are as bad as each other. It doesn’t matter what party they represent. The last thing the electorate want is a kind of perpetual picnic for the hard of hearing paid for by the public purse.

    When a doctor or consultant proves severely wanting in his medical practice, or is accused of it, he or she gets hauled up before the Medical Council and asked to explain why their standards are unacceptably low.

    No such supervisory system applies to politicians in our voting system. The poorest of the poor come bouncing back, and believe me, an inept politician can be as bad as a dilatory doctor.

    The voter in any democracy is supposed to be the judge, but under our cockeyed system empowerment is rendered null and void.

    Of course, all governing administrations have their quota of idiots, freeloaders, and the useless. But that isn’t the dilemma. The question is, how does our system avoid re-election by default? It has to be earned.

    In altering a system that exists we have to check what the consequences are of the changes we think might produce a higher standard of political representative who justifies re-election. Stuart in his topic above does exactly that; he puts up choices, states the plusses and minuses – which is good logic.

    It’s clear to me that an MSP rejected in a constituency vote, but brought back to parliament with a low regional vote has to have a problem justifying their existence, especially if it’s their second or third time around.

    The follow-on question surely is, how do we attract new, dynamic talent when we have a system that encourages the indolent and the useless to do absolutely nothing to get re-elected? There has to be a cut-off point beyond which a candidate is told – go home.

    What are to be the value standards of re-election?

    That’s a valid question to debate.

  214. Tinto Chiel says:

    Broadsword calling Ronnie Boy, Broadsword calling Ronnie Boy:

    Good Luck. Beware Brora Contingent Hell’s Grannies.

    Over and out.

  215. cearc says:


    I sent you an email.

  216. Chris says:

    I would say stopping candidates standing in both constituency and list seats, like labour used to do, would solve the problem.

  217. Chic McGregor says:

    “Common sense would suggest if someone is not supported in the constituency seat by such a margin they should not be allowed to get in by the back door.”

    Understandable reaction, however we must remember that success for a candidate in the list is dependent on the total regional vote for their party and on their position on the list.

    Also, low percentage attained in a constituency does not necessarily reflect a fair assessment of a candidate’s ability.
    For example, a Labour candidate drawing the short straw and standing in a Tory safe seat.

    Fair accountability is a devilish thing to accommodate.

  218. Tam Jardine says:

    OT Received my EU propaganda brochure from HM Gov through the door today.

    It is interesting that when Cameron was tinkering around the edges before and during his renegotiation there must have been significant drawbacks with the EU or benefits to leaving as his support for remaining in the EU was conditional on securing new terms. On that he was quite clear. Hell- why are we even having this discussion if it is completely cut and dry?

    For the UK to go full project fear in the HM Gov propaganda is abysmal- there is not even a pretence that there exists a different view even though the government’s position a few short months ago was that if we didn’t get what we wanted, ie if our relationship with the EU did not significantly change Cameron would support leaving.

    We are paying for the government to feed us propaganda. Aye- not exactly news I know.

    Anyway- the propaganda tells us this is a once in a generation decision. Was there a law created that I haven’t picked up on that stated you cannot revisit a referendum question more than once in generation? The tories dragged us to this EU referendum and now they are telling us we can’t revisit the question anytime soon? Democracy is coming across as a right old pain in the arse for the establishment… like having to fill in a tax return or visiting a relative you can’t stand.

    Have Gove, Boris, Farage or IDS been asked repeatedly to rule out a second referendum within a generation? How do they feel about this issue being apparently resolved for a quarter of a century through some newly invented convention if the vote goes against them? The answer to those questions will be most revealing in our context

  219. DerekM says:

    @ Breeks

    It has to do with the 1st vote Breeks if the SNP had won the same number of constituancies as last time then the list would have giving us a few list MSP`s,this time we smashed the 1st vote which cost us on the list.

    I pointed out before the only way the SNP could have got a majority was if they dropped out the 1st vote in certain areas letting another party win that seat and picking up list MSP`s,which in itself its just plain daft to try.

    Last time we won the majority because Labour won seats and we picked up the list MSP`s.

    Though anybody saying SNPx2 was bad is talking out a hole in their arse,if we had put the second vote to another party then you could be looking at Ruth tank girl as FM in a yoon coalition.

  220. yesindyref2 says:

    Good luck with the convoy. Could I suggest to be a damp squib, splitting into small groups over single track parts, to allow the likes of doctors, midwives and ordinary punters (like me for instance) going about business, to make progress coming the other way, and be able to overtake if going the same way?

    Don’t forget to use passing places to allow overtaking!

  221. Ken500 says:

    The Presiding Officer gets another £103,000? Does that include MSP salary, then+ expenses. Looks like it. Another £40,000? Don’t rate any of the candidates, especially Murdo Fraser. Lots of the new intake have 2nd jobs, businesses, interests. It will be interesting to see Mr Burnett whose family owns half of Deeside, Interests declaration, it might be quite long and large. No comment.

    The basic salary is quite low (depending on expenses) for the responsibility, for the top Cabinet posts of qualified people.

  222. ScottieDog says:

    Playing devils advocate with the poll results so far, wouldn’t it be true to say that the SNP benefited to an extent pre 2011 from the current electoral system?

    On another subject I know we have been classifying blairite labour and the lib sums as closet Tories but for me the best way to classify the 3 are as neoliberal. Interestingly the first UK party to adopt the neo-liberal approach was labour during the Callaghan govt.

  223. Ken500 says:

    @ DerekM

    + Precisely. Totally Nightmare.

    Everybody who supported Independence/SNP must stick to SNP x 2. The deviants cost more seats. It only needs a small number of transfered votes (proportionately) to tip the balance, if everyone stick to same 1st + 2nd Party choice. it would change to similar to FPTP. Take out the deviation. If people really want to deviate, that is their choice but they should realise the danger.

    If Davidson had got in. It would have been a disasterous danger to the economy./society Combined with Cameron who doesn’t care. Especially added to the inexperience and incompetence. It just does not bear thinking about. That is what make people so anxious and worried.

  224. Thomas says:

    K1 @ 6:44

    My name is Thomas, and I am a Yoon!

    I have been reading sites such as this, BC, CS and others for several years now and whilst obviously not agreeing with a lot of the politics, I do enjoy the articles and BTL debate.

    I have often wanted to join the debate with an ‘outsider’ perspective, as you have asked nicely here is some thoughts on the current voting system.

    I think the FPTP plus AMS method is about as fair as we’re going to get. The make up of Holyrood is broadly inline with how the votes where spread.

    I’m sure if we looked at previous elections then the List contingent would probably be mostly made up from failed FPTP candidates so the idea of MSP’s rejected by the voter doesn’t concern me, indeed I think we vote in favour of a candidate rather than reject the other candidate s.

    Stu’s article sometime back, AMS for dummies (I think) was the best explanation of how the system works, and frankly if after reading that voters can’t get their head round the system then there’s no reason to believe STV will prove any easier to understand. I believe most people are upset with the result rather than the system.

  225. yesindyref2 says:

    Reason I mentioned that was I was told about a midwife trying to get through to a birth behind a convoy of 30 capmpervans a few years back. Luckily she had a mobile and called the polis, they herded the capervans into a field and let them out at 2 minute inervals.

    Probably a good idea to get some police guidance, if the organisers haven’t already. It could be a matter of life and death if the convoy is big enough.

  226. yesindyref2 says:

    Head’s wasted (streaming with the cold). That was between Durness and Tongue.

  227. Ken500 says:

    Can’t stand that Costa. He is abnoxious. He should go for an extra long coffee break on expenses, as per usual.

  228. Dr Jim says:


    I’m afraid there’s no defending Billy Connolly I can’t lay my hand on the exact comment but there was even worse to come from the politically ill informed and downright dense Mr Connolly when he likened Nationalism of the SNP type to the old Nazi stuff and nonsense

    The trouble with Billy is by the time he left Scotland as a Labour guy his head was full of what he was told by other zoomers in the Labour party so had no knowledge of what he was talking about when he said what he said

    I think of it a bit like Councillor Terry Kelly (except he’s not funny) he knows not what he says because he’s an idiot and he can’t learn any different because he never wanted to and would refuse if given the chance

    The difference between the two though is people pay attention to Billy Connolly and those people think he’s a representative person who’s views are relevant
    and given he does understand that he shouldn’t, and as you rightly said, at one point didn’t give his opinion

    BTW I’ve not got a down on him, he is who he is and deservedly so
    I’m just against celebrities thinking that their opinion is more valid than yours or mine or the postman’s who have no public voice

    Here’s another name I’ll just leave…. Michelle Mone

  229. Colin Dawson says:

    I would keep the current system but change the way the list MSPs are selected.

    All list MSPs should have to stand for a constituency seat.

    Instead of the parties deciding the order of candidates on the list, the order should be decided by the electorate.

    For each party for each region, candidates who fail to win their constituency seat should be ranked according to the percentage of votes they won in their respective constituencies. The candidate with the highest percentage of votes gets the first list seat awarded to their party. The one with the second highest percentage gets the next seat their party is awarded on the list and so on for each party.

    This method keeps some linkage between list MSPs and regions but gives the electorate some ability to decide which list MSPs deserve a seat and which ones don’t. It would prevent the likes of Anas Sanwar from not standing in a constituency and getting put in first place on the Glasgow list, which all but guaranteed that there was nothing the electorate could do to reject him.

    One downside of this proposition is that it would force small parties and independent candidates to stand for a constituency seat which has various financial and democratic consequences. Perhaps an exception could be granted for small parties and independents.

  230. yesindyref2 says:

    Part of the point by the way of the d’Hondt system is to give smaller parties a chance to get MSPs. So people can pick the candidate or main party of their choice for the constituency and give their list vote to a smaller party if they want, a party that would have no chance on FPTP.

    The d’hondt system actually worked perfectly for the Greens, and would have for the LibDems if they’d failed in the Constituency.

    My only improvement would be to pool all the “wasted” list votes at the end for all 8 regions, and select 4 or 5 extra MSPs. Which would probably mean UKIP with 2% of the vote would have got 1 MSP which, proportionately, was their due, if not even 2 MSPs.

    It should be all about democratic representation, and has nothing to do with “failed” or “rejected” candidates.

  231. Iain More says:

    Off Topic

    So what is the latest on who is going to be Presiding Officer. I have barely been following it. I suppose it is SLABs turn since they haven’t done it before. Well that or my memory has gone. As long as it isn’t Mrs We aren’t Genetically Programmed, the Doc Strangelove of SLAB.

  232. Iain More says:

    Off Topic Again!

    When does the new SNP SG Cabinet get announced? I just hope that Fergus Ewing gets the heave when it is! Oh and Lochhead needs replaced as well!

    Time for some fresh blood in the jobs they have had.

  233. G H Graham says:

    Billy Connolly is as uplifting as discovering you have dysentery while on a Greyhound Bus driving through Nevada in July that’s still got 400 miles to go before it stops for a toilet break.

  234. DerekM says:

    @ Ken500

    Aye Ken i dont think people figure out just how close we actually came to that nightmare,and the whole ploy of trying to split the SNPx2 vote was an attempt to sneak a yoon coalition into parliament.

    The greens and rise were just useful idiots for the yoons who played them like chumps by bigging them up in their propoganda broadcasts and papers.

