Juliet Swann's blog

17 Sep 2015

The Scottish people should be involved in the devolution debate

Yesterday (Wednesday 16th September) the Scottish Parliament debated ‘Scotland’s Future: Democracy and Devolution’. One year on from the independence referendum, and with the Scotland Bill due to go to report stage in the next few weeks, this debate offered parliamentarians the chance to reflect on the debate in the run up to September 18th 2014, and to consider progress on promised further […]
6 May 2015

So who gets to be Prime Minister?

In 2011 the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was passed. Setting aside its merits or demerits, the politics behind its introduction and the decision to fix the terms at five years, it is a piece of legislation whose true impact will only be known after May 7th and analysis of which indicates some disagreement as to its effect. What complicates this short piece of legislation still further is that it […]
29 Apr 2015

What’s happening in Scotland?

If the polls are to be believed, next Thursday Scotland will vote to send more SNP MPs to the House of Commons than ever before. Why is what used to be a stable voting pattern seeing such a massive change? Since devolution, or rather since 2003 when they got to grips with voting in the devolved election, Scottish voters have behaved differently when voting for Westminster than for Holyrood. […]
13 Jan 2015

Cash for registration?

The Cabinet Office last week announced a ‘further’ £9.8m of spending to promote voter registration . Some £6.8m is being allocated to local authorities, depending on their levels of under-registration. And up to £2.5m will be used to fund national activity, again aimed at under-registered groups. The remaining £500,000 is earmarked for ‘efforts to boost confidence in the elections process’. While […]
18 Sep 2014

Something in the air

Scotland is shrouded in a muggy haar today, and it feels as if we’ve been cut off from the rest of the world in order to concentrate and exercise our democratic right to vote: for or against independence. It feels like a reason to talk to strangers, smile at passers-by. We’re making history. There’s a real sense of anticipation in the air – from both sides. And rightly so. This morning I visited […]
5 Sep 2014

A new Scotland

As a politically active individual and an elections geek you’d think I would be excited beyond reason about the independence referendum. In actual fact, I have found the debate to be depressingly repetitive, providing few answers and repeating political dogma. I wish it would end. But I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is the exceptional involvement of Scotland’s citizens […]
3 Jul 2014

Women and indyref

This blog was first posted on Engender As the date of the referendum draws ever nearer, and the gender gap in the polls shows no sign of closing , there seem to be more events targeting women and their opinions. Which is great: women’s voices should be heard in the referendum debate. One such event held last week was organised by ACOSVO and the ESRC-funded ‘Future of UK and Scotland’ programme. […]
30 May 2014

The Margo way

Today, 30 th May 2014, marks the start of the official campaign period for the Scottish referendum. “But they’ve been campaigning for ages,” I hear you cry. Well yes, but from here on in all the registered campaigners have to abide by Electoral Commission rules on spending and donations, including regular reporting. Other than that, I expect there will be little change, and the visible […]
24 Mar 2014

As long as it's interim

Last week I attended two different events which discussed the possibilities a written constitution presents to Scotland. This week I am due to attend another. Scotland has already begun to think about what a constitution might look like, regardless of the result of the referendum. The debate around constitutional rights is already a separate conversation from the binary referendum campaign. It is […]
28 Aug 2013

A democratic vision

As Edinburgh’s celebration of artistic endeavour and creativity drew to a close ERS Scotland shared the results of 13 months of political endeavour and creativity with the launch of the Democracy Max vision for a good Scottish democracy . I hesitate to call it ‘our’ vision, because this document isn’t ours to own. It belongs to the hundreds of individuals who gave up their time to share, discuss […]