“I am as you stated a settler and therefore I think you are saying you would prefer I didn’t have the opportunity to vote”
I am sorry if I did not make myself clear, but no, that is not my interpretation at all.
My interpretation of what rules Scotland should have (taking as a starting point those in other countries in Europe) is as follows:
FOR ANY REFERENDUM TAKING PLACE AFTER SCOTLAND DECLARES INDEPENDENCE
Settlers (of whatever origin) are eligible to apply for Scottish citizenship and after achieving this vote in constitutional matters when they have lived in Scotland for acontinuous and defined period of time. As I mentioned above in my response to Duncanio, in my personal opinion, considering the small population that Scotland has, that period should not be less than 10 years, but that is my opinion. Others would be happy with just 5 years. In my view, the smaller the population a country has, the easier is for the constitutional decisions of this population to be diluted by people coming from elsewhere unless you restrict the amount of people that could come into the country per year, but restrictions in the access to the country from abroad is something I do not support.
Again, taking as base the conditions imposed by other countries in Europe, I am of the opinion that presenting documentation to prove having lived continuously in Scotland as the main address for the stipulated period of time and a ceremony of allegiance to Scotland should be part of the process to become a citizen. These are things most states in Europe, and I include here the UK union, already have as part of their process to grant citizenship.
If a person who has lived in Scotland for that stipulated period of time or more, but they do not feel they can swear allegiance to Scotland or the option of applying for Scottish citizenship is incompatible with them keeping the citizenship of the country where they originally come from, then it would be up to themselves to decide which citizenship to choose. But without Scottish citizenship I would not agree for them to have a vote in constitutional matters or even general elections.
For every person born elsewhere, not eligible for Scottish citizenship, but who entered legally the country, I would advocate for a residence card to give them full rights of access to all public services, full rights to request a NI number, full rights to find a job, buy property, opening bank accounts, vote in local elections and enter/exit the country to cite some examples. Again, I don’t think this is much different to the stipulations of other countries among which there is no freedom of movement.
FOR A REFERENDUM ON INDEPENDENCE WHILE SCOTLAND IS STILL PART OF THE UK
Ideally, and the current FM has had 8 years to do this, I would create a registry of residents to which new information is added each year. From this registry, it would be easy to establish what people, not born in Scotland, would have lived in Scotland above the stipulated period of time that would give them rights to apply for citizenship if Scotland was independent.
In absence of such registry, for a quick referendum, the first thing I would advocate for is to set a threshold of length of residence in Scotland to be able to vote. This threshold must be reasonable, and in line with what other countries in Europe stipulate. I do not accept that a person who has just arrived to Scotland or has lived here for one or two years has automatically the right to vote in general elections and constitutional matters.
Again, if it was down to me I would establish that period to be 10 years. How do you go about this? By looking at the old electoral registries for local elections. People who was in the electoral registries OF SCOTLAND for the last 10 years before the deadline of registration for the referendum, should automatically be given the right to vote. If some of those who were not in the older registry (for example because they never registered to vote or because they were too young) they would have to demonstrate they were living in Scotland at the time. For children it would be easy – for example with records of School for example. For others, they could for example request confirmation from their GPs they were registered for over 10 years, confirmation from place of work, or confirmation from their city-councils. I appreciate this may be a bit more complex for those who have often changed address, but it could be helped with a record of where they paid their taxes.
You have been for over 40 years living in and voting in Scotland. In my view you should be granted automatic right to vote.
FOR USING A UK GENERAL ELECTION AS A PLEBISCITE ON INDEPENDENCE (Scotland is still part of the UK at this point)
In this instance, and because Scotland has zero control over the franchise, the counting of the vote and the electoral rules like where the funding comes from, everybody elegible to vote under UK rules can and will do so, no matter where they were born or if they have lived in Scotland uninterruptedly all their lives, for 10 years or for 10 minutes. Under such circumstance, and as I said above, I do not consider fair to force on us the demands a proper referendum of a majority of the vote because those disadvantages cannot be balanced out by the benefits of holding a proper referendum. Examples of those benefits are controlling the franchise, controlling/approving new registrations to vote, setting rules to stop voting fraud and setting the rules of how/where the vote will be counted, to cite some.
I hope this helps to clarify a little better how I would consider a fair system to work. This is my own vision of it and therefore it is meant to be just the starting point of a debate where not only my perspective, but that of all others reading this blog should be included too so we could all reach a common agreement and perhaps help design a better and more reliable system for Scotland.
The franchise is crucial. In 2014 Scots voted for Independence by 53% to 47%. people born elsewhere in the UK voted 72% against. We know from the inflow in the time since 2014 that the numbers coming from elsewhere in the UK to live in Scotland have soared in that time. This will be confirmed when the delayed, I wonder why, census is eventually published. No where else, anywhere in Europe, could this happen. Every other country has protections to ensure the native populations views are not diluted and submerged as happened in Scotland eight years ago. This is not ”blood and soil” nationalism this is common sense in line with other nations set for good reason. What Mia proposes is entirely reasonable.
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
BEAT THE CENSOR
Sadly some websites that claim to be pro Indy have turned out to be only Pro SNP sites and have sought to ban any websites that dare to question SNP Policy or tactics. They seek to avoid the public being aware that alternatives to waiting for Westminster to “grant” Scotland a Section 30 to hold a referendum exist. Issues like the flawed franchise, the Claim of Right route, the work of the SSRG and Salvo fill them with dread. As this blog promotes all routes, including alternatives I am banned from these sites and am therefore very grateful to my readers, who knowing about these efforts to ban and suppress go out of their way to subscribe and to share my articles far and wide. It is a good thing that attempts to restrict free speech and censor are defeated in this way.
Free subscriptions are available on this site from both the Home and Blog pages. This will ensure you will be notified every time a new article is posted. Each article already gets posted to many thousands of people, I hope you will come and join us. You will be most welcome.
Now that Salvo has been launched it needs everybody to join and get behind this important, vital even, development. I have never encouraged readers to donate to Yours for Scotland indeed I operate a limit that even when people are overcome and demand the ability to donate I operate a strict limit of £3 per donation. I said that any excess to the costs of running this site would go to worthy Yes events. I have made some donations in the past but yesterday I gave a three figure sum to Salvo. I want to do more so while I am keeping, at this stage, the maximum donation to £3 I am now encouraging readers of Yours for Scotland to donate regularly with the assurance that every penny raised, over the running costs of this site, will be donated to Salvo. Salvo is a people’s movement and it needs us, the people of Scotland, to give them the funds they need. Thank you.