2007 - 2021

Building a Movement for Yes

The Scottish Independence Convention was formed in 2005 as a cross-party/ no party group whose purpose was to promote independence and create a space for cooperation outside of the party boundaries. It is both an individual membership group and has party affiliates.

The prospect of a referendum was a particular incentive so the early work was to promote the case for giving the Scottish public the opportunity to decide their future.  The referendum, of course, went off the agenda when there was no majority at Holyrood and this meant that SIC lacked a sharp focus but since May there is again a clear objective. It will be essential to have a wide a range of support for a Yes vote to have a chance of success.  The parties which are SIC affiliates are SNP, Greens, SSP and Solidarity.  Elaine C Smith is the enthusiastic Convener and there is a governing council of twelve elected members, four office-bearers and representatives from the affiliated parties.

The coming three years are going to provide a great challenge and getting people to work together will be one of them.

The AGM takes place on Thursday 13th October at 6.30 in Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.

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  1. Dave Coull says:

    If, in a ballot of all SIC members, members of political parties were to be elected, as individuals, to the executive of the SIC, it would still be accurate to describe the SIC as “non-party-political”. But since political parties are AUTOMATICALLY represented as such on the SIC executive, “cross-party” may be more accurate. Which is a pity, because there is a real need for a genuinely non-party-political movement.

    “The prospect of a referendum was a particular incentive so the early work was to promote the case for giving the Scottish public the opportunity to decide their future. The referendum, of course, went off the agenda when there was no majority at Holyrood”

    Why ?

    Why “of course” ?

    There was still a need to continue to campaign for holding a referendum on independence without delay. Why did the SIC fail to do so? At no time in the three hundred and four years since the union of the parliaments has there been a referendum on independence, so such a referendum is long overdue. Furthermore, in the Spring of 2007, during their election campaign, the SNP promised “legislation for a referendum on independence WITHIN THE LIFETIME OF THIS PARLIAMENT”. That parliament ended in the Spring of 2011, therefore, any referendum held from now on isn’t “early”, it’s late. The question therefore isn’t whether there should be an “early” referendum, but whether the referendum should be held as soon as possible now (but with apologies for late delivery) or whether it should be even further delayed. While the SNP has changed its tune, my own consistent position, as a supporter of independence for Scotland, has always been that there should be a referendum on independence without delay. I’m very confident a referendum held without delay would deliver a decisive majority for independence. In accepting that “of course” the referendum went off the agenda, the SIC is following the party line put out by politicians who seem to have become just a bit too comfortable with government office.

    “The coming three years are going to provide a great challenge and getting people to work together will be one of them.” – first of all, there is no particular reason why there has to be such a long delay as three years; and secondly, there is no particular reason why there has to be a single, unified, “Yes” campaign. There certainly won’t be a single, unified, “No” campaign. Ed Milliband isn’t going to share a platform with David Cameron, and neither will whoever happen to be their representatives in Scotland. More important than pursuing the politicians’ objective, of getting everybody to toe the line, is the need for genuinely non-party-political campaigning for a “Yes” vote.

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      “and secondly, there is no particular reason why there has to be a single, unified, “Yes” campaign. There certainly won’t be a single, unified, “No” campaign.”

      Surely the lack of a single, unified “No” campaign will be one of the weaknesses of overall the unionist argument, with the different factions arguing amongst themselves instead of presenting a clear message to the voters? Personally, I think people need to hear a consistent, coherent message in favour of independence. If we leave it to each individual group to make their own arguments for independence, then we risk confusing the electorate about what exactly they’re voting for. People want independence for different things, and let’s face it, it’s not going to be possible to please everyone. Surely the route to success is to have one broad, unified campaign, keeping their eye on the prize and not getting distracted with their own more specific aims and vision for Scotland post-independence?

      Gordon Brewer on Newsnicht last night gave us a glimpse of what will be one of the unionist side’s most potent weapons, namely presenting the idea that there is no unified idea of what Scotland will look like post-independence, and therefore people would be taking a massive leap into the unknown. I hate to say it, but he did have a bit of a point that Stewart Hosie and George Kerevan seemed to be arguing for different visions of independence – one for general political independence, the other for more specific economic independence, which sounded a wee bit close to Devo Max/FFA/Independence Lite/whatever for my liking. Maybe that’s partly because of Kerevan’s background as a former Labour politician (and therefore perhaps not as naturally inclined towards full independence as Hosie is), but if the media are able to find cracks between arguments by people from the same party, they’re going to have great fun pointing out the gaping holes between what the SSP, Greens and SNP all actually want from independence.

      Perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic, but I feel we need to make sure the “yes” campaign isn’t scuppered by divide & conquer tactics. The media are unlikely to say “here’s someone arguing for the ‘no’ campaign, and meanwhile, here are a range of people arguing for the ‘yes’ campaign”, so we’re going to need to be under one umbrella.

      1. Dave Coull says:

        Yes, Doug, you’re being pessimistic. That may be based on nothing more than a natural disposition towards pessimism. I gave SIX detailed reasons for taking a more optimistic view. You haven’t sought to argue against those six detailed reasons.

        Regarding “Unity”, when the first protestant reformers such as Jan Hus appeared, the argument of the Papacy was surely there had to be a single, unified church against the forces of Satan. You can find the same kind of thinking amongst folk used to party politics, for example, surely there has to be a single, unified organisation against the forces of Unionism? But you have to show evidence for that assumption. The opponents of independence aren’t being directed by Satan, they’re not going to be united, they probably won’t even share a platform with each other, and there’s no obvious reason why all supporters of independence have to be in a single organisation singing from the same hymn sheet. Since seeking to force everybody into a single organisation, singing from the same hymn sheet, would tend to mean, in the nature of things, an organisation dominated by party members used to a party political way of doing things, and since variety is the spice of life, and since a lively and varied campaign is more likely to strike more of a chord with more of the electorate, there’s a reason for NOT having a single organisation.

        I saw Newsnight Scotland with Stewart Hosie and George Kerevan. Hosie argued for independence, Kerevan argued for full financial autonomy. Personally, I’m in favour of a single question referendum, independence, yes or no. But the SNP has been making noises about a 2 question referendum. Presumably, on the basis of what he said last night, in a 2 question referendum, Kerevan might abstain on the independence question, and vote yes on the second question. Or he might, in the end, vote yes to both. Well, he’s one man, with one vote on each question. Presumably, on the basis of what he said last night, Kerevan wouldn’t play any part in campaigning for a pro-independence vote, although he might, in the end, vote “Yes” to both questions. Okay, with such views he would be an uncertain asset to the campaign anyway, so his absence from the campaign doesn’t matter. Both Hosie and Kerevan are members of the SNP. That’s a problem for that political party, but it’s not a problem for non-party-political campaigners for independence. em for non-party-political campaigners for independence. be an uncertain asset to the campaign anyway, so his absence from the campaign doesn’t matter. Both Hosie and Kerevan are members of the SNP. That’s a problem for that political party, but it’s not a problem for non-party-political campaigners for independence.

  2. Douglas Strang says:

    I agree Dave that there is a need for ‘genuinely non-party-political campaigning for a “yes” vote. I’m curious to know, however, why you’re so confident of a decisive majority for independence. Is this a gut feeling thing, or have you information we don’t? It seems to me that the polls swing backwards and forwards on the question of independence, though usually with those saying ‘yes’ in the minority.
    I think there’s a lot of folk still need persuading, and there are powerful vested interests who will fight hard and dirty to keep the union.
    cheers,
    Dougie

  3. Dave Coull says:

    There are quite a few reasons why I’m confident of a pro-independence vote. Here are just some of them.

    (1) International precedent. Of all the dozens of self-determination referendums that have been held internationally since the Second World War, the vast majority, despite early doubts about how they would go, ended up voting for independence. The big exception is Quebec, and there are some very good reasons for voting against, in Quebec’s case, which certainly don’t apply in Scotland’s case.

    My son is a mathematician and one of his first jobs was working out the odds for a firm of bookies. Bookies’ odds don’t necessarily reflect the real odds, they reflect how many people are betting, which way they are betting, and how much they are betting. In real terms, the odds are heavily on a vote for independence.

    (2) Scottish Precedent. This isn’t a party-political election, and referendums are rare events, but previous experience, for example with the 1997 referendum on setting up a Scottish Parliament, suggest that, regardless of what the opinion polls might be saying at the start of the campaign, precisely because a referendum is a rare event, folk are more likely to seize the chance to make a change, instead of being stuck with the status quo indefinitely. The early opinion polls were WAY out from the actual result of that referendum.

