‘Election boycotts have no place in a functioning democracy’

The above in the Herald today, another desperate attempt to deny Scots their democratic rights by suggesting that a boycott might weaken the legitimacy of a referendum.

From a Southeast Asia survey of politicians carried out by the Electoral Knowledge Network in 2006:

Election boycotts have no place in a functioning democracy; participation being at the heart of the democratic process. However, boycotts could have a role to play in a democracy that is not functioning as it should be and where fair competition is impossible. The problem lies in determining at what point conditions for a fair election are being violated to such an extent that a boycott is justifiable. Even if justifiable it should be considered as a last resort. In most cases opposition parties have concluded that participation in the electoral process – even if it is unequal – is more beneficial than boycotting it. Choosing to be outside the electoral process is a highly risky political tactic and can come with high costs. Both the degree of sympathy and interest in any boycott by the wider electorate is a crucial factor in determining the impact of any boycott. Their impacts are often minimal and can be managed by the incumbent government unless the boycott is accompanied by other measures which hinder ability to govern or there is a minimum voter participation required. Boycotts therefore often impact upon legitimacy but not the final result. There is also a very real danger that resorting to a boycott can have a long-term and damaging effect on the democratic process.


10 thoughts on “‘Election boycotts have no place in a functioning democracy’

  1. Those that boycott any Indy ref.shall never ever be forgiven by most immediately and in the long run even by the supporters of those who propose
    Be very very careful of what you wish
    And to add to the Unions woes The money men have finally woken up to the very distinct reality of Scottish Independence
    Quote from a Senior Fund Manager
    ” The real prospect of a Scottish referendum is the Straw that is now breaking
    The back of Sterling and if won then Sterling will Trash ”
    In 2 months the £ has shed 12 % against the $
    And that means England who have the worst trade deficit in the World are now paying a lot more for the vast majority of their vital imports and by borrowed money, No MSM
    talk of this scenario
    Sterling trashes England Trashes
    A Scottish currency must be clearly set out in the manifesto for Scottish Indy
    And Plan B for implementation at speed
    Spook the horses, what horses The Boycotting
    So What
    Never spook the Money Markets they will trash you in the blink of a eye
    Their Computers are preprogrammed to Sell Sell Sell once a certain level of Sterling is reached
    And No way back
    That is exactly why those who contemplate a boycott should think very carefully
    On you go Pull the Pin out of the Fiscal grenade
    Warren Buffet advised after Indy ref 2014 to divest slowly but surely of any rUK assets you hold
    As Scottish Indy would leave rUK bankrupt in every sense of the word and at the complete mercy
    Of the IMF and the money markets

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They dont use their vote then they cant complain about the outcome . USE IT OR LOOSE IT 👍👍🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The initial attack lines from both Labour and Tories are essentially, “now is not the time.’ Both refuse to answer the question of whether they recognise that the Scottish Government has a mandate to negotiate for independence given that Greens and SNP both stated this explicitly in the manifestos for the most recent Parliamentary elections and won a majority of seats.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. As another had observed, the Tories are Scotland’s DUP, “I can’t get what I want so taking my ball back”…
    eg – I distinctly recall the last time “Scottish Tories” urged anything on Scots voting, it was to “Send Nicola Sturgeon a message she won’t forget”… – The public did, she hasn’t forgotten, but DRoss did, it could not be any simpler, even if Juan requires subtitles and a fresh tube of Dentofix.

    I’d guess after the thoroughly professional SG media briefing eclipsed anything the HMG entourage had achieved, the Prime Charlatan went ballistic at the Secretary of Flounce for Scotland, who then went ballistic at an aide who was delegated to go ballistic with demands for an immediate and firm response from HMS James Cook, whilst Jack-Schitt had a quiet word with DRoss about a show of determination to the electorate in Scotland, whilst discussing the intricacies of bull castration…

    As to Dross’s desperate calls for a Boycott, at 81 Sir Geoffrey has no interest and will be unavailable… So DRoss is stumped I guess 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My own feeling is it doesn’t really matter if they boycot it or not as if 51% of the electorate vote YES then that will sufficient to declare Independence .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 50% + 1 of those who vote, not, ‘of the electorate’. The latter was a tactic used by perfidious Labour in 1979, with the infamous 40% rule. Brexit happened even though only c35% of the electorate voted for it.


  6. ‘… the Tories are Scotland’s DUP …..’ So what does that make the Labour Party?

    Just heard David Lammy ‘CATEGORICALLY’ rule out a referendum on Scotland’s independence for at least the next TEN YEARS. He also stated that the branch office in Scotland held the same view. And why? Because ‘Labour is a Unionist party’.

    Now Labour is perfectly entitled to be a ‘Unionist party’ till the cows come home. That is of course NOT the (expletive) point!

    Who the hell is David Lammy or any political party to RULE OUT ANYTHING ABOUT democracy in Scotland? He can rule out Labour ever supporting independence but that should be the limit of his party’s position. Let Labour put its case to the electorate – it’s for the electorate to decide! And Scotland’s electorate has decided time after time to prefer the independence supporting SNP over Labour. Is Labour becoming seduced by Tory tendencies toward authoritarianism or by obstructionist DUP-style politics?

    And why 10 years i.e. 18 years since the referendum in 2014? What’s ‘right’ – what’s magic – about this number ten? Is it just to insert more time into an ever lengthening game of kick-the-can in the hope that something/anything will turn up which will allow Labour and/or their Tory allies to win power in Holyrood?

    Fine, principled politics on display here from the Labour Party? Certainly not: this reeks of unwarrantable encroachment on Scotland’s democracy: democracy delayed, is democracy denied!

    And why not permit a referendum every seven years – a term deemed perfectly acceptable for a border pool in NI to dissolve the Union – if it is indeed the democratic will of the people of Scotland – or in the odd concept captured in the words of Ruth Davidson, the voting public and its preferred party of government in Holyrood has ‘earned it’?

    Labour’s position is disingenuous and candidly, it may be even more repellent than the Tory Party’s and that’s saying something! I still hope that true democrats within the Labour in Scotland, Wales and yes, in England too will challenge the Labour leadership’s position.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ciaran Jenkins of Channel 4 News sent out a devastating tweet regarding ScottishConLabLibDems – if they refuse to participate in debate why are they in the Scottish Parliament?

    Liked by 2 people

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