You wonder what planet these people are from sometimes. Iain Macwhirter writes:
The whole point of proportional representation is that it is supposed to prevent one-party rule.
No, the whole ‘point’ of proportional representation is that seats in the chamber should reflect votes. As it turns out, in Scotland, it has prevented one-party rule. A minority executive is neither unprecedented, nor necessarily unworkable.
Despite agreeing with 90% of the SNP manifesto – everything from local income tax to nuclear power – they refused even to sit down and talk about a coalition with the SNP, unless Alex Salmond abandoned his policy of a referendum on independence first.
This was something they knew he could not do, and was transparently an excuse for refusing to negotiate the coalition that Scotland expected.
The SNP hinted at a constitutional convention to look at the whole constitutional question – something the Liberal Democrats had campaigned for in the election.
Simply not true. The price the SNP were insisting on was Lib Dem support in Parliament for a referendum on independence, and that was the price Nicol Stephen was not prepared to pay. Sure, they were prepared to ‘compromise’ by making it a multi-option referendum, something which Salmond was confident he would be able to trash with the help of his pet millionaires like Souter. The Lib Dems would have been propping up an executive that was spending all its energies on making the case for independence. Something tells me that in a parallel universe where the Lib Dems did make this mistake, another Iain Macwhirter is currently ripping them to shreds.
The irony is that, across Scotland, Liberal Democrats and SNP councillors have been forming coalitions to run local authorities like Edinburgh.
That’s because the price isn’t a referendum on the independence of Edinburgh.
Moreover, it was the week Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness agreed a coalition in Northern Ireland assembly – but somehow the Liberal Democrat leader, Nicol Stephen, couldn’t even sit down with Alex Salmond.
That’s because even a former armed insurgent like Martin McGuinness isn’t insisting that Ian Paisley has to support a referendum on independence. Just what part of this aren’t you getting Macwhirter?
Now, Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland, is in with a real chance of propelling Scotland out of the United Kingdom. It’s a funny old world.
Really? He’s going to get a referendum? How? Planet Macwhirter is a funny place to live.