Yesterday there was a symbolic and non-binding vote on independence in Catalonia. In a festive atmosphere, 2.3 million Catalans made their way to polling stations. Voters were asked two questions: whether Catalonia should be a state, and if they replied yes, whether it should be an independent state. Results showed that 80.7% (almost 1.9 million) voted yes to both questions, 10% (more than 230.000) voted yes to the first question and no to the second, while 4.5% (almost 105.000) voted no.
Stephen Tierney asks is it feasible to address additional powers for the Scottish Parliament alone without also considering the knock-on consequences for the entire country? This post was originally posted on The United Kingdom Constitutional Law Association (UKCLA) blog.
The main focus of the Smith Commission is to decide which powers should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Yet, in practice, these powers are held by the Scottish Government and devolved to, or shared with, a large number of governmental, non-governmental and quasi-non-governmental bodies. As a result, no one is quite sure who is responsible for decisions made in the name of the Scottish Parliament.
Craig McAngus discusses how Scottish Labour’s new leader has a formidable challenge of rebuilding the party’s image in Scotland. This blog was orignially published on The Conversation
Rumours have been swirling for about a month now that Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was facing an internal challenge. So in one sense, the news of her resignation is not a surprise. But despite the signs, her decision to step down with immediate effect was still a shock.
The Smith Commission is accepting party proposals regarding what further devolution will look like for Scotland. Craig McAngus, Research Fellow at the Centre on Constitutional Change, argues that the SNP will come out of the process as the likely winners. They will be able to point to their proposals as being the will of the Scottish people, while attacking the other parties (mainly Labour) for selling Scotland constitutionally short.
Professor Kirstein Rummery discusses the opportunity provided to Scotland when on the 9th Oct the Finance Cabinet Secretary John Swinney delivered the 2015-16 budget to the Scottish Parliament. For the first time since 1707, Scotland had the opportunity to start raising its own taxes. A chance for the Secretary to start flexing his muscles and demonstrate would Scotland could do to achieve its goal of a fairer, more prosperous society ahead of the Smith Commission’s recommendations for further devolved powers.
The United Kingdom has set up federal systems across the world but has been reluctant to embrace the principle itself, whether in relation to its constituent nations or to Europe. In the latter context, indeed, it has remained the ‘f-word’. Now almost everyone is talking about federalism as a new way of approaching the Scottish issue, a third way between devolution and independence, and as a device for fitting the United Kingdom together as a whole. As usual, when so many people agree on an idea, however, they do not agree on its meaning.