Ruth’s anti-democratic comments are dangerous

Why do we have democratic elections?  We have them because the alternative is armed conflict.  Elections are a proxy for tribal warfare where the tribe with the biggest army usually wins.  Votes replace soldiers.

It isn’t perfect, god knows the Westminster system of first past the post is one of the worst democratic systems, but it’s better than killing one another.

Over the last few months I’ve become increasingly disturbed by what amounts to an erosion of the integrity of the system of democracy we have in Scotland.  It started at the last Holyrood election when the winning party was somehow deemed to have failed because they fell short of an overall majority.

The SNP won the Scottish election by some considerable margin.  No other party came close.  Yet the Scottish Conservatives were awarded the plaudits by the Scottish media by dint of having replaced Labour in the position of second … a very distant second.

Ruth Davidson has dined out on this media travesty ever since.

The bombastic Unionist MSP has swallowed the hype to such an extent she now believes that it is she who earned the right to speak on behalf of the Scottish people.

It’s culminated in the Scottish Conservative leader now declaring that the SNP will still not have a mandate to hold a second referendum even if Nicola Sturgeon’s party win over fifty per cent of the vote in next week’s general election.

This is a staggering thing to say when you remember it comes from the representative of the party expected to form the next UK government.  All the more so when that same UK Government may find itself with uncontested power despite polling less in percentage terms than the SNP.

What Davidson is in fact saying is that Scottish democracy is worthless.  Scottish votes somehow do not count unless Davidson says they do.  Davidson wants Scottish voters to send a message to Nicola Sturgeon … but only the message Davidson dictates.

If, as expected, the SNP garner the bulk of Scotland’s Westminster seats then they will have won their third national election in succession where the constitution was front and centre.

The SNP won the 2016 Holyrood election on a manifesto that called for a second indyref in the event Scotland was dragged out of the EU against her will.  Nicola Sturgeon’s party won the local authority elections despite Unionists turning it into a proxy vote on indyref2.  If the party pulls of the treble then the mandate won in 2016 will be rock-solid.

What scares Ruth Davidson of course is the prospect of losing a second independence referendum.  A second campaign will highlight the false promises Unionists made in the first.  The biggest being the promise to protect Scotland’s EU membership.  Ruth Davidson herself gave that pledge.

Thus, the refusal to accept the SNP mandate isn’t about respecting the result of the first referendum, it’s about denying the results of subsequent elections.  And this is why I’m concerned.  Ruth Davidson’s anti-democratic rhetoric is dangerous.

Once we delegitimise the democratic process then we send a message to voters that they can no longer affect change via the ballot box.  We disenfranchise them.  We neuter them.  Moreover we force them to turn to other methods.

Where does the independence movement go when the door closes on the peaceful democratic path?

We are frequently told that we must do more to persuade young people to engage with politics.  But what signal does this send to our youth?  More worrying, what signal does it send to those young radicals who have taken up the invite only to find the democratic door slammed shut in their face?

The main stream media has thus far singularly failed to address Ruth Davidson’s very dangerous anti-democratic rhetoric.  Instead they have helped normalise it.

The media, especially BBC Scotland, has spent this entire campaign telling us it is about indyref2, yet here we have Ruth Davidson effectively warning she’ll refuse to accept the result.

The media needs to call out the leader of Scotland’s British Nationalists, and fast.

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9 thoughts on “Ruth’s anti-democratic comments are dangerous

  1. Proud Cybernat

    Davidson and Dugdale have stepped well over the line. If there does exist a modicum of sense and responsibility left in our traditional print and broadcast media, they simply MUST challenge these two Scottish Unionist leaders over this stance.

    It is wholly unacceptable in any democracy. To allow such an anti-democratic stance to go unchecked then our democracy will quickly fall into dictatorship. Is THAT what you want Scotland? A dictatorship with RD as FM? Really?

    The traditional media MUST ACT and ACT FAST to rein these two in.

  2. David Sillars

    Ballot box or bullet is an old question. The ballot must be fair to avoid the latter answer.

  3. bringiton

    If you deny that Scotland is a country,a real country that is,then their posturing makes sense.
    Of course,they can’t come out and say that as it would antagonise the great majority of Scots.
    So,they dance around it by claiming we are better together with England,our shared history,disaster for Scotland once we are no longer subsidised by England blah blah blah.
    The real reasons they don’t feel there is a need for democracy in Scotland need to be exposed so that people can make their own minds about them and what and whom they really represent.

  4. m boyd

    I wrote this morning re a separate piece that the UK was starting to feel and sound like Yugoslavia June 1991. My point being the trouble started when the dominant partner Serbia disputed Croatia’s right to self determination and the fighting started…

  5. Alex Beveridge

    Of course you are quite correct to point out the danger in Davidson’s rhetoric, but there is absolutely no chance of the B.B.C, or their fellow travellers in the M.S.M, altering their stance.
    This, along with the Scottish tory leader’s dalliance with the more extremist elements of the unionist movement, is extremely concerning.
    Even if the S.N.P win all 59 seats in the forthcoming General Election, this dangerous buffoon, along with her collaborators, Dugdale and Rennie, will still be shouting that the S.N.P don’t have a mandate to hold a second Scottish Referendum.
    We already are aware that the media have their headlines written should the S.N.P fail to replicate their result of 2015, Disaster/Body Blow/ Sturgeon Finished/S.N.P a busted flush, take your pick.
    And just wait till the Brexit negotiations fall apart. not long in my opinion, and Nicola announces the date of IndyRef2. Then we will really see the full force of the Westminster establishment turn their fury on us, a people who are daring to defy them, once again, and demand our independence.
    The present diatribe will be nothing compared to what is coming down the line. Can we convince enough people this time to vote Yes? If we don’t, we deserve to be consigned to history as cowards, who failed to take a second chance to make Scotland a truly independent nation.

  6. ScotsCanuck

    this article really touches a raw nerve in the Scottish political dialog …. what is the mandate for Scottish Independence ?

    It was Thatcher who stated that the Nationalists (at that time read SNP) would have to achieve a majority of Scottish MP’s, which I believe back then we sent 71 or 72 MP’s to WM ,,,,, so 36 would be the threshold.

    Well, that has been well and truly surpassed ….and what to we now hear “no Mandate as less than 50% of the population voted for Independence parties” ….. talk about moving the goal posts !!

    The nub here is that more & more Scots. young and em !! young at heart, see that we ARE being conned and we won’t have it. When this tide is understood by hardline Unionists (the worst of whom are fellow Scots !!) then I fear Violence will follow by that side of the argument, the George Square Fiasco on the 19th Sept 2014 I would cite as evidence.

    This is a dangerous game that Ms. Davidson is playing …. it has won her support but that support is volatile, unpredictable and unstable ….. as the auld Scots saying goes “if ye sup wi’ the devil ….. sup wi’ a lang spoon” ……. she would do well tae think on them words !!

  7. Ian

    In a similar vane I have been disturbed by the use and abuse of polls as a means of making decisions. Suddenly vague and poorly defined terms like ‘public consent’ are promoted as determining factors. Surely ‘public consent’ is not established by polls of 1000 people or through criteria decided on by politicians. but rather by the whole electorate voting in MPs and MSPs. We are after all, when I last checked, a parliamentary democracy

  8. Kerly

    Keep the hied
    Nicola is cleverer than the yoons
    Any violent behavior pushes people into our camp, trouble will only come from the knuckledraggers wrapped in union jacks they are a tiny minority

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