Moral Authority

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 @ 12:04PM

For most of last week, I got home just in time to watch Newsnight Scotland and Gordon Bruar ask the leaders of Scotland’s political parties the big question: “Does the largest party after Thursday’s election have the moral authority to form a government?” In other words if Labour turns out to be the largest party but the combined seats of the SNP and the Liberal Democrats are enough to form a coalition…. would Labour have the moral authority to form a government?

What was so interesting about this question was how unwilling or difficult all the party leaders found it to answer.

For what it’s worth, my answer is no. If two parties form a coalition with more MSPs than the party with the single largest number of MSPs, then the views of a larger number of people will be represented in Government and I think that’s absolutely right. Whether it’s morally right that the Lib Dems hold all the keys to a coalition is a different question for another day…

If you want to talk about moral authority to govern, let’s talk about what’s going to happen tomorrow if the SNP do win the largest number of seats but Alex Salmond fails to get elected.

Just about every ballot paper in Scotland contains a list vote for ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’ not for the SNP. If Nora Radcliffe wins Gordon but the SNP win Aberdeen Central and Dundee West, Alex Salmond may well fail to get elected to the Scottish Parliament. As far as I’m concerned that makes any list vote for the SNP null and void.

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted by
Categories: PR and Voting Reform, Scottish Parliament Election 2007, SNP

No comments yet. Be the first!
Leave a Reply

On The Campaign Trail

Check the dates and see when we're in your town!