    Fortunatly enough of us figured that out,and the greens and rise wonder why we went on full assault on them,they were playing on the other side even if they were to stupid to figure that out.

  235. Kevin Evans says:

    Chic @ 8:20pm

    I completely get the point your making but if a labour candidate standing against a safe Tory seat that gets out in the community getting a public profile and there constituents knowing there face and personality would do just fine even in a safe Tory seat. Is that not the kind of msps we want.

    I came from the Ochil constituency where our MP (Martin o Neil) stayed in Edinburgh and was hardly ever seen in Ochil.

  236. Rock says:

    The idea of constituency MSP and the FPTP system for that causes the problem.

    I would like a system where the number of MSPs corresponds exactly to a party’s nationwide share of the vote.

    Parties with MSPS should be obliged to be directly answerable to voters.

    And a Swiss style referendum system.

  237. Chic McGregor says:

    @iain More

    If it isn’t one of the Greens, I would like to see Mike Rumbles get it. FWIRC he was always a bit less hostile towards the SNP.

  238. Petra says:

    @ K1 says at 6:44 pm …. ”I’m just delighted some people who voted No seem to be commenting on Wings, come on people come forward and let’s hear more of what your thoughts are on everything, we’re not enemy you know, just people with differing views…it’s good to talk…let’s find common ground.”

    Totally agree with you K1. It would be nice to have more undecided or No voters visit this site. Great to get into a civilised discussion / debate with no nasties from anyone on here. Determine why they don’t want to live in an Independent Scotland. I, for one, don’t want WoS to be no more than a ‘bubble’ for a wee clique.

    @ caledonia says at 7:39 pm …. ”question time in aberdeen tomorrow
    and someone from financial times/sunday post merryn somerset webb.”

    Well that should be interesting. Will it be three (four including Dimbleby) against Yousaf and Sillars?

    Will it be four (five including Dimbleby) against Yousaf?

    Will Better Together Dugdale and Mundell Unite …. in defence of the Union?

    More than anything will Jim Sillars use the short time that he has getting into the Unionists ribs (and he can be good – EXCELLENT at that) or will he let his ego drive his rhetoric and score an own goal?

    Jim if you’re reading this (well you never know) use the opportunity to demolish Mundell, at every turn … when you you can, such as on his ‘Scotland is the most powerfully devolved country in the World’ garbage. Cram in as much data as you can for example that Scotland has been financing rUK for decades. Don’t let them ‘USE YOU’ to undermine the SNP / Independence cause because I’m sure that’s what Dimbleby will attempt to do.

  239. Dragoon Guard says:

    I saw a comment mentioning the 1706/7 Act Of Union.

    I believe vertually every clause/concordance in it has been broken by the Brit Government.
    Does that not void it?
    Is the Act still a legal document in any way?

  240. Stewart fae stoney says:

    Why a picture of Tarlair swimming pool?(I think its Tarlair) apart from its similar to the above list of Tory MSP’s- run down, useless and not much use to the constituents

  241. fat boab says:


    – abolish the list.
    – increase constituency seats to 146
    – allow parties to field two candidates per constituency.

    Problem solved:

  242. Stewart fae stoney says:

    Stupid me I have just seen the headline

  243. fat boab says:

    (to clarify – every voter would have two votes obviously)

  244. Cadogan Enright says:

    Rev, Single transferable vote works well SO LONG as the constituencies are small. The benefit of this is;

    1. It keeps contact between constituency and elected rep AND

    2. In a 3 or 4 seater you could go to your own SNP or if you are a yoon a Tory for help in your own area which folk prefer

    If the area is too big with too many seats the link gets lost.

    This works – we have been doing it in Ireland for years. It has been copied in NI where the number of seats is being reduced to 5 per constituency next year.

  245. Luigi says:

    The only thing worse than seeing so many yoon constituency rejects getting on the list would be to see a yoon reject elected as thenext presiding officer. I hope it won’t happen. 🙁

  246. Onwards says:

    Re. Billy Connolly – I think he has mellowed with age. He was totally anti-SNP in the past but by the time of the referendum he didn’t want to get involved, and said “Whatever happens is OK by me.”

    He was also quoted as saying “I don’t have great belief in the Union of England and Scotland. But I have a great belief in the union of the human race.”

    Most people of that generation were anti-SNP, and from working in the shipyards, if you didn’t vote Labour you were some kind of a ("Tractor" - Ed). But that was decades ago, and times changed.
    The heavy industries were decimated and Labour had nothing much to offer a post-industrial Scotland.

  247. Raymond Coane says:

    I chose the Wings option, but I’d go further and restrict the number of losing constituency candidates on the list to 0. Effectively you either chose to stand in one or the other and if you lose you don’t get a seat. And it would be easier for people to see, if they wanted to, which candidates they were voting for in each.

    But it’s not as severe as forcing incumbents off the list, as that would really disadvantage the smaller parties, and effectively mean 56 incumbents would lose their seats each election.

  248. heedtracker says:

    Legerwood says:
    11 May, 2016 at 4:18 pm
    Just saw that Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood have tied in the election for First Minister of the Welsh Assembly. 29 votes each.

    As I said a couple of threads ago, better be nice to the Greens because the SNP need their votes if Ms Sturgeon is to become FM.

    If Green’s do do a red and blue tory Project Fear combo and block Scottish independence when we decide, just like SLab they’ll be toast in five years too.

    Scottish Green’s have piggy banked and exploited genuine world wide environmental worries and concern, and D’Hondt obviously.

    But the real threats to the Scottish environment and renewable energy production is toryboy world in London. That’s who Harvie and co should point their guns at but they probably wont. What you going to do Greens, nationalise the Duke of Freakinbuccleuchee?

    Duke of Buccleuch might have something to say about it too

    Scottish Greens are just another tiny crew of middle and upper middle class hand wringers and they’ll leave the real environmental battles to the SNP, who will ofcourse not be Green and therefore bad.

    So no more threats little Scottish Greens. You made big enough fools of yourself in Aberdeen.

  249. Petra says:


    Interesting article on an issue that really cracks me up.

    The Long Letter in todays The National (readers letter page) by Donald Anderson Glasgow:

    ‘Culloden protests betray a change of heart by the NTS – The scene of the Battle of Culloden has been subject to much historic vandalism.’

    MARTIN Hannan (The National, May 10) reported that the National Trust in Scotland criticised the plans to build 50-metre high electricity pylons near to the ghostly site of Culloden. It was not always thus. A road was deliberately built through the Highlanders graves and a forest planted on the site.

    The trees have now been removed creating an eerie lunar-style landscape. The NTS built a tea room on the site where the Butcher’s men murdered and burnt the Jacobite makeshift hospital with the wounded still inside the old barn. In contrast, the Redcoats had a nice white picket fence, while many of the clansmen were dumped in “mixed” graves.

    Recently the Chief of the Clan MacMillan asked for a clan stone to mark where his clansmen fought alongside the Camerons. He was told that there was “no room”. No room for a stone on Drummossie Muir?

    The historic vandalism was further entrenched by their sanitised video and account of the period in their tatty, expensive, towrist shoppe, as in Glencoe and Killiecrankie and many other sites. The NTS do not even have a road sign at the Robroyston memorial site, raised by public subscription in 1900, to mark the betrayal of the national hero, William Wallace.

    Glasgow Council, responsible for allowing private builders to develop around the area, refused to acknowledge or help maintain the site.

    A statue to Wallace commemorating this victory to the Battle of the Bell of the Braes was refused, until one built by public subscription was finally granted in Provands Lordship’s back garden to be viewed only at opening times, then finally promised to be hidden in the Necropolis where no one would see it other than the city’s poor down-and-outs seeking refuge.

    You would think that the cooncil would have cashed in on the Braveheart blockbuster by erecting statues, plaques and memorials to his activities in the city. Hysterical critics reacted to the film, not because of the costumes or other historical inaccuracies, but to the very fact that the film was made at all. Not a cheep from that ("Tractor" - Ed)ous brigade about all the Hollywood hokum and Ealing erroneous films about English Imperial histories. No, not one.

    No road signs for the Battle of Bonnymuir, just a cairn erected by the 1820 Society. Nothing at all planned for the United Scotsmen uprising of 1797. Nothing to Thomas Muir of Huntershill, whose house was owned and vandalised by the local Council, just waiting for an “accident” to happen, benefiting the local developer.

    Even the local Thomas Muir School was rebuilt and renamed Bishopbriggs High to erase his memory.

    Not even a statue to the great Scottish Republican Socialist, John MacLean, once promised by Provost Pat Lally, who managed a bust to himself in Lord McConnell’s wife’s City Art Galleries.

    A gallant Irish dragoon, in French service, who defended the Highlander’s retreat, Commander Du Lally, has no monument to him neither. Perhaps we can stage an orchestrated Yankee-style removal of Donald Dour‘s statue in Buchanan Street, like Saddam Hussein when he was deposed?

  250. Ann says:


    I chucked the goverment propaganda straight into the paper bin for recycling without even looking at it.

    Wonder how many more will do the same.

    Total waste of tax payers money.

  251. ArtyHetty says:

    Regards the position of Presiding Officer, surely J. Lamont should not even be considered after she spouted her incredibly insulting and derogatory remark not so long ago, ‘the Scottish people are not genetically programmed to make political decisions’. Or whatever it was exactly she said, it was despicable in the extreme, and not fitting for someone who may be employed, at great expense to preside over those very people and the people they are employed to represent, and who she accused of being unfit for politics.

    Do your country and her people down so blatantly, but er take the generous renumeration, awarded for what exactly. Something for nothing IMO.

  252. heedtracker says:

    The Oil Capital of Europe’s has foodbanks that have run out of food. They’re soup kitchens, in Aberdeen, where dudes like billionaire Ian Wood lied historically for teamGB 2014, how his non Scots oil reserves are all but gone, so vote NO, or else.

    Callum McCaig MP Facebook shared Instant Neighbour’s photo.

    It is very upsetting to see that Instant Neighbour have run out of food at their foodbank in Aberdeen.
    If you would like to donate but can’t easily get to St Machard Drive, my office staff at 39-41 Victoria Road in Torry can transport supplies to the Instant Neighbour hub, as will Maureen Watt’s staff at 51 Victoria Road in Torry.”

    Will BBC PQ crew allow this UKOK real world discussed this evening.

  253. Petra says:

    @ Onwards says at 9:31 pm …. ”Re. Billy Connolly – I think he has mellowed with age. He was totally anti-SNP in the past but by the time of the referendum he didn’t want to get involved, and said “Whatever happens is OK by me.”

    Onwards at the beginning of 2014 he was running the SNP down to the ground such as by attempting to compare us with Nazis (as someone mentioned earlier). Narrow minded, bigoted Nationalists stirring up trouble and so on. I clearly remember it and was raging at the time, especially as his comments were made with bitter, disdainful facial expressions.

    Something must have happened shortly thereafter, such as someone having a wee word in his ear or the fact that SNP popularity was clearly on the rise, as he toned his rhetoric down – shut up on the subject – ”no comment”. Too late.

    He’s a fervent Unionist who used his position as a celebrity comedian in an attempt to influence voters and then had the hypocritical brass neck to say otherwise. Do a veritable U-turn in fact. Mellowed? I don’t think so. Leopards don’t change their spots.

