ARE you a pro-independence voter but considering voting Labour for its policies or because it is the only party which can defeat the Conservatives? That doesn’t work because, as Lesley Riddoch pointed out in Thursday's column, there is a basic difference between the attitudes of Scottish and English electorates.

The fact is that for more than 30 of the last 50 years, seven Conservative and one Conservative/LibDem coalition government have ruled over Scotland despite Scottish voters voting Labour or SNP majorities.

In every case, if every SNP MP had been Labour, Scotland would still have been ruled by Conservative or Conservative/LibDem UK governments. This history indicates that whatever the Labour vote is in Scotland, we are highly likely to end up being ruled by a Conservative government voted in by the English electorate.

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The level of this democratic deficit can be extreme. Following the 2015 General Election, Scotland voted in one Conservative MP and 56 SNP MPs yet Scotland ended up under the rule of a UK Conservative government. The equivalent would be England being ruled by a party with only nine MPs while another party had 506 MPs.

Even consider the 2017 election result: with 13 Conservative MP in Scotland and 35 SNP MPs, Scotland again ended up under the rule of a UK Conservative government, the equivalent of England being ruled by a party with only 117 MPs while another party had 316 MPs.

Do you believe the English electorate would have had so little self-respect as to accept that situation? They clearly would not, given the strength of feeling in the current Brexit situation where a 51.9% UK vote to leave is considered by many as sacrosanct.

If we don’t respect ourselves sufficiently to insist our democratic decisions must be acted upon then why should anyone else respect our decisions?

So it is more important than ever that you vote and that your priority is to vote for your pro-independence candidate, in this election the SNP candidate, to strengthen the case for Scottish independence. Anything except a strong pro-independence vote and a large number of SNP MPs will be used as an excuse to disrespect the views of Scottish people and legitimise a UK Government’s refusal to approve a second independence referendum, retaining this extreme democratic deficit for Scotland’s people.

Jim Stamper

THE so-called leaders debate on ITV/STV was a sham. Scotland was excluded while the two leaders argued about who was going to ignore Scotland most! Yet for all the talk about Scotland we had absolutely no right of reply.

Under this BritNat Union we are to be talked about, decisions made on our future but we must remain as only observers. This isn’t good enough. It really is time to change.

By voting SNP on December 12 we can take another step closer to not just our independence but having the power to represent ourselves and having the power to make decisions about our own future.

The complete disregard the TV companies hold Scotland in is unacceptable. That is why I will be writing to every company that placed adverts during the leaders debate to make them aware that they are complicit in ignoring Scotland.

Maybe if some of the 120,000-plus SNP members and others who support independence join in, we could send a clear signal Scotland is not to be ignored again.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren

SO, the first round between the two heavyweights in the election battle is over with neither delivering a knockout blow, although both contenders were laughed at during the exchanges.

It wasn’t long before the topic of Scottish independence was raised, and herein lies the ridiculous decision to exclude the First Minister – and yes, I reluctantly admit, the leader of the Liberal Democrats – from this debate.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn were given time to state that Scottish independence was not on their radar. This obviously went unchallenged as there was no-one to rebut their arguments.

The Prime Minister stated that “we didn’t need” a new vote on the Union. He has no right to make this statement, which was broadcast to viewers in Scotland unchallenged.

Mr Corbyn has already decided that, if in power, he would not grant a referendum in the first few years of a Labour government. I think it lets us know the view that they both have for and of Scotland.

Hector MacLean

WE must put a stop to this ridiculous “once in a generation” trope which desperate Unionists insist upon clinging to. It’s nonsense. Because (even if we disregard the principle that no parliament can bind a future parliament), the argument simply doesn’t add up!

Let’s do the maths: If a generation is agreed to be 25 years and we’ve been in the Union since 1707, that means 12 generations have passed. We’ve only had three votes on the matter (in 1979, 1997, and 2014) so, even if we accepted them as “once in a generation” events, we are still owed another nine referendums! I suggest that next time someone tries to flog this 312-year-old dead horse in front of you, ask them, “Just how long do you think a generation is!?”

Kate Hall

EVERY time I hear this “once in a generation” statement I think “Is that all they’ve got? Great!” because it is having absolutely no effect on the average voters or their voting intention. SNP spokespersons are wise to just ignore it. Contesting it is just a useless diversion away from significant issues.

David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll