Franchise for Indyref2

From my response to the consultation on the proposed Referendum Bill

There is a strong case for international supervision of the referendum. Regardless of any other matters it would guarantee proper conduct. The referendum will be of international significance as well as impacting, massively upon the people of Scotland and what is left of the UK. It is important that the result is beyond question.

It is important that the issue of prior opening of postal votes is tackled explicitly. Postal votes should not be opened ahead of the count and it was a surprise to many that they had been, and that some politicians were claiming to have advance knowledge of how the voting was going.

There need to have elicit provision against ministers and others using influence in any purdah period ahead of the vote. One thinks specifically of the “Vow”, which was an attempt to introduce new ideas mere days before polling, but there are other possibilities .

I have serious concern bout the franchise. I accept as sound the idea that ll those who chose to live in Scotland or have domicile here, despite temporary absense should vote. However there are groups who qualify to vote who are not domiciled in Scotland in any meaningful way.

Two groups spring to mind,especially, although there may be others. One group is students who are resident for the duration of their course (and who may have registration in two places as well). Students from Scotland could vote on the basis of settled residence and home addresses. The other group is workers on short-term contracts, who are based in reality other than the area they work in.

Such group are not necessarily committed to Scotland as their home and it seems iniquitous that they should decide a nations future merely by reason of an extended visit.


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