Scottish Parliament election: Holyrood vote can and should go ahead – Kenny MacAskill

I’m loathe to disagree with my good friend Henry McLeish but, on whether the Scottish elections should proceed in May, I must.

Scottish Parliament election: Holyrood vote can and should go ahead – Kenny MacAskill
Photo courtesy of Bernt Rostad from Flickr

For sure, the pandemic could worsen and it may still be required, so contingency planning there must be. But assuming lockdown’s lifted, the vaccine roll-out is proceeding and the situation’s improving then I see no reason why they shouldn’t, and indeed many more reasons why they should.

Democracy’s vital and holding governments to account’s essential. That’s why elections need to be held and indeed even during an event such as this pandemic.

There are issues over the handling of the pandemic that are the electors’ right to decide upon. Now I believe the Scottish government has done well in these difficult circumstances. Of course, there’s been some mistakes made and other aspects that were beyond their powers.

But it's important that the public have their say. The opposition can challenge or put forward an alternative, which’s vital especially as we consider where to go from here. It’s also important that those who deny the issue or query the cure can have their say – and more importantly be rejected by the electorate.

Campaigning will have to be curtailed but then so has life. Moreover, even when this is all over, whether we return to the same ways and methods is debatable. People will still hesitate to chap doors and many may not welcome such approaches. Politics will have to adapt as other aspects of life have done.

Contines...