    (3) Enthusiasm. Most of the enthusiasm will be on the pro-independence side. Folk who are not all that enthusiastic about independence are less likely to be enthusiastic enough about the status quo to turn out and vote for it. I’m confident most of the “don’t knows” are going to come down on the side of independence. The ones who don’t are more likely to abstain than vote against.

    (4) Announcement of the referendum question and the date. This will bring home to people “It’s really happening”, and this in itself, will, in my view, lead to a strengthening of the pro-independence vote.

    (5) The actual referendum Campaign. So far, there has been relentless negativity from the diehard Unionists. There has been hardly any pro-independence campaigning at all. Even the SNP hasn’t bothered with pro-independence campaigning, preferring to concentrate on presenting themselves as a “good government”. By the time we get to the actual campaign, the public are going to be pretty bored with the relentless negativity pf the Unionists, and will hear, virtually for the first time, strong campaigning for independence.

    (6) Non-party-political involvement. This is extremely important. There will be many people campaigning for a “Yes” vote who would never dream of campaigning for the SNP or any other political party. This is far less likely to be true on the other side. They will mostly be just the usual suspects.

    (Having said all that, I don’t want to sound complacent. Of course there is still a lot of work to do. My point is simply that, given that hard work, there is every reason to expect a decisive pro-independence vote when the referendum finally, belatedly, gets called.)

  4. bellacaledonia says:

    Dave, on your first point about parties the first two sentences seem to answer it: “The Scottish Independence Convention was formed in 2005 as a cross-party/ no party group whose purpose was to promote independence and create a space for cooperation outside of the party boundaries. It is both an individual membership group and has party affiliates.”

    On your second, the SNP ran on a manifesto pledge of a referendum in the second half of the parliament and received overwhelming unprecedented support. There doesn’t seem to be anything to answer. This gives us time to coordinate, expand and build a civil movement for a Scotland that moved beyond the limitations, institutional corruption and inadequacies of the British State and its military infrastructure..

    1. Dave Coull says:

      So, the SIC wasn’t set up as a non-party-political group, but rather as a cross-party group with the political parties represented as such on its executive. Some might see that as an advantage, I see it as a disadvantage. The SIC is not, as at present constituted, a non-party-political campaign, and there is a need for a non-party-political campaign. Also, the record shows that the SIC has tended to follow the SNP line. In the Spring of 2007, during their election campaign, the SNP promised “legislation for a referendum on independence WITHIN THE LIFETIME OF THIS PARLIAMENT”. That parliament ended in the Spring of 2011, therefore, any referendum held from now on isn’t “early”, it’s late. The failure of the SIC to campaign for a referendum on independence as soon as possible was, and is, an example of following the SNP line – even when that line has quite blatantly changed.

  5. Andrew says:

    Agree whole heartedly Dave,for me its about my daughter,she’s 11 and she will grow up in a Independant Scotland free to choose her own path in her own Country.

  6. I think the comment from Andrew sums up the primary reason for the “YES VOTE”in the coming referendum.It is all about the future for the younger generation in a free and “DEMOCRATIC”
    Scotland.

  7. Jennifer Thomson says:

    A campaign grassroots style with non party association basedon real people is needed. This provides the power of association and belief to vote yes. At the moment there is nothing out there that people can identify with. Plenty of information but no people debates.

  8. Ard Righ says:

    Why are we still having this conversation? We should be independent.

