Use Election Ballot Boxes, A Referendum is Not Guaranteed
Sadly, Scottish democracy will not be respected by the UK Government. The Scottish Government has finally moved to a public position which agrees with their private position, namely that the UK Government will not grant a Sec30 order. The UK Government are not going to write their own obituary.
However, people have to understand the very serious point that nobody whatsoever in the Scottish Government or the SNP can guarantee any referendum before the 2026 election, therefore a Plan B is needed fast.
Firstly and fundamentally, as democrats, we must agree that the ballot box must be respected. It follows that elections and referendums are democratically valid, any denial of that is a denial of democracy. Therefore, either an election or a referendum can be used to decide on independence.
Scotland wants to vote for independence and the Brexit debacle is in the process of turning that into a clamour. The 20-in-a-row polls tells us the support has now been built and time to strike right now while the iron is hot.
A referendum is very unlikely to happen in the next Parliamentary term, Michael Russell’s 11-Point-Plan, (or 11-Point-Hope) concedes that at point 10.
The choice is either, gamble after the election on the long shot of a referendum, which will probably mean no shot at independence until 2026, or using the 2021 Election ballot boxes for independence. Elections are of course the most democratic and internationally legitimate act that can happen in a country, everyone recognises democratic results when the people are asked. No one has said either in London or internationally that they will not respect democracy in Scotland.
If we chicken out now what will the polls be like in 2026? Well they are great now, and the May elections are the only certain legal ballot box mechanism for 5 years. No referendum whatsoever is sure to happen.
Those of us who support Plan B would actually prefer a referendum, if it could happen, or Scottish independence, in large part because that is the habit of thinking of too many. However, independence supporters must grasp that on balance any referendum is extremely unlikely to happen in the next 5 years, Westminster or the Courts will see to that. To emphasise, ballot boxes at elections are as valid as referendums.
Those blinkered by a referendum-only approach should establish it can happen for certain before the 31st March 2021, to prevent the 2021 election will not be a wasted independence opportunity. If it is left and proven after the election that the referendums are blocked, it would mean waiting until the next chance at the 2026 election. Also, a pre-election deadline might actually improve the admittedly slim chances of a referendum, as a Boris-Veto could not be wielded without consequence.
There is nothing to lose by making the election about independence for the SNP. Independence is more popular than the SNP. The goal is open, the tap-in is simple but we seem to insist on missing the sitter of the open goal. It amazes me that the battle now to make sure the SNP gives the people of Scotland an opportunity to vote for independence in May, it is not Boris blocking that, instead it could be us!!
Being proactive on independence a win-win for the SNP. The SNP is still likely to be biggest party by far after the election. The more likely scenario, is that Scotland with the legitimacy of the people and thus the international community, would be on its way to independence from this May, 102 days time. So let us ask the people if they want independence, 20 polls say they do.