Core Policy Platform for the Scottish Parliament Elections
We Need Change – to Renew our Politics and our Country
Renew in Scotland is seeking to change Government, to make it more accountable, honest and supportive of its people. We also see Scotland’s future in the European Union, and Renew Scotland wants to rejoin at the earliest possible point.
We want Greater Accountability in Scotland
Our current 2 vote Scottish Parliament elections uses first past the post, which is not democratic, and a list based top up, that hands power to political parties, not the people.
Did you know that 42% of MSP’s are accountable to their party only – that needs to change.
We want readily available information on your politicians so that you know what your elected representatives are actually doing and clarity about what is expected from our politicians.
ALL elections and referendums should put voters in control, not the political parties.
We want Politics to be Honest
Over the last 10 years we have seen lying, corruption and criminal behaviour become commonplace in our politics. We have seen how helpless the electorate is in the face of this, with £bn contracts handed to bogus companies openly and corruptly, misrepresentation in our media and bare faced lies from our politicians.
We want to create a criminal code for politicians, political organisations and those reporting on politics – with penalties that include fines and prison for those who deliberately lie or deceive – or turn out to be corrupt.
We want ALL of our People Supported
From the seeds of austerity, introduced by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, through the unravelling of Brexit and now the impact of Covid19, we have seen one of the biggest growths of poverty in our history. Nearly a quarter of our people live with some level of poverty and that cannot be acceptable.
We want Government to have an absolute obligation to ensure a basic quality of life for all of its people – and that includes an end to poverty. Instead of tinkering we need to change.
Ending poverty will transform lives, our communities and our economy.
We want a Strong Economic, Social & Environmental Future
That means being back in the European Union.
The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats may have abandoned the millions of people who voted to remain and those who now see that our future lies in Europe – …..but Renew has not and will push for a return at the earliest point possible.
We will be proposing that Scotland is able to enjoy a variation of the “Northern Ireland” solution, allowing some level of active engagement within the EU until there is a time that we can fully rejoin – not in 20 or 30 years (as the old parties would advocate) – but at the earliest reasonable point.
The 2nd Referendum Question
While Renew is not taking a specific position on Independence we are clear that there is justification for a second referendum. Our approach to policy MUST always be on the basis of what is right and honest.
In 2014 people voted (55/45) to remain in the UK, in the EU. In 2016 people voted (62/38) to remain in the EU, confirming a clear wish to be part of the EU. It is still probably the preferred position for the majority of people in Scotland.
Neither referendum is therefore being respected in Scotland and much has changed since 2014 – Brexit and a corrupt UK Government at the head of that list. As these constitutional decisions were established by a public vote it is only right that a further referendum is held to allow the people to clarify what happens next. However, we believe that we need to learn the lessons of these 2 referendums and would propose the following way forward :
- Establish the criminal code for politics, ensuring an absolute obligation for honesty on all sides.
- A 2 stage referendum. The first to establish IF there is a desire for some form of constitutional change and the second (if people wish change) to agree the final deal.
- The initial referendum should NOT be a binary (yes/no) question but should instead offer options so that the people tell the politicians what they actually want, not the politicians making up what they decide the people want. People would have a 1st, 2nd & 3rd preference vote to establish a greater consensus.
- IF the people decided that they wanted some form of change there would be a period (perhaps 2 years) for the Scottish and UK Governments to establish a settlement agreement, with a further period (perhaps a year) to establish the key relationships with the EU, UN, NATO, etc.
- During this period issues like currency can be explored and confirmed, with a plan to establish any institutions or processes that may be required. A transition period would also be established with key milestones to help ensure that Scotland is prepared for when this comes to an end.
- The Confirmatory Referendum could then be held so that people know exactly what they are voting for. There would never be a “Brexit means Brexit” or Independence means "Independence" cry, where politicians keep moving the goalposts.
The advantage of the above is that people can focus on the range of options* and aim for a more mature and tolerant debate than we experienced in 2014 and 2016, with politicians, organisations and media required to evidence any claims.
The period of negotiation would allow people to explore the realities of the proposed change so that they would be well informed with facts and clarity for the confirmatory referendum – where people can either adopt or reject the final deal (unlike with Brexit).
This would also mean that speculation around currency, EU membership and other things can be set aside as these would be determined between the 2 stage referendums, as they are unlikely to be able to be evidenced by either side.
*Options could include : Status Quo; Significant further devolvement of powers; “Isle of Man” option (Independent with UK Government providing foreign affairs role); Independence within the EU; Independence outwith the EU and other options hat may be decided at the time.
The Scottish Parliament Elections (6 May 2021)
We will be contesting the elections in May, putting candidates up in each of the 8 List Regions. With our politics in disarray, our politicians unaccountable and our people angry and frustrated by what they see every single day, we believe that Renew in Scotland has a real opportunity to elect Members of the Scottish Parliament – and you can help us to do that.
If we could get one MSP (around 5% of the vote) from each of the 8 Regional Lists elected, it is possible that Renew could play a key role in the next Parliament and see much of what we have highlighted above be part of the work of the Parliament, changing, reforming and renewing our country. Help us make that happen.
We require to find 4 candidates for each of the 8 Regions – 32 candidates – which will allow us to be treated as a party with a national campaign, which means a broadcast and should mean inclusion in leadership debates.