    Scottish Independence Convention est 2005, Why haven’t I heard of this? Given the pandemic unionist illness that 95% of the english media in Scotland, masquerading as Scottish Media, it is no surprise that the S.I.C. has not been broadcast on its founding due to Anti-Scottish/Pro Union policy in these colonial outlets of “public opinion”.
    This is the problem for any balanced or even pro independence coverage that raises awareness and the positive effect of determining your own affairs. Independent media or even pro independence media can only be healthy, you do not have to dig deep to uncover the veil of lies and deception that is the Union, however you must refute the linguistics of the failing union fed to you by colonial outlets with an unwavering strength and determination of a future that will be independent that leads to a unified Scotland.
    Would you give a parasitic underhand crook control of you bank account? Or national resources?
    I smell the proletariat about to take over Fascist Mussolini, why do we have people unfamiliar with the attention to detail of resource management in positions of power and influence? This is still top down, when it needs to be from the ground and up, and most importantly and indefatigably independent by Scots for Scots and Scotland.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      Ard Righ wrote “Scottish Independence Convention est 2005, Why haven’t I heard of this?” – well, in addition to the reasons already provided, another reason is that the SIC has, to some extent, refrained from from being terribly active because there has been an SNP government. To a regrettable extent, the SIC has simply followed the SNP party line, that the priority was to provide good government, rather than moving swiftly towards independence. Also, when the SNP changed its party line from “legislation for a referendum on independence within the lifetime of this parliament” (that is, by the Spring of 2011) to legislation for a referendum on independence in the SECOND HALF of ANOTHER PARLIAMENT, the SIC swallowed this change of party line without a murmur of dissent. If the SIC had consistently campaigned for a referendum on independence without delay, then the SIC would have been in the news; but it didn’t.

  9. Andrew says:

    Can i suggest then gentlemen and ladies that we get a move on,everything we are hoping for will come about when we, thats you and me get up and show West Minister that they are no longer wanted or needed.As a simple gesture of intent can i suggest a meeting outside the Scottish offices of the Labour party,all you need is to bring yourself,”and family if you want to” plus a hat. The hat i intend to throw at the door and tell them that they can go cap in hand, but not me or mine.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      Andrew, while the Labour Party are a bunch of hypocrites, it may have escaped your notice, but that bunch of hypocrites is not in government anywhere. There’s a Tory/LibDem coalition at Westminster, and a majority SNP government at Holyrood. Therefore your gesture would be a diversion, a way of evading the point. The SNP government at Holyrood promised, in 2007, “legislation for a referendum on independence within the lifetime of this parliament”. That parliament ended in the Spring of 2007. Any referendum from now on isn’t “early”, it’s late. The ConDem regime at Westminster have to be told to keep their interfering noses out of our business; and the Scottish government have to be told to quit their foolish delaying tactics, and get on with the referendum – not because Tory, LibDem, or Labour hypocrites says so, but because we, the people of Scotland, are calling on them to belatedly carry out what they said they would do. Anybody who says he wants independence “but not now”, anybody who is not prepared to press for a referendum on independence without delay, is fainthearted about independence, regardless of what else they may say.

  10. Andrew says:

    Thats why Dave,it is these parties that continue on with the same old dependancy politics, my point was one of pointing out that there message of West Minister supierriority is one that Scotland dos’nt except/want or need.It’s ok to say we need the SNP to bring it forward but i,m in the camp of leaving it till 2014/15,the estabilishment has had 300 years to prepare for this we hav’nt. This is about not just leaving it up to the SNP to do, but of we the Scottish people saying so to all those that represent the union that you are no longer wanted or needed.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      During the last parliament, the SNP held a “National Conversation”; and I, for one, played an active part in their Conversation. But after four years of Conversation, it’s time to move to the next stage. The latest opinion polls show a rise of eleven percent in support for independence in the past five months, with 57 percent of those expressing a preference saying they would vote for independence. There is really no plausible reason for delay. Andrew, I have been actively campaigning, on a non-party-political basis, for a referendum on independence, and for a pro-independence vote in that referendum, since the beginning of 2005. So preaching to me about “not leaving it up to the SNP” is a bit superfluous. As for “bring it forward”, to even put it like that is accepting the new and revised party line. The SNP promised, during the 2007 election campaign, “legislation for a referendum on independence within the lifetime of this parliament”. The lifetime of that parliament ended in the Spring of 2007. Any referendum from now on hasn’t been “brought forward”, it’s late. The only question is whether we move to a referendum as soon as possible now, or delay it even further. You are following the line of arguing for delaying it even further; and your protest against a party which is not even in government at either Westminster or Holyrood is, therefore, a total irrelevance, a diversion, a way of evading facing up to the truth. It is up to the SNP to introduce legislation for a referendum. It would be very easy for them to do so. They could say, okay, we were meaning to have the referendum later, but the world economic situation, and the disastrous policies of the ConDem government at Westminster, have created greater urgency. Also, many people from all political parties, and people who are not in any party, have urged us to make the referendum a matter of urgency. We have, therefore, decided to call the referendum for ………………

  11. bellacaledonia says:

    Dave I’m not sure why the involvement of parties in the SIC precludes your or anyone else’s involvement.

