Scottish Referendum Deal Reached

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond have reached a deal on the upcoming Scottish independence referendum. It looks as if the SNP have gotten what they wanted in several respects:

  • 16- and 17-year-olds will be allowed to vote.
  • The referendum will be held in late 2014.
  • While the Electoral Commission will advise on the question, it will ultimately be up to the Scottish Parliament, controlled by the SNP.

The SNP have dropped plans to include a third option in the referendum, which would presumably have been “devo-max” or full fiscal autonomy with political union. As I have noted before, I think this is a missed opportunity for holding a ranked-ballot referendum and selecting the Condorcet winner. However, with no political party actually advocating the devo-max option, it was always unlikely that the referendum would include it. (And apparently the SNP was interested only as a way of splitting the anti-independence vote, i.e., not allowing ranked ballots.)

Reactions from around the UK:

  1. Guardian, “Scottish people would have voted for ‘devo-max.’ That’s why it’s not an option”
  2. Telegraph, “Alex Salmond ‘will have to defy history’ to win Scottish independence referendum”
  3., “Scottish independence: Overconfident London could rue the day”
  4. Better Nation, “The Edinburgh Agreement”

2 thoughts on “Scottish Referendum Deal Reached

    1. Well, the recent local elections got some sensationalist reportage, but they don’t really mean much. Since Flanders has a fragmented multiparty system, it will be difficult for secessionists to push the issue even if they “win” next year’s regional elections.

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