Comment posted Misleading instructions to voters: is Duncan Macintyre trawling for 4th preference votes? by Tim McIntyre.
Dave McEwan Hill’s point that we used to have too many uncontested council seats is certainly valid.
Mind you, maybe more people are standing for election these days for other reasons….
Tim McIntyre also commented
- Ken – politics certainly has changed since the 60s, and your story is a good example of that. There are doubtless many reasons for this, but the voting system is arguably not one of them – our MPs and constituency MSPs are still elected by FPP.
True, the regional MSPs give a more proportional result at Holyrood, which I have no argument with.
At local authority level I’m less convinced that the PR system has been an improvement. The wards are geographically too big for the councillors to get completely to grips with, especially in the rural areas. They can work together to divide up the wards into ‘patches’ which they nominally take responsibility for, but that responsibility is greatly diluted.
That’s not to say that there are not some advantages – as pointed out above by Anne & Dave McEwan Hill, but personally I still think the new system is not an improvement overall.
- The STV system should never have been introduced in sparsely populated rural/small town areas for council elections.
The confusion it causes voters (and indeed some councillors, it would seem) is bad enough – much worse, it has severely diluted the clear link which used to exist between each councillor and his or her constituents.
PR/STV might make some sense in city areas where it can help to break single-party domination, but not in predominantly rural councils where the wards are now geographically far too big.
Recent comments by Tim McIntyre
- Porkie from Salmond on fiscal policy as Darling bests him again in Reporting Scotland interviews
I didn’t see either interview, so have no comment on newsie’s “Blow for Salmond as Darling Triumphant Again” analysis
Is is not the case that being part of a currency union primarily requires the participants to agree on limits to public borrowing, and particularly borrowing to finance revenue expenditure?
Fiscal policy covers the whole gamut of government revenue & expenditure, and so an independent government can surely still have effectively full control over public spending priorities, taxation and borrowing to invest in public infrastructure. These are surely the powers that matter most, particularly in terms of stimulating economic growth and achieving a fairer distribution of the nation’s wealth.
Personally I would be quite happy for an independent Scottish government to have some external discipline imposed over revenue borrowing – it would constrain them to funding public service expenditure increases through economic growth and/or tax. Whether you are part of of a currency union or not, the reality is that this discipline is imposed externally anyway, by the markets, so it’s not that big a deal. Plus we’re not exactly latched to a country with a record of tight fiscal control, as Mr Darling knows better than almost anyone else.
The comments which usually emerge about the supposed ‘dangers’ of currency union tend to refer to the absolute extremes of the Euro, i.e. Germany and Greece. This is a completely nonsensical comparison – Scotland & rUK have economies which are broadly similar, and Scotland, supposedly the ‘Greece’ in this analogy, has the natural resource clout to punch well above its weight in terms of economic potential. Where they differ significantly, e.g. in the import/export balance, a currency union would seem to offer at least as great an advantage to rUK as it does to Scotland.
I’m not any kind of expert on this, so I pose these points more as questions than assertions. Mr Salmond (and the Fiscal Commission) say a CU would be a good thing, for BOTH parties; Mr Darling (and Messrs Osborne, Balls & Alexander) say not. Who to believe? I haven’t seen any analysis of the benefits – specifically to rUK – of being in a CU with an independent Scotland, so would be interested to hear what Mr Strang (above) has to say on that.
- PHEW. Scotland can sleep easy. Alan Reid says we can keep the pound.
‘Of course an independent Scotland could use the pound if we wanted to’.
It’s a pretty uncontroversial and self-evidently truthful statement, so why the fuss?
Now if he’d said ‘Of course the UK will agree to a currency union with an independent Scotland’ that would be different…
- The food bank situation across the United Kingdom
Food banks are a symptom – not so much of a poor economy overall, but of one in which government policies have led to gross levels of social inequality, and no-one disputes that this has happened across the UK.
The SNP government has no constituency or mandate outwith Scotland, obviously, and I don’t recall the FM ever suggesting that Osborne’s policies were affecting Scotland any worse than the English regions. So that, and therefore this whole article, is a straw-man I’m afraid, newsroom.
Mr Salmond’s intention, I assume, is to point out that an independent Scottish government would be free to choose a different economic path, in which the wealth of the nation is shared more equitably.
- Andrew Argyle: Yes campaign impaled on currency
An interesting perspective from someone who sounds like he knows about these things – a UK union supporter too!
- Political whodunnit with reverberations
Sceptic 1 – “It has already been confirmed by the financial sector that any decision by the SNP not to pay their share of the UK debt would certainly be considered as a default…”
Can you provide a link to back this up please?
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