    The timetable you outlined for when YOU want the referendum to be was superseded by the landslide election victory which was based on a clear manifesto timetable commitment.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      The timetable “we will present to the Scottish Parliament legislation for a referendum on independence within the lifetime of this parliament” was set by the SNP, and I, for one, voted for them in 2007 precisely because of that promise. A promise which was not kept. The SNP changed its party line to within the second half of a SECOND parliament. As they have already proved they have no problem changing their party line when it suits them, they would find no difficulty changing it again, this time to “the world economic situation, and the disastrous policies of the ConDem government at Westminster, have created greater urgency; also, many people from all political parties, and people who are not in any party, have urged us to make the referendum a matter of priority. We have, therefore, decided to call the referendum for ……”

    2. Dave Coull says:

      If a movement has many individual members who are members of political parties, it can still be a non-party-political movement. But if a movement is set up through an agreement between political parties, and the political parties are represented as such on the executive of that movement, and not just by their individual members being active in it, then that may be a cross-party group, but it’s not a non-party-political movement. You either think it’s important to have a non-party-political movement, or you don’t. I do.

  12. Silver Ghost says:

    How will the national debt be divided? How will defence go forward? What will Scotland’s currency be and what obligations will it have towards the crumbling, deeply indebted Euro? Where are the people asking these pertinent questions?

    There may an emotional appeal in Scottish independence, but, rationally, there are hard questions that nobody is asking.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      “Silver Ghost”, it’s not true nobody is asking these questions. Unionists such as yourself are asking these questions. However, your questions are intended as a diversion from the question which really matters.

      The purpose of the referendum is to settle, in principle, just ONE question: for or against independence. All other major questions can be left to be settled later, some of them also by a referendum of the people of Scotland.

      The question of defence is a matter for the people of Scotland and will be decided by the people of Scotland, and I for one would be happy for this to be settled by referendum.

      The question of relations with Europe are a matter for the people of Scotland to decide, and, again, I would be happy for this to be settled by referendum.

      However, in the case of EVERY country which was at one time ruled from London, and isn’t now, things like questions of “national debt” etc were settled by negotiations. This is true even in cases where there was a period of conflict, such as the USA, or Ireland.

      By the way, in Libya, today, the unit of currency still has pictures of Muammar Gaddafi on it. The Transitional National Council recently gratefully accepted delivery of several billion pounds worth of Gaddafi notes from an English firm. In the USA, British currency continued to circulate for a long time after the Declaration of Independence because folk didn’t trust those worthless US “dollars”. In independent Ireland, pound notes with the King’s picture on them continued to be the currency for a very long time. Even where there has been actual revolution, currency doesn’t change quickly. But so what?

  13. Silver Ghost says:

    @Dave Coull

    Thank you for addressing my question and may I make it clear from the beginning that I do not pose this question from any partisan/party political standpoint. I pose the question because it requires deeper consideration. That is all I am asking. It is a question that needs to be gone into in depth and the significance of the question itself needs to be patiently explained and brought to general/public awareness. A process of general/public education and patience is required.

    You ask, ‘so what?’ but the fate of all ‘fiat currency’ is in question, if not in deep peril at this time. You refer to past history, yet not to the current crisis.

    I thank you for addressing my question, but there are deeper questions afoot. US dollars are more worthless than anyone pontificating admits to.

    Are not all ‘fiat currencies’ in a race to the bottom, seeking to devalue themselves in order to compete with the planking dollar? What future lies in this money-printing race to the bottom?

    You may not answer, but the questions remain. You address me defensively, as an outsider, as if I did not care. I do.

  14. Silver Ghost says:

    ps. do not call me a unionist or anything else, I am a free-thinking individual. Do not put labels upon me in order to devalue my free speech. and honest questions

  15. Silver Ghost says:

    @Dave Coull

    The independence I seek is, firstly, from the likes of you, who predicate a response by the stereotyping of me, as a questioner. You do not know me, or the first thing about me or the basis of my questioning. Your knee-jerk response is to label me. I will not have that, nor will I respond in like manner. I invite you to ask and research more deeply into my question. I already realise that you are challenged. It is not you, personally, but the questions I engage.

