IN any flourishing democracy, the expression of the people’s will is sacrosanct. The ballot box serves as the conduit through which citizens articulate their aspirations for the future of their nation. When a political party secures the majority of seats in a General Election, it is a resounding declaration of the collective will of the electorate. This cardinal principle of democracy must be extended to Scotland, a distinctive nation within the United Kingdom, wherein an SNP victory in seat count should unequivocally bestow upon them a mandate for independence.

At the core of democracy lies the principle of self-determination. It is the intrinsic right of any people to freely determine their political status, chart their economic, social, and cultural course, and ultimately forge their own destiny. By acknowledging the legitimacy of the SNP’s call for independence upon winning the majority of seats in a General Election, we affirm and uphold this principle.

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While the seat count in a General Election may serve as a barometer of the people’s will, it is essential to recognise that Westminster holds the power to alter this narrative. The UK Government possesses the authority to prevent the seat count from becoming synonymous with a mandate for independence by simply authorising a standard referendum. This act would not only respect the democratic process but also showcase a genuine commitment to the democratic ideals that underpin the Union.

Scotland is more than a mere geographical region within the United Kingdom; it is a nation with its own rich history, vibrant culture, and distinct identity. The yearning for self-governance is deeply etched in the Scottish consciousness, and this sentiment cannot be overlooked. Offering Scotland the right to decide its own future through a referendum is not an act of defiance, but an affirmation of the autonomy and dignity of its people.

Compelling a nation to remain within a political entity against its will raises profound questions about the principles of consent and democracy. Extending to Scotland the right to hold a referendum is a clear demonstration of regard for the democratic will of the Scottish people. It empowers them to make a choice based on their own aspirations and desires, rather than being subjected to decisions made in Westminster.

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Granting Scotland the right to decide its own future does not signify a weakening of the Union, but rather a reinforcement of it through voluntary association. A union founded on mutual respect and consent is far more resilient and enduring than one imposed against the wishes of a substantial portion of its members. By affording Scotland the opportunity to express its will through a referendum, the UK Government can exhibit a dedication to a union built on shared values and principles.

In a democracy, the voice of the people reigns supreme. By acknowledging the SNP’s mandate for independence upon winning the most seats in a General Election, we uphold the principles of self-determination and consent that lie at the core of democratic governance. Granting Scotland the right to hold a referendum is not an act of concession, but an affirmation of the democratic ideals that underlie our society. It is a testament to our respect for the autonomy and dignity of the Scottish people, ensuring they have a say in shaping their own destiny within the Union. It is time to embrace this democratic imperative and allow Scotland to determine its own future.

Kevin Walker
Yes Blairgowrie & Rattray

LATER this week we will find out what is happening to Fergus Ewing MSP for daring to speak out against some of the policies of the Scottish Government. It should be noted that it is usually the policies under the guardianship of Green ministers that have been the subject of his attacks. No doubt he has probably broken the party whip for doing so, but was he wrong? He obviously believes – as do a good proportion of the public – that these policies and their implementation were less than useless and would have a direct negative impact on his constituents.

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You have to question why there was no room in the SNP group to discuss these policies – it sounds like they were pushed through by the leadership without proper scrutiny. Surely it would have been better to have a full debate within the SNP group to discuss the merits and pitfalls of each policy rather than put constituency MSPs on the spot to choose between loyalty to a party leadership which ignores them or to their constituents who will suffer if these policies go through? The fiasco over the Deposit Return Scheme has cost more than £90 million and the HPMA plan has lost the SNP a lot of votes in coastal communities which they may not win back.

It is ironic though that Fergus, in standing up in parliament to protect his constituents, faces discipline, while Green MSP Maggie Chapman openly takes part in protests about Scottish Government funding for the fire service – do they not have a whip in the Scottish Green Party? I know the suspicion is that the Greens are leading the SNP government, but this double standard makes it hard to understand how the SNP benefits from an alliance with the duplicitous Greens.

Alex Beckett

WITH proposals for “assisted dying” again in the news, my views remain unchanged. I neither agree nor disagree with it. I firmly believe that, although preserving life wherever possible is the duty of the medical profession, it is superseded by an obligation to relieve suffering. To relieve suffering, therefore, should take precedence to ensure a peaceful death, even if it leads to hastening that final outcome. Why must everything be an either/or choice, with no middle way? My family will find this instruction filed with my funeral plan.

P Davidson