Referenda Franchise

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At least four million Scots were displaced from Scotland owing to the chronic lack of economic opportunities in their own land, often helped to abandon their country of birth by United Kingdom state ‘incentives’, such as the Empire Settlement Acts. This is a grand method to reduce a rebellious colonial territory to one of quiet subservience.

English political perfidy exercised in this manner is continued today with the British state loading the dice in Scottish parliamentary elections with the D’Hondt voting system, a device to stop independence parties from gaining power, cannot then be dismissed by arguing to revisit and revise referenda franchise is ‘counter-productive’. The conditions of the 2014 Referendum wer e agreed between Alex Salmond and the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The one concession Salmond secured was a reduction in the voting age from 18 to 16. It was based on local elections, not categories in a general election.

The reasons given for this glaring contradiction come from two sources, unionists keen to pretend a parliament with severely limited powers represents full democracy, and from anxiety-prone Scots who call franchise revision ‘counter-productive, without staing why. They fail the test of their resolve to see their country free of oppression. They would rather not hurt the alleged sensibilities of unnamed friends than see a free Scotland.

The final insult is the one about Scotland’s ‘blood and soil nationalists’. No one can imagine the Japanese suffering doubts and guilt faced with the same moronic charge, breaking down in anguish to admit their race is an amalgam of influences, their heritage uncertain, agreeing they have no right to govern their own country.

This site has written, and published articles from others aimed at an understanding Scotland’s dilemma with its demographics. (See Professor Alfred Baird’s article linked below.) Scotland needs immigrants to settle here and enrich its economy, but a mass influx of them, people with no affiliation to Scottish traditions, culture or values, is gauranteed to defeat another independence referendum. This is probably why the British press has been light of criticism of our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, she having taken the ‘one and only’ path to liberation, the one already blocked by Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister. Our opponents know she is incapable of delivering anything except failure.

Scotland’s demographics are a legitimate subject of scrutiny, no matter who prefers censorship. In a slightly abridged version, we publish ‘Mia’s’ article on franchise re-evaluation. She find excuses and caveats wanting.

A LOP-SIDED REFERENDUM FRANCHISE

It has been reported that a majority of native Scots voted Yes in 2014, but that vote was frustrated by the No vote from the non natives. One could argue therefore that the only reason why the no vote won is because an excessively open franchise was used. One could question then the legitimacy of such a referendum when the non natives were allowed to frustrate in such fashion the right to self determination of the natives. I don’t remember Nicola Sturgeon opening her mouth about this.

You can give those in charge the benefit of the doubt and consider that the first time they used a flawed franchise they made a mistake because they did not know any better. Now that the evidence showing how the vote of the natives was frustrated has been in the open since 2015, if they still insist in forcing through the same flawed franchise again, then it can no longer be considered a mistake. It will be either unforgivable negligence or simply a deliberate strategy to make yes fail. Both unacceptable.

Nicola Sturgeon has been in power for seven long years. During that time she has had the opportunity to change that franchise 100 times over. So why didn’t she?

Precedents set

Gibraltar and the Falklands, UK colonies, have a rudimentary form of citizenship and a constitution. Scotland is an ancient nation and we don’t have any of those. Why not? We have had for more than ten years a nationalist government in Holyrood. That is plenty of time to start a new census and form the basis for that citizenship. If other UK colonies have that citizenship and constitution, albeit rudimentary, there is absolutely no excuse for Scotland not to have one. So what is Nicola Sturgeon’s excuse?

In the case of the Falklands, for example, this rudimentary citizenship status is called Falklands Islands status. It may be rudimentary, but in order to obtain it, the candidate must pledge loyalty to the Falkland Islands. Gibraltar has citizenship too. Citizenship is fundamental to take part in referendums or general elections, not just in Falklands or Gibraltar but in countries all over the world. So where is Scotland’s?

In every country in the world, to gain citizenship you either are a native of the country, or a child of a native of the country, or you have been naturalised, which implies invariably to have lived in the country for a certain length of time and having acquired citizenship by pledging allegiance to the country. If Gibraltar and Falklands, significantly smaller than Scotland and not older as nations than Scotland can demand allegiance, then what is the reason why Scotland cannot have hers?

Weak leadership

Is it because of Nicola Sturgeon’s lack of interest? Is it because of her incompetence as a pro-indy leader? Or rather because setting up a citizenship would leave her and her masters with no credible excuse whatsoever to restrict the franchise to only those who hold Scotland’s citizenship?

A quick glance at the Census 2011 shows immediately that the number of people from outwith Scotland being added to our population is many, many times bigger than the increase of Scottish population due to people being born here. Actually, if my calculations are not wrong, this should send alarm bells ringing and will immediately cast doubts about the legitimacy of a referendum with such an open franchise to be used as a valid exercise in self determination.

According to the National Records of Scotland, the total population in Scotland at the moment of writing the 2011 census that were 16 years of age or older and that had been born in Scotland were 3,569,936. 473,695 were born in the rUK and 335,441 were born outside the UK. All those could vote in a referendum with an open franchise.

Based in that 2011 census, when you calculate the total number of potential voters born out of Scotland the figure is 809,136, which is equivalent to a 22.7% of the voters born in Scotland. Those 22.7% might have no allegiance to Scotland at all. That percentage is huge and can totally trash the expressed democratic will of the native population.

Born in Scotland

These figures do not take into account how many of those born in Scotland have no allegiance at all to Scotland because they are of direct rUK ascendency and do not see Scotland as their country (or worse, as a nation). The figure of 22.7% may well be a huge underestimation of the infiltration of rUK population into Scotland’s and therefore now how flawed the use of such an open franchise has been.

Why is this important? Because there is something that nobody likes to talk about for fear of being called racist, blood and soil nationalist, extreme ethnic nationalist or some other vacuous and meaningless insult of the sort. That something is the inexcapable fact that being born in Scotland does not immediately give you natural allegiance to Scotland.

You may have been born in Scotland just because your parents were passing by or because your parents moved from another country and brought with them their own allegiance to the country where they came from and that they transferred to you. I should know this very well because it defines me and my siblings down to a Tee. Where I am going with this? Well, an increase in population from outwith Scotland does not increase the sense of Scottish nationhood but rather dilutes it.

An imaginary scenario

On the day of the referendum, let’s imagine that only 70% of those born in Scotland go to the polls (that would be 2,498,955 natives voting). Let’s imagine that due to the strong motivation of “not allowing Scots to breaking up their country” or avoiding depriving the rUK of Scotland’s natural assets, or stopping Scots separating them from the rest of their family down in England, or fear of a hard border that may force them to use a passport to come and use their holiday home in Scotland, 90% of those born outside Scotland go to the polls (that would be 768,679 voters).

Now let’s imagine that as much as 55% of those born in Scotland who go to vote, vote Yes (that would be 1,374,425 yes votes from the Scots natives). Let’s imagine that only 10% of those born out of Scotland vote yes (that would be 76,868 yes votes from those born out of Scotland). The total number of Yes votes would be 1,451,293. For those who think 90% against yes is an exaggeration, I invite you to look at the figures for the last indyref in Quebec. In some anglo speaking areas in Quebec, the vote against independence was 100%. If 45% of those born in Scotland and 90% of those born outwith Scotland vote No, then the total figure for No would be 1,816,341

If only – the eternal regret

In that imaginary scenario, if only Scots natives had voted, Yes would have won by 55%. When you include those not born in Scotland with a strong motivation for the UK to remain intact, then that Yes vote plummets to a 44.4%. Do those figures sound familiar?

The information available in the 2011 census does not allow you to work out how many of the voters born in Scotland will never vote yes because their ancestry is from the rUK (for example with MOD, civil servant parents or oil workers for example). Needless to say, that there are others who will never vote Yes because members of their family live outwith Scotland and perceive Scotland’s independence as an obstacle to see their family. The message that Nicola Sturgeon has sent for five years that “we have to convert more No voters” is bollocks of the highest order.

Given the demographics and ancestry in front of us, in my personal view, expecting anything more than a 55% yes vote among the natives is unrealistic with such a percentage of people from a different ancestry among natives Scots.

Between 2001 and 2011 Scotland’s population increased by over 233.000 people. Of that number only 1484 were Scots born ( a net gain of Scots born). What this tells us is that of the extra 233,392 people Scotland gained in those 10 years, a huge 99% are from different ancestry, with no sense of Scottish nationhood and much less motivation to vote Yes. Scotland seems to be haemorrhaging Yes voters and swapping them for No voters.

Again, when you see that of all the extra people Scotland gets in 10 years, only a 1% are more likely to be Yes voters because have some form of allegiance to Scotland. Using the 2011 census figures, for every 1484 natives that you convert to Yes in 5 years, you get another 231,000 extra No voters of which you will have to convert at least half to keep the balance and ensure Yes wins.

I would have liked to use more up to date figures but Nicola Sturgeon ensured that could not happen by blocking the 2020 census, using the excuse of Covid. Amazingly the census went ahead in England, Wales and Northern Ireland it was just in Scotland that it proved impossible.

NOTES

1. This article was first published in ‘Yours For Scotland‘ website.

2. The data above was extracted from the census 2001-2011, at https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ or calculated from that data after downloading the tables. “Majority of Scottish born voters said ‘yes”, written by MIntosh, L, March 2015 in The Sunday Times “Independence referendum figures revealed: Majority of Scots born here voted YES while voters from elsewhere in UK said NO”, by Clegg D, March 2015, in The Daily Record.

3. Scottish Demographics by Professor Alfred Baird: https://wp.me/p4fd9j-q6v

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3 Responses to Referenda Franchise

  1. duncanio says:

    Looking at some of the points you raise in your introduction, GB, regarding the accusations and attacks that are faced by the YES Movement we really need to start re-framing the arguments:

    We are Scottish Nationals (a normal thing), not Nationalists (as in British Nationalists and a bad thing)

    We are Scottish Independentistas (an honourable thing), not isolationists (as in British Brexiteers & xenophobes and a bad thing)

    We are Scottish separatists (a decent thing), not empire builders (as in British brutish colonist plunderers and pillagers).

    The shame is all with the British Unionists and Nationalists (BUNS) – let’s make them own it!

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    I agree absolutely. We are so used to defending.

  3. Molly's Mum says:

    I am getting more despondent by the day – I used to be an SNP activist, I used to live and breathe the YES movement – and Lord forgive me, I did think at one point that Queen Nicola of Covid was a worthy successor to Alex Salmond

    Now I find tweeting #ScottishIndependence7 and some Saltires is as much as a contribution as I can muster

    But wait, what’s this I hear? Tis Angus Robertson conversing in perfect German plugging his new book on…….. Vienna. Is he taking the Urin? How can he manage to find the time to write, and I quote

    “366 pages, accompanied by another 80 pages of notes and bibliography”

    but has no time at all to get us anywhere near independent from rUK?

    Someone, somewhere……… tweet me a Saltire, I can’t take any more

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