  254. Robert Kerr says:

    Pedant Alert.

    The UK Government bumff came in.

    “…. to remain in the European Union is the best decision…”

    Surely “better” since it is a binary choice? In/Out no third way!

    However “best” is better than “better” so yet more mind games by our betters. They are good at it.

    Time for a dram.

  255. DerekM says:

    Haha did anybody just watch the BBC try to defend pig shagger over his comments on Nigeria being fantastically corrupt.

    Brilliant the head chap of Nigeria said it would be nice if the UK gave them back all that stolen cash they have been allowing ex officials of Nigeria to spend in the UK.

    Ouch you know its bad when you have countries like Nigeria calling you corrupt lol

  256. heedtracker says:

    Petra says:
    11 May, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Interesting article on an issue that really cracks me up.

    All of Scotland’s history and archaeology going back through the Vikings in Scotland, the Romans, iron, bronze, stone ages have either been expropriated, ignored or simply erased by yoon culture, all of it. Even Scotland’s geology is a yoonster voyage of discovery. Our school Higher history ended at the Vikings and began again at the English industrial revolution and Napoleonic Europe. Yoon cultural domination of Scotland isn’t a new thing.

  257. call me dave says:

    Mundell tells SNP to ‘stop obsessing’ about a second independence referendum

  258. Tinto Chiel says:

    Talking of Labour dead wood, it seems El Gordo has started randomly pacing up and down, lecturing poor saps at the LSE on the wonders of the EC, whether they want it or not. Gruesome stuff.

    “We British, yadayadyada…..” in that phoney Anglicised accent as he is interviewed by the fragrant Laura Künssberg (Petition? Wot petition?)

    Thank God I am in a watering-hole to fortify myself against all this sickening drivel.

    Ain’t state propaganda just great?

  259. Capella says:

    O/T Petition to have Laura Keunssberg sacked withdrawn after accusations of sexist comments. Same old tactic as directed at the SNP. Craig Murray has the details plus some updates after this post.

  260. Can I repeat again. I don’t believe you need two votes to provide proportionality.
    If we only had one vote to elect the constituency MP and then clustered these votes in regions and counted the total achieved by all parties in these regions and distributed MSPs on those totals by d’Hondt you would get a pretty accurate proportional result – but all hopefuls would have to stand on the FPTP which I believe should be the case anyway

  261. Fred says:

    @ Petra, this is oor Donald Anderson fae Wings. In my young day there was a memorial to Wallace high on a tenement at the Bell o the Brae, east side of the High Street, it vanished!

  262. scottieDog says:


  263. Valerie says:

    The way Cameron pig fcker is swaggering around these days makes me feel ill.

    To call Nigeria corrupt (in truth they are below the top 30 of corrupt countries) is like some time kind of sick joke.

    I think Cameron must be planning his exit. The UN has ruled the UKs arms sales to Saud as illegal. Robertson raised today at PMQs, there are now 7 police authorities investigating Tory election fraud, calling this gov’t s legitimacy into question.

    There is a possibility the Imam slandered by Fallon and Cameron might consider legal action. Owen Jones mentioned crowdfunding.

    This is the last few weeks, so I won’t list all the other stuff, because you all know it.

    It’s absolutely vile.

  264. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Herald some unknown ex-Westminster labour MP says Labour shouldn’t change tack. She’s right of course, and we chould support her determination. Number of Labour MSPs in the Holyrood elections:

    1999 – 56
    2003 – 50 (-11%)
    2007 – 47 (-3%)
    2011 – 37 (-21%)
    2016 – 24 (-35%)
    2021 – 14 (-42%)
    2026 – 7 (-50%)

  265. yesindyref2 says:

    Richard Walker and David Clegg on something bbc1?

  266. yesindyref2 says:


  267. Artyhetty says:

    Ah, Heedtracker and Petra@9.37 and 10.17

    Hit the nail on the head, but, I have a book, called ‘Scotland before History’, by Steve Piggott, of Edinburgh Uni and written many years ago, I think in the 50s. Worth a read, would be interesting to know what anyone thinks of this book.

    Regards geology, Scotland is without doubt one of the most diverse lands on the planet, being made up of 5 different land masses of the planet as it developed. We were joined with America, seperated from england by a vast sea, (!) the Lapetus ocean and positioned, if I have that right, south of the equator. When I told my born and bred Scottish friends, (reluctant yes, liebour voting, guardian reading, SNP hating folks) that their country is incredibly interesting geologically, the reaction was ultra negative. ‘Huh, but there must be other more interesting countries’ they said. When one called himself north british it went downhill from there. They know nothing of their own history and are not interested, their history is UKok centric, sadly.

    You can find info specific to Scotland, but most of it is via the BGS. British geological society.

    I have read a few brief accounts in books, educational, or guide books of the highlands etc, and all say that the people ‘left of their own accord’. The people of Scotland have been truly shafted by their neighbours. As an incomer it is all the more real, obvious and unjust to see what has been going on for so long.

  268. Petra says:

    Another great article in The National from Wee Ginger Dug: ‘Ulsterised? More like Catalonia in the rain’

    ” …… Thankfully, as reliably as a Lib Dem lost deposit, a new slur has come along just in time. Scotland isn’t a one-party state any more because Ruthie is the new champion of Union. It’s worse than a one-party state. Scottish politics has now suffered full-on Ulsterisation instead. You can tell that from the lamentable fact that if you poke your eyes out with a rusty knitting needle Nicola Sturgeon looks exactly like Gerry Adams, and Yes supporters preach a reactionary religious sectarianism and parade up and down high streets wearing bowler hats and sashes. Oh, wait………

    The term Ulsterisation carries nasty overtones of an armed struggle, of sectarianism, of violence and death, discrimination and abuse. That’s deliberate. It also carries with it implications that the positions of Unionists and independentistas are entrenched and generational and presumably also that the Unionist majority is set in stone ………

    They could have said that Scottish politics were now displaying Quebeckisation. This is also an accurate comparison as the Quebecois national dish is poutine, made of chips, cheese curd and gravy, and both Scots and Quebecois people are far more likely to have a debate about the future of their country over a plate of chips and a beer than they are to throw a petrol bomb while singing songs about Fenian blood………

    Although the only people in Scotland to have been charged with politically-motivated violence, abuse, or harassment have been Unionists whose victims have been independence supporters, the Unionist media is determined to preserve its narrative that there is a violent and racist undercurrent to the demand for Scottish self-determination.


    Well it would seem that the republicans in Ireland are planning fresh attacks on mainland UK. MI5 has just increased the level of threat from moderate to severe. The polarisation in Scotland between Unionists and Independence supporters should NOT be described as ‘Ulsterisation’. It just promotes the idea that this is a sectarian ‘battle’ akin to Ireland and if anything will inflame the situation here with a group of people already keen on resolving issues through violence. Journalists should cut out using such rhetoric to promote their sales (if they do) and consider the potential consequences of their actions.

  269. Sandy says:

    Scotland 2016. Discussing the oath of alliegence.
    To the queen? That goes against many principles. Why not an oath to the sovereign. Problem solved. The Sovereign of Scotland being the people, you & me. they represent us.

  270. scotspine says:

    Just seen Ian Murray on TV. He doesn’t look quite right.

  271. Jim Morris says:

    The list should be national with names decided and order at national conference. Every possible MSP should be publicised well before the election manifestos and campaign. 4million divided by 129: that number of votes guarantees 1 member, to get a second you need the same amount again and so on. 50%+1 gets you a working majority. Each party divides the country by the number of seats and allocates an MSP to “look after that area and those people”, so everyone gets to vote for the party and has a named individual to relate and refer to for help.

  272. Clootie says:

    ….I don’t care! I just want Independence 🙁

  273. liz g says:

    @ Thomas….. Welcome
    Great to see comments from a No voter.
    Please keep them coming.
    If there are any more No’s reading please jump in too.
    I would love to hear your reasons for voting no,because independence to me is such an obvious choice,I struggle to understand why anyone could think the Union a better one.
    During the referendum I did try to look at the other side of the arguments but …..well you will know yourselves how rubbish the Union supporting site’s were and are.
    As for the Media, if you read here,you will also know about the Media.
    So come on jump in and comment it only ever gets robust,and anything that gets too out of line…well that’s what Paula Rose is for.

  274. Ken500 says:

    Although Billy Connolly is funny when reminiscing. ‘The coats on the bed’, ‘the shipyards’ etc which are especially relevant to older persons. Some people have been falling off the couch, rolling about in endless laughter. Perfectly sober,

    Some areas do not have the sectarian outlook – because away from the Central belt in some places it is non existent. Audiences have certainly flock to see/hear him all over the world. Sell outs. That does take a certain special talent. He certainly did put Scotland on the Map.

    The only comments that ever were widespread, – were the ‘pretendy Parliament’ early on and ‘the Nationalist’ comment early on. Some assumed in jest not to be taken seriously. Others people were making comments and having a bit of a go or relative light hearted jokes. People were genuinely not sure how it would go. Even the most enthusiastic supporter.

    Maybe because some folk did find him really funny at times (majority?) It does becomes the case of giving him the benefit of the doubt (without being contaminated with sectarian connections) which in some areas just do not exist.

    No Orange Marches. No what school did you go to or Masonic Catholic/Protestant connections. Folk just mingle and most people go to the same schools and there are absolutely no Orange Marches (every week – shocking) They are totally never allowed – banned as they should have been in Glasgow long ago. That is in a sometimes relative lapsed Protestant areas. Religion is just a private matter and totally ignored. Even families of different religions – (usually) lapsed. There is absolutely no problems. Church membership is declining. From generation to generation.

    Definitely re Connelly. He said he ‘wasn’t saying anything’, smile. Like ‘it got me in trouble before and resulted in a lot if grieve’ Imagine it did. Then ‘No comment’. He seemed to have mellowed towards the Holyrood Parliament, like it was doing some good. That was the impression, but maybe that is second guessing. He was getting really frail and kind of forgetful at the time with health problems.

    Michelle Mone is just not funny. Expect when she is lifting up small Vietnamese men, thinking they are a child. With the wife in the background, saying, ‘Put down my husband’. Honestly. Frightful. All recorded on video. ‘Laugh’. What an embarrassment. The business guru?? With another business (+ the daughter) going down the tubes. What an embarrasment. She was obviously brought in for some reason – the daughter. To cover professional judgement. Swop for legal reasons, Getting bailed out all the time or getting dissolved. Losing the debts? and starting up again. Some con merchants. People losing their investments or a cover up. The Referendum opened up another opportunity to trough on public money. Some people are so disliked, in some quarters. With reason?

  275. Connor McEwen says:

    OK OK Lib. Dems. were RIGHT Proportional voting.
    Start fresh, proportional rep.

    By the way,I.R.A alert is red herring to deflect from Conservative election fraud

  276. K1 says:

    ‘My name is Thomas, and I am a Yoon!’

    Loved that Thomas…good first post.

    One of the great things about Wings as you point out is the discussion btl…and much as we may not agree on the constitutional question, I think we need more input from all the people in Scotland irrespective of which side of that aisle we are on.

