Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Scottish Referendum: How Many Questions?


Much has been made in the last week or so about the confusion which would arise if more than two options were given because the voting form would look something like the one below.


[Note: we can argue over the exact words used.  I have chosen words quickly to illustrate the issues]

There is no doubt that, were the questions posed in this way, confusion could arise. 


Therefore, say many Unionists, only a straightforward Yes/No option should be presented.

One possibility could be:


Is that it then?  There is only the Yes/No option!




Imagine the following layout.


With this layout, if there is a majority for independence then the results for 3. and 4. are ignored.

If there is a majority for retaining the Union then 3. and 4. are counted.

The results from a layout such as this gives the parameters of negotiation.


Is this too complicated?


Shouldn’t be!


This exact layout was used in 1997 for the Scottish Devolution referendum. I’ve put the actual questions from that referendum into my layout.


[Remember: in the 4 different layouts I have chosen words quickly to illustrate the issues]


Here we have it!

No confusion and a fuller range of options considered.


Were some trying to muddy the waters unnecessarily?

That is for another day!


  1. During my coffee beside Alex Salmond (referred to in a previous comment) I did catch sight of what he was scribbling on a napkin, as follows:

    Choose option 1 or 2:

    1. I want Scotland to be independent

    2. I want independence for Scotland

    Supplementary choices (choose one):

    3. I want Smart Alex for King

    4. I want my King to be Smart Alex

  2. I think you "caught sight" of Alex in the mirror which seems to follow you around ... or do you follow the mirror?

  3. I live in the mirror world
    and look out and reflect
    on what I see
    hee hee

  4. You reflect poorly!

    May I suggest that you go and buy some Windowlene?