Nicola Sturgeon’s position on a second independence referendum is flawlessly democratic. It takes the matter out of the hands of politicians and leaves the decision where it belongs – with the people.
The notion that “the SNP may struggle to claim a mandate if it does try to hold another [referendum] before 2021” is offensively nonsensical. A mandate doesn’t derive from a manifesto. A mandate is wholly in the gift of the people. And they can choose to award that mandate at any time. To assert that an election brochure is the sole basis for a mandate is an unwarranted restriction of the democratic process. A restriction that is, however, perfectly in keeping with a British political system which assumes that opportunities for expression of the democratic will of the people are appropriately restricted to occasional stage-managed events. A system which explicitly denies the proper nature of democracy as a continuous process.
Hence, the total inability of those immersed in the British political system to comprehend that the first independence referendum was not the end of the matter – if not for all time, then for some undefined but arbitrarily extended period. Embracing the British political system, as hard-line unionists do with a fervour that borders on religious fanaticism, necessarily involves unquestioning acceptance of severe constraints on the democratic process that true democrats hold to be excessive, and impediments to democratic expression that those less contemptuous of the fundamental principles of democracy naturally regard as onerous and unacceptable.
As well as being unwilling to accept that there never was any “once in a generation” promise from the SNP, ideological unionists are incapable of understanding that, even had it been offered, such an undertaking would be meaningless as not politician or political party has the rightful authority to impose such limits on the democratic process.
A genuinely democratic government is as constantly receptive and responsive to the will of the people as may be possible. A genuinely democratic government acknowledges and accepts that sovereignty is vested in the people and not in some political elite.
Nicola Sturgeon has recognised this. She has said that, if elected in May, her government will listen to the voice of the people and abide by their will. She has renounced the British concept of parliamentary sovereignty by which the Westminster clique asserts the superiority of its authority.
British politicians, such as Ruth Davidson, insist that they (or rather their bosses in London) will tell us if and when we may exercise our inalienable right of self-determination. They brazenly state that they will not permit us to have our say even if a clear majority of the people demand the opportunity to make their voice heard. They are unashamedly anti-democratic – because, for the British nationalist, the imperative of preserving the old order and the old ways takes precedence over democracy. The needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people are as nothing compared to preservation of the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.
That is what is at stake in this coming election. That is the choice facing the Scottish electorate. A choice between Nicola Sturgeon’s solemn undertaking to respect the sovereignty and democratic authority of Scotland’s people; and the British parties’ openly declared determination to assert the dominance of the ruling elites of the British state and spit on the democratic process.
Doesn’t seem like a difficult choice to me.Views: 3047
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