    All parties and none either side of the debate, Scotland can communicate with itself and we won’t be told who we are by the likes of the commentariat who are now using terms such as ‘Ulsterisation’ to describe the political landscape in our country.

    Fuck ’em and their provocative pish.

  277. heedtracker says:

    Artyhetty says:
    11 May, 2016 at 10:59 pm
    Ah, Heedtracker and Petra@9.37 and 10.17

    Its a fascinating field. This unfamous Scot is considered the founder of modern geology but his work became the primary influence on Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Its long way from a clown on stage mocking hammered Glaswegians, to the delight of Michael Parkinson types.

  278. Ken500 says:

    The new hip word ‘Ulsterisation’ doing the regurgitated ‘scribe’ round. With every word the ignoramouses just show their ignorance and the fact they have never read a relevant history book in their lives. Shocking. The ignorant, lazy Press.

    It is always surprising how relevant ignorance of historical facts some politicians (Cameron etc) and ‘press’ members can have. Totally shocking misinformation. They have often had the ‘best’? private education and (free) public that money can provide. Private education leaves a lot to be desired. Cameron is supposed to be utterly sharp?, with a 1st Class degree from Oxford. The lapses are behaviour are truly shocking. Certainly no empathy. Alcoholic demeanour. They are just are more concerned, without proper therapy, where the next drink is coming from. He models himself on Churchill. Some similar traits.

  279. Ken500 says:

    IRA alert is definitely a red herring. They have exhausted the Reds under the bed and the Muslims in the cupboard. Now the latest attempt to terrorise the public. EU. Sometimes folk wonder who are the biggest terrorist. ‘ Project Fear’ to control I.e. Westminster. The public are getting sick of it.

  280. schrodingers cat says:

    Thomas says:
    My name is Thomas, and I am a Yoon!

    I believe most people are upset with the result rather than the system.

    Thomas, you make wings sound like an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting 🙂

    I agree tho’, many ukip folk were pissed of with the result in 2015 where the snp got far more seats with far fewer votes. but the snp ran with a manifesto commitment to scrap the fptp system and the house of lords, ukip had no reform of the westminster system in their manifesto so wouldnt have a mandate to reform the system even if they had won!

    the comments btl and atl here are of a similar nature, the time for such analysis was 10 months ago when the snp were formulating their manifesto. there was nothing in the snp manifesto, or anyone elses for that matter, to introduce any reforms, ergo, even if all the unionist parties agreed with the snp (and the commentators here) about reforming the system now…. no one in holyrood has a democratic mandate to do so.

  281. Ken500 says:

    No ‘No’s’ please. They just become an annoyance and split contributions. They have done it to just about every other website. To deliberately ruin them. Independenistas/ Yessers are deleted and banned at will. People are switched off. They are just looking for another place to go. They can just go.

    The reason Wings is so successful is because Unionists are barred. They just contaminate every site.

  282. Thomas says:

    Scottie, ling, K1.

    Thanks for the warm welcome, I was actually very nervous about my first post!

  283. Ken500 says:

    Re UKIP – SNP did not get far more seats with fewer votes. SNP stood in less seats 60+ and got enormously more votes and swept the board. UKIP stood in 600+ sests and did not win. They failed. I.e.

    Divide SNP total votes by 60. Divide UKIP total votes by 600.Or number of seats at which they stood. That will show the difference, The SNP did not get far less votes but more seats. SNP won the seats gained with a massive majority some 30,000. UKIP did not and lost the seat they stood at. They failed. SNP won. I.e. SNP do not stand in the rest of the UK, for obvious ressons. UKIP does.

  284. Thomas says:


    Point taken.

    @Ken 500

    Point taken.

  285. Thomas says:


    Point taken


    Point taken

  286. Petra says:

    @ Fred says at 10:41 pm …. ”Petra, this is oor Donald Anderson fae Wings. In my young day there was a memorial to Wallace high on a tenement at the Bell o the Brae, east side of the High Street, it vanished!”

    Oor Donald Anderson! Good for him. And really good for us. So many highly intelligent and articulate people linked to Wings …. other than Stu (when he’s not swearing). Something to feel proud about.

    @ Artyhetty says at 10:59 pm …. ”Hit the nail on the head, but, I have a book, called ‘Scotland before History’, by Steve Piggott, of Edinburgh Uni and written many years ago, I think in the 50s. Worth a read, would be interesting to know what anyone thinks of this book.

    Regards geology, Scotland is without doubt one of the most diverse lands on the planet, being made up of 5 different land masses of the planet as it developed. We were joined with America, separated from england by a vast sea, (!) the Lapetus ocean and positioned, if I have that right, south of the equator. When I told my born and bred Scottish friends, (reluctant yes, liebour voting, guardian reading, SNP hating folks) that their country is incredibly interesting geologically, the reaction was ultra negative. ‘Huh, but there must be other more interesting countries’ they said. When one called himself north british it went downhill from there. They know nothing of their own history and are not interested, their history is UKok centric, sadly.

    You can find info specific to Scotland, but most of it is via the BGS. British geological society. I have read a few brief accounts in books, educational, or guide books of the highlands etc, and all say that the people ‘left of their own accord’. The people of Scotland have been truly shafted by their neighbours. As an incomer it is all the more real, obvious and unjust to see what has been going on for so long.”


    Artyhetty I remember reading something previously about you actually studying Geology (may have got that wrong). If so brilliant. If I had the time it’s a subject I would like to study too … along with a number of others. So many interests but so little time.

    What you have to say highlights the root of all of our problems; the insidious root that has led to people being brainwashed into thinking that we are too wee, poor and stupid. Gaslighting carried out on the masses by one powerful Unionist narcissist after another and it’s still going on. We’ve been led to believe that we’ve got nothing going for us other than our (caring) big (superior) brother down south looking out for us. Are they going to tell us that Scotland is one of the most diverse lands on the planet? Eh, no! Not so far anyway. Give it time. Maybe in another three hundred years or so.

    Westminster has done a great job of undermining us in every way possible by ‘airbrushing’ our history (destroying ancient manuscripts), achievements and so on, altering facts, decimating our economy and carrying out a concerted effort to depopulate our Country over a long period of time. It must really stick in their craw that we still have our beautiful lochs, mountains and glens. In saying that they seemingly want to decimate them too with fracking.

    Like you and many others on here I’ve studied Scottish history and it was through that, more than anything, that I developed an intense dislike (being nice) for Westminster and an ardent desire for Independence in the hope that it wouldn’t be too late to undo the damage they have done … put a stop to their ongoing pernicious actions. The learning experience continues on here and the more I learn the more determined I become to fight to my dying day for freedom like so many others on here. So no we wont be going away anytime soon and as time goes on more and more people are going to see the light and will realise that we aren’t too wee, poor and stupid at all. FAR from it.

    PS I’ll have to add another book to my ‘to buy’ list now. Thanks for that AH.

  287. yesindyref2 says:

    Ignore that, welcome to Wings.

    I’m certainly interested to hear your point of view, one thing I did a lot during the Referendum was talking to NOes, or rather listening. The more the better.

  288. Dr Jim says:

    If I had a penny for every time a Yoon says the word Independence,
    In the last six weeks I’ve never heard it used so much in the desperate pathetic attempt to annoy folk of hearing it because of course no one will notice it’s only them that’s actually saying it

    I wonder how many that will fool

    Now they’ve invented the IRA coming to kill us and blow us up, I don’t think they’ve thought this one through with being able to place the blame on the SNP for this one

    Even if the IRA decided they were going to get it all on again it’s a wee bit more likely they’d be thinking about blowing up the folk who are causing the trouble not the ones who are on the road to maybe sorting it and that Mr Cameron is likely to be somewhere round your patch not ours
    even though the Kim Jong Ruth no surrender party is trying as hard as she can to cause bother I think she’s out of luck

    I’ve spoken to Murphy the spy and he informs me that the Scottish Defence Force who are at full readiness and strength now has no plans to take action against the British yet and are only planning a display and march through Glasgow to Glasgow green with weapon demonstrations and games and balloons for the kiddies and some shots on the armoured vehicles, in the summer
    The march will consist of about three quarters of the force approx 8.000 men and women
    I am assured it will be peaceful because when they see the size and weapons of the regiments the polis will shit themselves and do nothing
    So a great day out for all is planned with Saltires flying music playing (regimental band) stalls

    A wee change from the Orange Lodge anyway
    He’s a great guy is Murphy the spy

  289. schrodingers cat says:

    @ thomas

    all welcome, except if your green, ric, ssp oh an aye, wheelie bins fer yes… fukcing splitters…

    dont pay any attention to ken500, he is a unionist troll who’s job is to sow discord

    i think you’re a computer virus

  290. Ken500 says:

    Can’t stand Rumbles either. Can’t believe it he is back. Along with Alex Johnstone and Lewis McDonald, – loud mouths. Alison? Definitely thought/hoped they would be gone. Just another disappointment with the rest. Failed Jenny Marra now NE what? does she know about anything NE. Just the road home. An easy life. Would anyone go to her in trouble or any of the rest? Doubt it. It is just ridiculous. The only, only great compensation is Willy Young did not get in. Hallelujah. Hope they are gone next year.

  291. TheWealthOfNations says:

    Open lists are probably the best option for altering things.

    The idea of national lists seems to be a really bad one. James Kelly did a nice video about election systems just before the election. The Israeli Knesset uses national lists. MP’s are completely divorced from the electorate which doesn’t have any easy way of getting rid of them. Additionally re-election depends on party loyalty to get a good place on the list rather than on not annoying your constituents.

    I did a MOOC on Digital Democracy a couple of years ago. Electronic voting needs to be resisted with every fiber of our beings. Secret Paper Ballots are the gold standard of democracy, take it from me, anything else is a total disaster for election integrity.

    Postal voting is not much better if you’re not careful.

    Mandatory exit polls is a good idea. Statistical discrepancies help identify fraud.

    We could also increase the number of regions and shorten the lists. Perhaps 14/4 or 28/2, that would make list MSP’s more accountable but could shut out smaller parties.

    I like the idea of bringing in STV to reduce confusion. Maybe it would be better to adapt AMS in local elections. It would be an ideal opportunity to introduce recall procedures and prevent councilors quitting a party without triggering a by-election or passing the seat down the list.

  292. Ken500 says:

    Nice try meiow. Back to stir it up. Not got the cream. No one is taking the bait, bone. Bow wow. Wolf, wolf. Checked with the conspirators. Simple,

  293. Liz g says:

    Ken 500 @ 12.08
    Afraid I have to disagree.
    There are people, a lot of people who voted No.
    They can’t all be bigots or fools,and we need to know why they though Westminster rule was a good choice.
    I don’t think they are barred from this site,but am willing to be corrected.
    I think the reason Indy supporters are flung off other site’s is because they are trying to suppress decent debate.
    There’s no much danger o that happening here,most here are fit for anybody who’s trying to spoil the discussion.
    But surely you would agree anybody who can explain their point of view reasonably is worth engaging.
    Even if it’s only for us all to understand each other for when the time comes to make the break we all know is coming.
    If any commenters have another agenda it will soon become apparent and that’s the time to disengage.

  294. Petra says:

    I see that my post to Fred / Artyhetty has disappeared / not appeared!

    See that I didn’t reply to Heedtracker. Will do tomorrow as I have to get off to bed now.

