Monday, 24 November 2014

Smart moves...and some not so smart

In a bold move Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, has offered to stand as a candidate for Berwick-upon-Tweed at the General Election in May.  The thinking behind this move is that if she does so, the SNP would then be standing in constituencies in both Scotland and England and would therefore have a UK presence electorally speaking.  This should then entitle Nicola Sturgeon to participate in TV debates with the other parties, since the excuse currently used to exclude her is that the SNP is not a UK-wide party.  I'm not so sure that it will work, as strict adherence to the rules doesn't appear to be the forte of the current broadcast media, but it's nevertheless worth a try.

Meanwhile, over at the Labour leadership election, there is a report that the voting of Labour MPs and MSPs will be made public by Scottish Labour, so that we will be told which of the leadership candidates each person voted for.  They are doing this, apparently, 'to encourage transparency'.  This strikes me as disingenuous at best and a slippery slope at worst.  I cannot think of any reason that this would be useful, other than to try and force MPs and MSPs to vote for the 'right' candidate.  It's certainly a violation of the principle of the right to a free vote in a secret ballot, the very foundation of any democracy.  I hope this is not a sign of Labour in Scotland's future direction, although they have been showing some authoritarian tendencies in the recent past, mainly in order to win votes in 'swing' constituencies.  Really not a smart move by Scottish Labour.

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