    I ask again; how will the national debt be divided up and what will the arrangements regarding national security?

    I am not being provocative on purpose. I am, however, challenging your assumptions.

    It is far easier to indoctrinate than to educate. My bent is upon mass education.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks for commenting Silver Ghost, the questions you raise about currency are very profound ones, and the ground is shifting daily on this issue, particularly if the EURO collapses which – only a ear or two ago – would have seemed a ridiculous idea. For me the idea of having independence whilst being tied to the pound with rates set by the Bank of England is a non-starter. For me these are ‘red line’ issues like Trident and defence, as they go to the heart of what anyone would mean by ‘sovereignty’. This IS an important question particularly as those forces which want to uphold the Union have employed tactics of scaremongering in the past and people are (understandably) swayed by the issues of economics more than anything else (‘it’s the economy stupid’).

      As our economic crisis unfolds (the global economy) we are going to have to models of real economic resilience and this is an issue that will be faced by all countries and communities that have been based on the false economic model of boom and bust capitalism, so this is by no means specific just to the UK / Scotland.

  16. Dave Coull says:

    No, Silver Ghost, you’re not “challenging my assumptions”. If anything, it’s the other way round. As for you being a “free thinking individual”, not only do I not follow anybody’s “party line”, I have reached the grand old age of seventy without having, ever in my life, been a member of any political party. Could you say the same?

    How the national debts (AND the “national” ASSETS) of the UK get divided up will be a matter for negotiation. Since such negotiations can’t even begin until AFTER a vote for independence, and since we can’t predict the final outcome of such negotiations, there can be no definitive answer to the question in the meantime, and anybody who says there can is wrong.

    So far as “national security” is concerned, this really is up to the people of Scotland to decide, AFTER independence. Of course the first thing that has to happen immediately after independence is a general election. In that general election, candidates for election, and political parties, will put forward manifestoes, including on matters of national security. The party, or coalition of parties, which wins the first post-independence election, will presumably seek to put into effect the security/defence platform on which they were elected. If there should be some very fundamental question to be settled which transcends party politics, for example, in or out of NATO, maybe this could be put to a referendum.

  17. Silver Ghost says:

    @Bellacaledonia
    I agree with you that Currency and Defence are red-line issues.

    @ Dave Coull
    First of all, I meant no disrespect to you.
    I can place my hand on my heart and declare that I have never been a member of any political party. So, we are not discussing across party-lines here.

    It does trouble me that it is proposed to consider Currency and Defence only -after- a decision upon Independence.
    To return to Bellacaledonia’s point about ‘red-line issues… The current economic situation is perilous, volatile and highly unstable and I have the deepest misgivings about how this crisis will work out. So, whatever we might envisage or discuss now may have to be considered against a radically altered context. In the meantime, these issues are surely an urgent part of a ‘National Conversation’.

  18. Dave Coull says:

    We’ve already had the National Conversation. We’ve already had four years of “National Conversation”, sponsored by the Scottish Government, in which they invited all interested parties and individuals to participate. I don’t know about you, but I personally did play a very active part in that four years of National Conversation. Now, after four years of Conversation, in my opinion, it’s time to move on. It’s time for a decision. It’s time for a referendum. The SNP should stop dragging their heels, and get on with it. I realise the referendum can’t be held tomorrow, it will take a bit of organising; and the “yes” and “no” campaigns have to be given a bit of time to do their campaigning. HOWEVER – in 1997, Donald Dewar organised a referendum on the setting up of a Scottish Parliament within FIVE MONTHS of his political party being elected with an overall majority.

    So far as defence is concerned, this will be a matter for the elected government of an independent Scotland, whoever that happens to be. In the immediate post-independence election, parties, and individual politicians, will put forward their policies, and the electorate will vote on the manifestoes put before them. The party, or coalition of parties, elected in that election will seek to put into effect the manifesto on which they were elected. The same thing, of course, goes for currency.

    By all means ask the political parties what would be in their manifesto for the first post-independence election. But put this question to ALL the political parties, not just to the SNP; otherwise, it does look as if you are pursuing a party-political agenda.

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