    Welcome to Thomas. Keep the posts coming.

  295. Ken500 says:

    @ Heedtracker

    Who are you? { : > ) }

  296. schrodingers cat says:

    Nice try meiow. Back to stir it up. Not got the cream. No one is taking the bait, bone. Bow wow. Wolf, wolf.

    you could always stick 2 pencils up yer nose an’ go
    wibble wibble wibble

  297. Ken500 says:

    Or have a cup of tea without milk

    Better than an encounter.

    It’s all yours for – the new best friend

  298. Clapper57 says:

    BBC QT this week :

    Hello… is it me your not looking for….eh is no one gonna say why you quote panel ya nut job from 28 May 2015 in your previous post and not the actual panel on this week….well since ya dinnae ask it’s because I can …hokey… that’s why.

    It was…. a retrospective posting on one of the dream team panels of days gone by on BBC QT ….basically point being I am fair pissed at the repetitive theme of my own posts that no matter what I say or when I say it …well it is same old same old.

    Burnt out I am…so much so that I am reduced to manic piggin rantings …… like writing this nonsense now.

    Think I need to sleep perchance to dream.

    Hopefully abnormal service will be resumed….and no I am not cracking up just winding down after being winded up by recent political events…..

  299. schrodingers cat says:


    dinna fash yersel sonny

    i find stranger looking insects in my cornflakes every morning…

  300. yesindyref2 says:

    Sounds good to me. Here you go!

  301. osakisushi says:

    List MsP’s are second class and should be paid accordingly. No expenses and their wage pro rata to votes cast. So, if someone got 4000 votes at a 5 quid per vote, they would early 20k per annum.

  302. Petra says:

    @ Liz g says at 12:51 am …. ”Ken 500 @ 12.08 Afraid I have to disagree. There are people, a lot of people who voted No. They can’t all be bigots or fools,and we need to know why they though Westminster rule was a good choice.
    I don’t think they are barred from this site,but am willing to be corrected. I think the reason Indy supporters are flung off other site’s is because they are trying to suppress decent debate. There’s no much danger o that happening here,most here are fit for anybody who’s trying to spoil the discussion. But surely you would agree anybody who can explain their point of view reasonably is worth engaging. Even if it’s only for us all to understand each other for when the time comes to make the break we all know is coming. If any commenters have another agenda it will soon become apparent and that’s the time to disengage.”

    Exactly Liz. There’s something far wrong with people if they can’t find it in themselves to carry out a decent, civilised debate with someone who doesn’t agree with them. We need to win over at LEAST 350,000 people to win the next Referendum. If we can’t even be bothered trying with anyone decent (and yes there are decent no voters out there) who comes onto this site we can forget it.

    ”If any commenters have another agenda it will soon become apparent and that’s the time to disengage.’’ And that should apply to so-call Independence supporters on this site.

    So much for my early night, lol!

  303. AhuraMazda says:

    Heedtracker: “better be nice to the Greens because the SNP need their votes if Ms Sturgeon is to become FM.”

    No. Not true. As the largest party the SNP get to choose FM. Getting the budget and policy ratified is a different matter but we don’t need Greens there either.

    Machiavelli suggests we should partner with the Greens though and I am inclined to agree.

  304. Thepnr says:

    @Liz g @Petra

    Just so.

  305. Ken500 says:

    OK Thomas – good name

    Do what you like. Must be a jinks. The computer just packed in.

    Take the responsibility. It’s all there.

    Good night.

    Posted before the rant but disappeared. Gone

  306. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes. I’d say nearly all NO voters including my daughter are decent people apart from some extreme activists, and I guess the NOes would say that about some YES activists.

    I found a lot of NOes liked the idea of Indy but weren’t convinced for a variety of reasons – or just didn’t want or couldn’t take the chance of, change. Which is exactly what Curtice said in the early days in 2012, there’s a default NO position as in no change, the status quo. What he also said in 2012 was that in the last few days before the referendum there’s be a surge towards YES, and that’s what didn’t really happen (enough).

  307. Ken500 says:

    Greens and funny habits. Insects in cornflakes. Thought they liked sone animals? Or do they not clear out their cupboards. They are going to get some stick. Deary.

  308. osakisushi says:

    “Liz G . I think the reason Indy supporters are flung off other site’s is because they are trying to suppress decent debate.”

    I could not disagree more. For some reason, NO folks often panic when presented with reasoned argument. My own brother WAS a case in point. Thankfully Mr Cameron changed his mind pretty firmly with his speech on IR1+1
    His MP – Charles Kennedy finished the job in 2015.

  309. yesindyref2 says:

    Very poor I think, article by Angry Salmond in the National. Starts off good, but then gets taken over by the idea of the YES Alliance, and conflates that with a need for a Coalition with the Greens. And gets “Angry” because the SNP aren’t going for it.

    But why? I think the Greens are better off out of it, it didn’t do the LibDems any good, as the small partner they’d have to compromise too much, and I think they’ll be better with 6 MSPs building on their own credentials in the 2016-2021.

    For the SNP minority Government if it has a Coalition with the Greens then it makes it a YES Coalition, which excludes 50% of Scotland who are still NO. What’s needed is inclusive Government, and that can only be done with cross-party co-operation on an issue by issue basis, not keeping together an Independence alliance. It also happens to be better for Scotland if policies are decided on merit, not Indy.

    The YES Alliance can and should exist, but outside Holyrood not in it. Except when it comes to asking for Indy Ref 2. Holyrood is about sound Governance, not Independence. Not yet anyway!

  310. Suzanne says:

    It’s outrageous that rejected candidates get to waltz into Holyrood. I don’t care what kind of system we have, as long as a rejected candidate doesn’t get to waltz back into Holyrood without a mandate from the electorate to do so.

  311. Ken500 says:

    Duncan Hots used to go crazy on Scotsman website many moons ago before SNP/Independistas got deleted and banned frequently. They just came back as another non de plume.until they got fed up and found another site. The website got so contaminated. It ended up the majority just deserted it.

    Meths was one of the best posters.. What happened to them? They often tried to meet up but it never happened. Although some posters obviously knew each other. Meths (retired Glasgow Englsh teacher lived in Spain) or that was the claim., A total Independence supporter. SNP? Brillant commentator. (shades of the wee ginger dug) He had a wife that kept him in order. Meths was acquainted with and did meet up with Eric Joyce on trips back.

    Those were the days. No one knew who it was. AM2 – became the Answer. Factually crazy. Every analysis was wrong.

    Fifi/F. No one knew who it was but got first post on every thread and thereafter. No one knew who it was but very strange. How things have moved on. Threads regularly of over a thousand. On deliberate wind ups – Thousands. In those days no one imagined there would be a Indy/Ref, in any shape or form. It seemed highly unlikely.

  312. Ken500 says:

    It is 200k People that are needed for the next Ref and many have come over already. Statistics going up. EVEL – Promised powers not delivered. BBC. Austerity, attacking the vulnerable.NHS essential services etc.

  313. K1 says:

    My mother is a No voter…still my mother…damn it! 😉

  314. Black Rab says:

    Wow, that’s the now derelict Tarlair outdoor swimming pool in Macduff on the Moray Firth coast. I was born in Banff just across the river Devron. I learned to swim and scattered my fathers ashes there. I thought I was seeing things for a minute.

  315. Valerie says:

    Just to say Hi to Thomas 🙂
    Hope you stick around, and contribute.


    Nicola has ruled out a coalition with Greens, and also said the Greens were not seeking one.

    I think they will maintain their separate paths, just working or coming together on their common interests. The Greens will want to show their membership, they are trying to push the Govt on certain issues.

  316. Macart says:


    See what you mean about the Angry Salmond article. Starts off great and half way through confuses the bejebus out of you. I agree with his summation of Mr Harvie and the Greens, but its far more beneficial for the Geens and the SNP to keep their political distance in parliament and come together where and when it counts on the constitution. This will allow the Greens to form their own policy track record and gain them enormously valuable experience in chamber.

    A YES alliance exists already and the glue that binds is the electorate themselves. People don’t need the parties to form a ‘parliamentary clique’, they need legislators and administrators with distinctive voices and policy reflecting a true breadth of societal representation. The Greens and the SNP have a great deal of common ground they’ll work together just fine when required and where they differ? Well that’s what makes them two different political entities and why different folk vote for them.

    That’s a good thing you’d think?

    No point in having a parliament of many colours if all you’re going to do is mix those colours into one shade of dull grey. 🙂

  317. Grendel says:

    The manipulation of the party list system is an affront to democracy, a corruption of the system. The election is our chance to get rid of failed politicians, the use of the list to avoid being sacked is just low.
    Either stand on one or the other, and if you are the incumbent you defend your seat with no safety net.

    As for the manipulation of the list by the parties, this must stop. Parties should be allowed to submit a list of candidates, but that list should be a pool from which candidates are selected at random. If a party gets 4 list seats then stick the names in a bowl, like the FA Cup, and draw 4 names.
    No more fiddling the system so that there are permanently unsackable characters placed forever at the top of the list. To me this practice is akin to Westminsters habit of sending rejected MP’s to the Lords: it’s two fingers up to the electorate, nothing less.

  318. Grouse Beater says:

    Considering the piss-poor quality of opposition Come-Back Kids, perhaps we need a ‘University for Politicians’.

    This is relevant, the rot begun under Thatcher, sadly all too relevant under the current administration:

  319. Robert Peffers says:

    @Macart says: 12 May, 2016 at 4:15 am:

    ” … The Greens and the SNP have a great deal of common ground they’ll work together just fine when required and where they differ? Well that’s what makes them two different political entities and why different folk vote for them.

    Well said, Macart. Exactly the points I’ve been making and getting accused of attempting to drive wedges.

    The essential difference is that the two parties are indeed different parties and for a very good reason. Their respective voters have chosen to support them because of their differences, not in spite of the differences.

    That does not mean a Green supporter has to agree with all SNP policy nor an SNP supporter agree with every Green policy.

    We are different parties with some common ground. We should not expect the other parties to compromise their principles for the sake of working together where there is common ground.

    Nor should we fail to disagree where we differ. That, as you say, is why we belong to two different parties.

    As the French would say, “vive la différence”.

  320. Breeks says:

    Forgive me, I’m slow on this. But the D’hondt system essentially nullifies the massive volume of the vote, essentially pairing it off in effect, and determining whether there’s an outright majority or hung parliament is based on a threoretical balance which downgrades success and shores up failure.
    The SNP’s outright majority last time, (now don’t burn me for heresy), required the SNP to “just” lose constituency seats in order to pick up more list seats on vote share.

    To get an outright majority is a result you cannot physically work to create, all you can do is work towards an uber-majority, in the full knowledge the greater your success grows, in a very literal sense, there is a law of diminishing return.

    If I’m correct in that, then the SNPx2 strategy was a forlorn ambition unless and until it seriously whacked all other vote share, and I mean fkd it out the ball park. Again, put those matches down I tell you, you could, with two pro-independence parties, split the vote, but have one party clear up the constituency seats, and the other party take list seats as preferred second choice.

    Ok, now you can get the matches if you like… Isn’t that PRECISELY what did happen, and better yet, did it all by itself? We have an SNP dominant with a ‘virtual’ majority supported by a pro-independence presence in the list seats. This is about the best result the SNP could have got without, perversely, the Labour Party doing much better than it did.

