Green Party to reconsider two question referendum policy

Green Party to reconsider two question referendum policy

Greens to review position on multi-option referendum

Scottish news: Green Party to reconsider two question referendum policy

by Jamie Mann

The Scottish Green Party will debate a proposal to stage a single ballot question on independence, rather than a multi-option referendum, at their annual conference in October.

As a whole, the party currently supports the inclusion of a multi-option referendum.

Scottish Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie MSP said that voters may be confused by Devo Plus and Devo Max options, which he said would also require the approval of UK citizens and legislations.

Speaking to Scottish Times, Mr Harvie commented:

“In my personal view, the two things which are necessary for a legitimate second question but which have not been established are clarity and mandate.

“Clarity is needed to ensure that people know what they’re voting for. A referendum which ended up backing a vague and ill-defined option of ‘more powers, whatever they might be’ is meaningless.

“Mandate is an issue because any option in the Devo Max area will require the agreement of the rest of the UK, and UK legislation, to enact it. That means that the third option would need enough political momentum behind it to make it a realistic option.”

Harvie stood alongside the First Minister Alex Salmond at the launch of Yes Scotland in May.

However, the Scottish Greens backed away from the campaign only weeks later insisting that the SNP were dominating the decision-making process surrounding the referendum.

Differences in opinion have been rife across both camps, with divisions over strategy and policy in both Nationalist and Unionist parties.

The Better Together campaign chief Alistair Darling is also under the spotlight over what he knew about the Libor rigging scandal.

Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have yet to reach a mutual decision on what ‘Devo’ option they would opt for. The three are currently split on which additional powers would be made available to Scotland.

Pressure has also been piled upon Alex Salmond with the No Camp pressuring for a single referendum question.

Since the independence debate began, support has been shown for both Yes and No camps from politicians belonging to Unionist and Nationalist paties, suggesting that the referendum question issue cuts across party loyalty.

Mr Harvie continued: “There is a wide range of views within my party on these issues. We’ll debate it online before the conference and then in person at the conference itself.”

The Scottish Green Party will debate their affiliation with ‘Yes Scotland’ as well as their stance on the referendum question options at their October conference in Glasgow.


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