    Might be an uncomfortable truth for some here, but if the Greens didn’t exist, … we’d have to invent them.

  321. Ken500 says:

    An Alliance with the Greens for the SNP would be disasterous. They are already influencing moderate voters way from voting SNP/Independence with their radical policies which are never going to happen anytime soon if ever. 60% tax, the myth of a ‘land gave’. The Press etc are using this policies as a ‘picture’ of Independence. Totally falsely, naturally. To scare the horses for obvious reasons and many people who are taken in will never vote SNP/Independence because of that.

    The SNP is a moderate left of centre Party who wish to Govern for everyone (inclusively)because that is the right way for everyone and the economy. The Greens like to think they are the radicals. In the full knowledge they will never have to make the major decisions over people lives because the majority will never vote for them. In any way shape or form because they know the disaster that their unfettered, unrealistic policies would bring. People are not stupid. The Greens are just a small pressure group for good reason. They are not going to take over the world anytime soon. In Scotland they are a hinderance to good, equal government. On Independence those who really support it will vote for it anyway.

    Rather than push more ‘radical’, ‘ held to account ‘ policies on the SNP which people do not want and which damage the SNP/Independence movement. People will not vote SNP/Ibdependence because of these (non) Green ‘extremer ‘ policies which are putting people off. Voting pattern show they are putting people off.

    Rev Stu is quite right, They are cutting off their nose to spite their face and then even blaming everybody else. Andy Wrightman’s association and contribution is putting moderate (the majority) voters off the SNP/Ibdependence not helping it. There obsession with one issue fringe matters is destroying confidence in others.

    The SNP realise this as does everyone else and will act accordingly and distance themselves.That is why so few people vote Green. They do not want any of their extreme ‘radical’ policies in any way shape or form for good reason. It would ruin and damage the economy not improve it. Make Scotland an empty shell. Plenty of land pro rata but no people. More in common with the Unionist policies with whom they like to collude at every available opportunity while also trying to hang on the SNP’s back, holding them back. Hedging their bets and trying to play both sides off against each other. In a cynical game because they believe it will bring them more power. It won’t. People will just see through that and it will discredit them.

    The SNP Gov is not only the most genuine Green Gov in the UK/Europe but pro rata in the world. They make higher required targets and achieve them, pro rata, as any other country in the world. If voters wants Green policies in a mixed economy which helps the vulnerable and stands up for Scotland. They don’t have to go anywhere else. Just vote SNP/FFA/Independence.

    The majority of voters in Scotland are not looking for the SNP ‘to be held to account’ or be more ‘radical’. That is not what the majority of the voters want. They already realise how difficult it is for the SNP – getting fired at from every angle. What the voting patterns in Scotland show the majority of the voters in Scotland want, and what will make a radical difference to the people in Scotland is a policy which can deliver more powers to Scotland and stand up to the ‘Westminster’ Gov. I.e. While totally backing the SNP gov.

    More equality and democracy in Scotland. Not ‘radical’ policies that will cause more divisions and increase poverty and damage the economy. The voters have the right idea of the society the majority want, The (non) Greens should listen. Not the other way round. The tail will not be wagging the dog. A recipe for disaster Sorry charlatans and Unionist NO supporters. Genuine Independence supporters will vote for it in any case. Or they can just fall and fail if that is want they want.

    A more prosperous, equal Scotland helps everyone who lives in Scotland/UK. That means the people in Scotland, manage their own affairs, of which they are more than capable. Just like any other country in the world. The Westminster Gov is holding that back in every which way and policies. Just adding to the confusion. Sanctioning and starving vulnerable people. The old, the sick, the young and the unemployed. That has to stop soon. The majority of voters are sick of it.


  322. Almannysbunnet says:

    Remember when liberals voted for their party only to find Nick Clegg getting into bed with Cameron? They were almost wiped out at the next election. Let’s not “force” the greens into a coalition with the SNP. We might turn greens into liberals at the next Scottish election and that’s the last thing we want.

  323. Ken500 says:

    @ Breeks you are entirely wrong

    The SNP x 2 is the only policy for those who want FFA/Independence, including more voters coming on board, The SNP x two. Doesn’t dilute the vote. Ie people who deviate (especially to parties whose policies they do not support) are effectively nullifying their vote. Cancelling it out.

    Voters who agreed in total with one Party (effectively reduce the voting to one person one vote) should vote both votes for one Party. It reduces and dialates the vote back to FPTP, which doesn’t accommodate everyone whims but gives a clear absolute majority. People do not need two votes for democracy. One person, one vote is free parties is democracy. If the Holyrood election had been FPTP the SNP would have won around 115 seats,

    It was likely the diviation of those split their vote (to Green? In the interest of Independence) Of which was not being voted, That reduce the SNP outright majority etc. They were conned and
    taken in. They even blame the SNP for it.The 103,000 voters who likely did that lost the SNP more list seats. You have a beef about an SNP member. Do not let that cloud your judgement.

  324. crazycat says:

    @ Artyhetty

    I was having computer trouble yesterday, so this is a rather belated response to two of your posts:

    Firstly (though it’s your more recent post) Iapetus begins with an i, which isn’t obvious in a sans-serif typeface, so a lot of people don’t realize it’s a capital, and read it as an L.

    Secondly and more controversially (though Lallands Peat Worrier agrees with me), I believe Johann Lamont’s poor phrasing has led to a serious misinterpretation of her meaning. Since I haven’t clarified this with her, I/we could be utterly wrong, of course.

    When she said “Scots are not genetically programmed to make political decisions”, almost everyone thought she meant we are incapable of making such decisions.

    I suspect she meant that we don’t reach the particular decisions that we make as a result of genetic programming, but rather because we think about them. So it isn’t an insult, so much as the reverse!

    Having said that, she hasn’t elucidated, as far as I know. LPW thinks she’s shy and so comes across as inarticulate, but when I encountered her a few times 20 years ago, I just thought she was thick. I was depressed enough that she was a Glasgow councillor at the time, but when she became an MSP I despaired – only for it to get even worse when she was promoted! As Presiding Officer she’d be a disaster, I fear.

    Nevertheless, she was apparently the first MSP to address the Scottish Parliament in Gaelic, her parents’ (and possibly her) native language, so she does have one redeeming feature for me.

  325. Robert Peffers says:

    @Breeks says: 12 May, 2016 at 8:04 am:

    ” … I’m slow on this. But the D’hondt system essentially nullifies the massive volume of the vote, essentially pairing it off in effect, and determining whether there’s an outright majority or hung parliament is based on a threoretical balance which downgrades success and shores up failure.”

    Nah! Breeks. It isn’t that your slow here – it is that you have made a fundamental error in regards to diagnosing problems.

    The first rule of diagnostics is, “First properly identify the problem”.

    In this case the problem is not that the present system, (more or less), roughly adjusts the number of MSPs in line with actual votes. It does that just fine.

    The problem is that it is a wide open backdoor re-entry for MSPs already rejected at the ballot box, MSPs. There is no problem number-wise. The problem is plainly that the electorate are not voting to allow these rejects back into parliament.

    It means that in effect the parties are directly pushing, rejected by the electorate, duffers back into parliament.

    It should not be overly difficult for parliament to legislate to prevent rejected former members getting through that backdoor. A rule along the lines of list MSP must NOT already have been rejected by the normal ballot.

    The present quota of proven deadwood amply illustrates the flaw in the system. It allows re-entry of voter rejected candidates.

    As I see it there is no problem balancing the numbers but there is balancing the quality.

  326. call me dave says:

    Salmond in the Herald suggesting a change in the system of voting for MSPs.
    Saying the list system needs tweaked to reflect the 1st vote preference expressed by the electorate. A national list using a ratio system based on the 1st vote better.
    The other parties are saying sucks-yaboo! SNP bad and sour grapes.


    Porridge time.

  327. Capella says:

    It’s more likely that the Greens voted SNP in the constituencies, except 2 where they had candidates, but voted Green in the Regional lists.
    The Greens had 150,500 votes and used 13,000 in the two constituencies, Glasgow Kelvin and Edinburgh Central, where they stood candidates.
    That leaves 137,000 Green votes which likely went to other candidates in the Constituencies.

    So rather than SNP voters being “duped” into voting Green in the Regional list, it’s likely the Greens were persuaded to support the SNP in the Constituency vote.

  328. ScottieDog says:

    On the subject of NO voters…

    It’s basically human nature to resist change. As a species we tend not to alter our behaviour until we really have to. My father was a smoker for 40 years and used to acknowledge how bad it was. He stopped immediately after having a blood clot on either lung.

    Massive change is not something we embrace unless we associate more pain with staying as we are. In September 2014 the majority associated more pain with independence than with the status quo. We don’t change their minds by slagging them. The neoliberal path favoured by the Tories blairites and lib dems WILL lead to more pain and London is making a very good fist of demonstrating that. What we need to do is demonstrate to people that this is not how is has to be.

    Giving no voters a pounding will simply reinforce their position.

  329. Paula Rose says:

    Is it really a problem for us that the electorate who vote for unionist parties get the same old tired representation that has failed them before?

  330. call me dave says:

    Salmond suggests changes to system used to elect MSPs

  331. Grouse Beater says:

    Reviewer on TV’s comedy satire “The Windsors”:

    “The whole thing actually made me feel quite patriotic.”

  332. call me dave says:

    Tom Peterkin: Labour needs conviction on Scots independence

    If the United Kingdom is to survive, securing that future must involve embracing a positive and convincing vision of its benefits. Further ambivalence will reduce the constitutional debate to a fight between the SNP and Conservatives. In that battle, the numbers suggest that Nicola Sturgeon has the upper hand over Ruth Davidson.

  333. Cadogan Enright says:

    EBC radio news this morning

    Reform of EBC will require it to give up the power of investigating itself

    This power will be transferred to OFCOM

    While this proposal won’t solve the problem of bias (if it gets through) but it will help

  334. Could I repeat much is still being made of our lack of an SNP overall majority. This is deceptive. SNP governed over most of the last parliament from a minority position as it supplied the Speaker, lost three members who went independent and lost one on a domestic abuse conviction. So with the opposition supplying the speaker this time the SNP position is now exactly the same.

    There is only a problem (very small) anyway if Labour decides to march with the Tories. Highly unlikely and they are more likely to move towards the SNP if the signals coming out are to be believed

  335. Breeks says:

    I gently disagree Ken500.

    I we remove the Greens from the picture, even suppose the entire Green vote went towards the SNP, it would not have delivered six more SNP seats from the list. For the SNP to pick up those six list seats would paradoxically require less SNP strength, and more votes going to Labour or the Tories so that the D’Hondt corrective realignment towards achieving pointless equilibrium would give greater benefit to the less dominant SNP.

  336. Capella says:

    @ Dave Mcewan Hill
    yes I thought your comment was spot on. A majority would have been better but the glass is half full and the next FMQ’s will be a cracker.

  337. schrodingers cat says:

    Cadogan Enright

    did i see you on aboat on a bbc tv programme?

  338. bjsalba says:

    I was looking for some information on a different topic and came across these on Wiki.

    Would need to go through them in detail again, but I think KISS principal applies, so I’d want to go for the simplest format.

  339. Ken500 says:

    The Greens supporting SNP in the list votes made absolutely no difference to the outcome. It was the list places SNP failed to take because they got more Constituency votes. The more than enough Constituency The Greens giving the SNP list votes were just wasted. The SNP would had had more than enough list votes. In excess.

    It was SNP ( relative votes to the Ref etc,) giving their second vote away (lists) to other Parties (including Greens) which likely made the difference, 103,000. The votes cancelled themselves out, because of the various few votes tipping point,

    The greens had 13,000 in constituency. Shows support. Or 150,000 list. (Even for other Parties) Unless hordes of Greens voted SNP (1) and (2). Hardly likely based on Green Party members Nos. The numbers do not reconcile. 150,000 out of 2Million votes is not a huge mandate. More would have (convicted, principles etc) surely have voted Green.

    In any case the main complain is totally rejected Unionist MPS getting back in on the lists.

  340. Anagach says:

    Its not all a done deal. A grand coalition of the other parties could see a different first minister.

    The Unionists I would believe would try it – but can they get the Greens on board to deny Nicola continuing as First Minister ?

    I’d love to know what phone calls have been made over the last week.

  341. Cadogan Enright says:

    GA Ponsonby o n the EBC this morning – this guy is really on the ball

    Excellent joint site with Peter A Bell and James Kelly

  342. Bob Mack says:


    I think we can rule out a grand coalition for many reasons,but the most important for Labour is that then they would know for certain there would be no way back in Scotland——-ever.

  343. Papadox says:

    @Cadogan Enright says. 9:35 am

    Totally agree this is a excellent site. GA Ponsonby requires a little financial help to complete a report into EBC misreporting and propaganda. (My interpretation).

  344. Cadogan Enright says:

    schrodingers cat says:
    12 May, 2016 at 9:30 am
    @Cadogan Enright – did i see you on aboat on a bbc tv programme?

    Yes, myself and my 10 year old spent a day taking the EBC via canoe around the 380 odd islands in our area, speaking Gaelic the whole time. Somehow they managed to find a tiny few sentences in English from the whole day – and these were the only ones they ran. It must have been an incredibly difficult editing task. You will be glad to hear that there is no such thing as wildlife or beauty unless it can be spoken in English

    It’s still on IPLAYER Secret Britain, been trying to figure out how to download and edit our bit out for Cad Óg’s school

  345. Cadogan Enright says:

    And Peter A Bell shining a light on Bella Caledonia, if any of you are not banned from that site – then post this to Peter’s article there (:

    Peter and James Kelly are all over the minor YES parties trying to get them to wise up

    The smart thing to do in the Scottish election was to win the respect of the mainstream YESer’s who understand the need for a majority, and reap the benefit in STV elections at the local next year.

    But the micro-left could not be bothered with the hard graft of local politics, but want to bestride the National scene first – even before the National scene actually exists

  346. Glamaig says:

    Capella says:
    12 May, 2016 at 8:46 am
    It’s more likely that the Greens voted SNP in the constituencies, except in the 2 where they had candidates, but voted Green in the Regional lists.

    I agree. It seems reasonable to assume that the green list vote was made up of:
    1. people who identify as Greens
    2. Labour/LibDem voters voting Green on the list (not everybody is diehard Unionist or Indy)
    3. SNP voters voting Green on the list

    It can be assumed that a number of voters who identify as Green vote SNP on constituency in the 71 seats where theres no Green candidate. It also seems probable that in 2011, pre-referendum, some people who now identify as Unionist voted SNP on the list.

    All these things contribute to the SNP list vote being lower than it was in 2011, and us losing our majority.

    So its a complicated picture and its wrong to look at the national gap between SNP constituency and list votes and jump to the conclusion that it is composed entirely of SNP voters voting for other parties on the list.

  347. Capella says:

    @ Ken500 – you misunderstand. I thought the Greens would have lent their 137,500 votes to the SNP in the CONSTITUENCY not the Regional list. There were no Green Constituency candidates except in Glasgow Kelvin and Edinburgh Central.

    That could explain why the SNP were c 100,000 votes fewer in the Regional list. Greens, who had no Constituency candidate must have voted for another party or not voted at all in the Constituency.

    Most SNP voters would have voted SNP x 2.

  348. schrodingers cat says:

    bonny part of the world you live in Cad

  349. Cadogan Enright says:

    @Almannysbunnet says:12 May, 2016 at 8:20 am

    The converse is more likely – Greens would suffer far more damage in Coalition with the Red and Blue Torys than with the SNP

    Also – the SNP is way ahead of any other major political party in Britain or Ireland in ACTUALLY implementing green policies

  350. Dr Jim says:

    You will convince a dyed in the wool Unionist of nothing and arguing with them is completely pointless as they only have two reactions to anything anybody says

    First on being presented with irrefutable fact they instantly refute it with no foundation or basis in evidence or they’ll just invent more lies
    Secondly they want to kill you for being right because you are a lower form of life and should be allowed no rights

    Unionists will not come to the Independence side of the argument by persuasion, this is one area where I disagree with our FM (praise her name) If they turn towards our side they will do it in secret because to admit it openly would diminish their idea of their own superiority

    Many people in Scotland are of the opinion it’s still about Kafflicks and Prodisints and for that reason those people won’t change even with a gun to their heads
    There are the incoming English folk and some of them are not Unionists and they’re looking at the situation in the correct manner and that’s the right way and good
    But the majority of English people don’t see Scotland as a Nation State and to change it in their minds might make THEM feel like foreigners and they weren’t brought up mentally to deal with the idea of the English not being in charge of what they consider to be THEIR country

    While I have every faith in the FM in most things I’m afraid I don’t see how you persuade a person who has adopted and unpersuadable attitude and clings to it like it is their Superpower and defence of their kind

    The next vote if there is to be one will likely be every bit as close as the first one I just hope it’s the reverse decision of the last one

    Of course we could just adopt David Torrance’s idea and kill everybody who disagrees with us, trouble with that idea is we might kill David Torrance and then stop there, because the last thing we’d want to do is make any article written by him, posthumous or otherwise, credible

    Has anybody noticed he’s training his beard into a Royal Naval Member of the Royal Family beard

  351. Breeks says:

    @ Cadogan Enright

    From my experience with Regulators, this will make absolutely no difference whatsoever. They were supposed to regulate the Banks, Power companies, Railways, and all the other UKOK institutions who would otherwise fleece the lot of us.

    They still do fleece the lot of us, but our grievances and outrage are soaked up by our misplaced faith in regulators, which is all part of the con. Regulator = Placebo.

    If you have a legitimate grievance and you’ve been waiting several months for progress from the regulator or ombudsman, just drop a hint you’re going to seek advice from a lawyer and see what happens. Regulators couldn’t give a shit about justice. “oh if you go to a lawyer, we can’t get involved blah, blah, blah…” Behind the scenes, the industry they are supposed to regulate has them bought and paid for. They want you to shut up and stop making a nuisance of yourself. If they drag the process out and make it as frustrating as possible, the vast majority of complaints just disappear. Job done.

    And yes, I can back that up with documentation. The Financial Ombudsmen service once didn’t uphold a complaint I had with my Bank, and for 2 years even refused to produce the evidence I repeatedly requested to see. Not until I threatened the man with legal action against himself personally was the evidence produced, which of course proved my complaint was legitimate all along. They didn’t reopen or revisit my grievance, no heads rolled at the Bank or the Ombudsman despite their clear dishonesty, and I was awarded a token payment which as I recall barely managed to clear 3 figures despite my grievance costing me thousands and no end of aggravation. I don’t recall the sum exactly because I didn’t take a penny and told the Regulator to shove it up his arse.

    The U.K. is a never ending pyramid of corruption. Rogues running rampant, regulated by rogues overseen by other rogues, who were given the job by yet more rogues, who play golf with the rogues in government.

    Trust them if you like. I understand why you would. I’ve just learned better that’s all. You’re on your own. All of us.

  352. One_Scot says:

    Even if the current voting system was deemed to be problematic by all parties, does anyone know if the Scottish parliament has the power to change the system.

  353. AhuraMazda says:

    When you think about it, anti-independence really means anti-Scottish.

    The self-hating Scottish Unionist mindset is truly a beautiful thing from a propaganda perspective. What an achievement, talking all those people into hating themselves and voting against their own interests. That’s what the Tory surge represents.

    The analysis of Labour’s failure is steaming towards the conclusion that they were not anti-Scottish enough. That’s what Peterkin is basically saying. And within the bubble of hatred it’s absolutely true.

    If you are anti-Scottish the media treat you favourably. That of course makes you more popular in certain circles. That explains a lot when you listen to the likes of Call Kaye and Neil Oliver; anti-Scottishness is required across the board.

    My suspicion is that the surge for the Tories was probably more down to Scotland’s age-old problem, pro-British, anti-immigrant, sectarian-nationalism, than to Conservatism. Nobody wants to admit that though but it is far from true that we only need to entertain these types in George Square and the Central Belt.

    If you know yer history, you’ll know that that ugliness was cultivated over many decades across the whole of Scotland. In a recent discussion on the subject in a Rangers forum, about 90% of participants agreed that “fans” in Lewis were amongst the most “enthusiastic” when it came to expressing their crazy kinda love.

    I have no problem with the term Ulsterification as a description of what they hope to achieve. For some it works as a description of what they had already achieved. That’s on them, not us.

    Independence isn’t anti or pro anyone and we should proud of that as an achievement, something we have accomplished, not a goal. We don’t get the credit we deserve for that.

  354. Cadogan Enright says:

    @breeks 10.12

    While I sympathise with your bleak outlook, from practical experience I do know that even a half effective regulatory system is better than none. Journalists and managers at the EBC will prefer not to have to continually justify bias to the regulator again and again, as they want to get home and enjoy their excessive salaries during daylight hours. This will create a break on the most egregious behaviour in the manner that GA Ponsonby was exposing this morning.

    I had an unsuccessful run-in with the Financial regulator too – they are a joke – but to balance that I have won a number of Court cases against our lords and masters.

    We can’t win them all – but let’s not stop trying !

  355. gordoz says:

    There does seem to be an awful lot of SNP msp’s being sworn in today at the Scottish Parliament. That’s a really huge minority 🙂

    Brits of Scotland squirm on their peripheral benches, during the process.

  356. crazycat says:

    There were 3 Green constituency candidates.

    The third was in Coatbridge and Chryston; John Wilson, who had previously been an SNP list MSP, but had resigned (after the referendum) over the change of policy on NATO.

    He saved his deposit (just) but otherwise seems to have made no impression. He also failed on the list (he was second, so no real chance).

  357. Training Day says:

    @Dr Jim

    ‘But the majority of English people don’t see Scotland as a Nation State and to change it in their minds might make THEM feel like foreigners and they weren’t brought up mentally to deal with the idea of the English not being in charge of what they consider to be THEIR country.’

    Precisely – a mentality I encountered repeatedly during the referendum campaign, with one exception. Even then, it took weeks and months of mental wrangling and anguish (to the extent of this exception committing his thoughts to his own blog conceived for the express purpose of ‘justifying’ his vote to his English compatriots) for this individual to vote Yes.

    The effort required to extricate this individual from the perceptions he grew up with is, alas, unlikely to be replicated by a majority of his compatriots.

  358. Capella says:

    @ crazycat, sorry I thought there were only 2. Even so, the Greens had an awful lot of spare votes looking for a candidate. Enough to explain the difference in SNP votes in 2016.

    As to why there were more in 2011. If that’s the case, I haven’t checked, then the constant media and pollsters assertion that an SNP victory was assured may have lulled some people into a false sense of security.

    Until someone does some research into these voting patterns we won’t know. I thought Prof Curtice was doing a telephone poll on that but haven’t heard the results.

  359. @ gus1940 at 1.22 pm

    Great call. I live in France, where the staggered system works well. For example in the last euro elections, the Front Nationale looked good after the first round, then most folk voted tactically against them the second week.

  360. Grouse Beater says:

    Ahura Mazda: “My suspicion is that the surge for the Tories was probably more down to Scotland’s age-old problem, pro-British, anti-immigrant, sectarian-nationalism, than to Conservatism. Nobody wants to admit that…”

    Troll alert!

  361. Thepnr says:

    Angra Mainyu is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism’s hypostasis of the “destructive spirit.”

    Ahura Mazda… is the Avestan name for the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism”

    “The literal meaning of the word Ahura is “mighty” or “lord” and Mazda is wisdom.”


  362. Grouse Beater says:

    Pnr: 🙂

  363. AhuraMazda says:

    Yes, good afternoon, Thepnr. I’m trying to work out what the smiley face means.

    Grouse, grow up. Acknowledging Scotland’s sectarian divisions and history doesn’t make you a troll. I know you like to romanticise and peddle the idea that all Scots are simply wonderful. That’s as corrupt as anything I’ve ever heard said about the place.

  364. yesindyref2 says:

    Yeah, and an interesting take from elsewhere, someone who in fact was featured in an article in the herald some time ago:

    AS LONG as perhaps thirty eight centuries ago, a man called Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra) was the first to say that every individual has to make their own personal decision, about whether to live by the Truth, or by the Lie.

  365. yesindyref2 says:

    Oh, that article by the way was on a website that features these people as its columnists:


    Makes you think.

  366. Andrew says:

    I don’t think it is worth worrying about. I predict there won’t be very many more elections at Holyrood. After independence we will have the option to change it completely. Soar Alba!

  367. Thepnr says:


    Interesting. Surely not.

  368. yesindyref2 says:

    Possibly. I don’t do twitter, but sometimes I do a twitter roam, and there’s an interesting little gaggle that thinks it’s superior to your average beast of burden, and has itself a laugh – or serious mischief depending on point of view.

    I daresay the Rev could add a couple of names to that as hangers-on or “associate members”.

  369. Thepnr says:


    The author of that article about Zoroastrianism is certainly an interesting chap.

    “The outspoken Tiefenbrun, a long-time ardent supporter of Margaret Thatcher, was selected to contest the Glasgow Maryhill seat at the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections for the Scottish Conservative Party. He withdrew upon the uproar after it was reported in The Scotsman that he had said “you would have to be thick to accept that [Margaret Thatcher] was evil force” in Scotland.”

  370. yesindyref2 says:

    Looks whose picture is on there for an oldish article:

    The gift that keeps on giving.

  371. yesindyref2 says:

    I knew him a bit years ago. Thoroughly decent guy by the way. I didn’t know his politics, but it doesn’t surprise me.

  372. Thepnr says:

    I have no problem whatsoever with those Scots that have a diametrically opposing view to that of my own. I’m not so happy with those that choose to hide their real views while pretending to agree with yours.

    Why hide your beliefs?


    Is this the Herald article you referred to?

  373. yesindyref2 says:

    Yup, that was it. Poor article, and it surprised me. Not that he’s a Unionist, but the rest of it!

    He was very famous for his (or his company’s) Linn Sondek LP12.

  374. heedtracker says:

    AhuraMazda says:

    . I know you like to romanticise and peddle the idea that all Scots are simply wonderful. That’s as corrupt as anything I’ve ever heard said about the place.”

    When’s the last time Scots voted in tory government then? What is interesting is that we’re not drowned by the endless sea of bullshit pouring out of our neighbour, that do keep voting tory.

    Green party in their Scotland region are no more Green than anyone else, for example.

    Scottish Green are NIMBY’s, plain old NIMBY’s painting themselves green and voting YES, for now. Vote NIMBY Harvie, doesn’t really work does it, to be fair.

  375. Fred says:

    “Thus Spake Zarathustra!” I think you’re inviting a lightening bolt strike or mebbes terminal knob-rot by invoking the name of a deity as yet not entirely redundant. Widnae be me!

    We await further developments with interest.

  376. AhuraMazda says:

    Heedtracker, don’t lecture me on Greens, nobody thinks less of them than me.

    You draw on a distinction that many up here make about Scottish politics, suggesting it is superior to English politics because we are all left wing and beautiful. It’s a self-defeating lie and it does us no good to explain our differences like that.

    The truth is Scotland is more left win because we are generally poorer. Poor people stupidly vote left wing parties because left wing parties promise them prosperity. That more or less sums up the last 70 years of labour lies up here.

    The core issue, why Scotland is so poor when it has so much going for it in terms of skills and resources, is lost in that self-congratulating frenzy of political superiority. Stick to the facts, Scotland is so poor because it’s been getting robbed for decades. That’s the argument for independence, not that we are superior.

  377. yesindyref2 says:

    “You draw on a distinction that many up here make about Scottish politics”

    “No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.”

  378. Tinto Chiel says:

    Dr Jim, I think some English people just think that Scotland was annexed or absorbed by England in 1707, just as they had grabbed Wales and Ireland. And “Scots” like peerie Davie Mun’ell agree, to his shame.

    These folk are awfie nice until you try to point out otherwise, and then sparks can fly, like when I met a couple on Skye who said they’d given up foreign travel and were quite happy to holiday in England now. When I pointed out they were in Scotland, I got the peevish reply, “It’s the same thing!”

    Makes it all the more remarkable that many English people are in the Yes movement/SNP. It would be interesting to know what flicked the switch for them. Serious Scotch Cringers are beyond hope, though, their self-loathing is irreversible. All you can do is leave them in a padded cell with a copy of the Scottish Daily Mail and The Great British Strictly Come Titchmarsh on the telly.

    Btw, has that AngosturaBittaz entity (or whatever he calls himself this week) gone yet?

  379. Thepnr says:

    “every individual has to make their own personal decision, about whether to live by the Truth, or by the Lie.”

    The quote I understand is the essence of Zoroastrianism.

    I believe individuals should practice what they preach.

  380. AhuraMazda says:

    Thepnr, that quote isn’t the essence of anything. Sorry.

    And in actual fact, if you understood Zoroaster hagiography better, you’d know that there is an acknowledgement in there that lies are necessary and that truth depends on them, just as light depends on darkness, etc.

    I’m struggling to see what all this has to do with Scottish Independence.

    yesindyref2, that website you refer to, if it’s the one I think it is, has a wide range of contributors. Your time would be better spent looking at those who put it together and provided the funding but Google only goes so far eh…

  381. yesindyref2 says:

    Why? A sensible person sets themselves limited objectives – and achieves them.

  382. heedtracker says:

    AhuraMazda says:
    12 May, 2016 at 2:26 pm
    Heedtracker, don’t lecture me on Greens, nobody thinks less of them than me.

    Where did I say Scots are superior? Fact is fact. England votes tory. England’s working class voters vote tory. They voted for Thatcher, and that’s all toryboy world needed to kick off a class war, in England. They’ve won too, in England. They’re holding it down in Scotland but its not certain for just how long is it?

    Lecture over. Nearly.

    Anyway, England votes tory because they’ve pumped so much money into England, infrastructure, schools, NHS. Scotland’s paid her share of it. Thatcher, Lawson, Lamont, Major, Brown and Blair, Osborne, Cameron have all taken Scots oil and Scots people right into England. They dumped the giant debt it all takes on Scotland but they’ve built one of the world’s biggest economies.

    Look at the rule England Britannia cost for Scotland though. Red and blue toryboys like Brown roaring too small, poor, stupid.

    You either think its all a price worth paying to be British or you can vote YES, its Scotland’s turn now.

  383. AhuraMazda says:

    Work produces a sweet essence…

  384. K1 says:

    Folks we all know it’s Torynat in another disguise, can we just ‘wide berth’ him. He’s really not worthy of your incredibly articulate and superior Scottish intellect’s. That’s just a fact. 😉

  385. Paula Rose says:

    @ K1 does that include me Honey cos I’ve got an English one.

  386. Thepnr says:

    “Work will set you free” or so I’ve heard. Smells a bit iffy to me.

  387. Paula Rose says:

    @Thepnr Honey – you’ve gone all non-sweary how sweet!

  388. AhuraMazda says:

    Thepnr, are you calling me of a nazi now? I didn’t say work sets you free.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the “troll” label is just a way of getting my attention.

    So, there’s about 4 people on this forum worth talking to and I’m 3 of them. Is that the idea?

    Anyway, please take K1’s advice.

    “A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.”

  389. Paula Rose says:

    Long paragraph break after my last comment.

  390. K1 says:

    Oh good grief PR, you so know I was being facetious…your intellect soars above mundanities and knows no ‘nationality’ 🙂 (yeah I can suck up too 😉 )

  391. Paula Rose says:

    @K1 xxx

  392. yesindyref2 says:

    Seems to have worked PR, I see nothing between:
    “@Thepnr Honey – you’ve gone all non-sweary how sweet!”
    “Long paragraph break after my last comment.”

  393. Voters can reject unsatisfactory MSPs under Single Transferable Vote, by not voting for them, because STV lets voters rank candidates, not just parties, by order of preference.

    And as for the “constituency link” which would you prefer, having only one elected representative you could go to for help, and if they don’t do it satisfactorily, no one else, or having several elected reps and the choice of going to any or all of them.

  394. Iain Mackenzie says:

    One ballot paper only (the constituency one).
    The number of top-up (regional) seats, allocated to each party, is determined by the best overall match to the total constituency percentages in a region.
    If a party merits, e.g., 3 top-up seats then these will go to the top 3 losing candidates in the constituencies judged by the percentage of the constituency vote achieved.
    If a party gets a total vote in a region that merits top-up seats, then the candidates that attracted that vote are the ones who are rewarded. Whether they are dead wood or not they will have been chosen by their local parties.

  395. Grouse Beater says:

    40% of this topic taken by the arrogant, pompous Ahura Mazda, no doubt with the excuse he is only answering challenges to his ‘opinion’.

  396. AFewHomeTruths says:

    You can’t be in favour of something when it works for you and against when it doesn’t. We got folk in on the lists who became prominent like FM. It would have been more unfair on us if that hadn’t been possible.

    Yes it hurts that some remain that we want to see the back of BUT other points of view are entitled to be represented. Denying that doesn’t help with the one party state jibe.

    There are other ways people can try to manipulate system. I consistently pushed for both votes this time again. We’ll need to evaluate opposition tactics each election to counter their plans.

    I would support open lists to allow a party vote but keep out an unpopular candidate.

  397. I’ve written a blog post describing in some detail how the electoral system used in Denmark could be applied to Scotland.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top