Scotland & Ireland: A Constitutional Moment for Change?

Our Speaker

Dr Paul Gillespie, Univ College Dublin

Last month, our Greater Glasgow group asked Dr Paul Gillespie to join them. He talked about Scotland and Ireland, comparing and contrasting our two nations : constitutionally, economically, politically and historically. That’s a pretty extensive remit for an hour or so’s meeting but they made a good start!

Paul Gillespie is a former foreign affairs editor for the Irish Times. Now he focuses on research as a political analyst working in the field of Irish, Scottish and UK issues. For example:

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Back Out On the Streets Campaigning

From Jean of our Edinburgh and Lothian Group:

We were very happy to get back out on the streets in Edinburgh after so long away. We had a fine day near the farmer’s market beneath the Castle. With our banners and posters tied to the railings and staying socially distanced, showing our flag to many passers-by.

We had leaflets available but rather than approach people we kept the leaflets a transparent bag also hung on the railings.

I don’t think we got any converts, but I had three long very interesting conversations with supporters, including a couple of visitors from Worcester, England.

We also got our first Donations!

And from Mary of the Greater Glasgow Group:

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Security & Defence in an Independent Scotland

Isobel Lindsay

….. is a well-known peace activist. She was a founding member of the cross-party Campaign for a Scottish Assembly in the early ’80s paving the way for the Constitutional Convention and, ultimately, the Scottish Parliament itself.

These days she is a member of the Scottish Independence Convention and has written a paper on Security for their set of Transition Papers. Isobel met (online) with Glasgow Pensioners4Indy to speak about that paper. She laid out the main Security issues which will need clarified before independence. And with that clarification in place, we’ll be able to achieve a smooth transition and over a shorter time-scale after independence.

You can listen to Isobel here:

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Both Votes SNP? Or Split Our Indy Vote?

The Greater Glasgow group invited Tony Grahame to speak about how the D’Hondt system is used to calculate who wins List MSPs in the Holyrood elections.

Tony took us through the Glasgow List vote from 2016 explaining how the List seats were allocated. He also compared overall Scottish list results from 2016 with those from 2011. And he showed how a small rise or fall in a party’s proportion of the list vote can result in large changes in number of seats gained or lost.

You can listen to the talk, followed by questions, here, and scroll down for the slides that Tony used in his talk:

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Postal Voting – Still time To Register

This is the time of Covid. It’s not the time to assume we’ll be able to vote at our local polling station 6th May. We know that any of us might have to self-isolate at short notice. So have a backup plan in place : register for a postal vote.

Is Postal Voting trustworthy?

Ah, but maybe you’ve got doubts about the safety of postal voting? Maybe you’ve heard scare stories about postal votes being interfered with? Or that get misplaced? Even that they get sent down south to be counted?

If you do have doubts and they are stopping you signing up for a postal vote, now is the time to find out if any of these and other concerns are valid. Perhaps they are valid but perhaps they are just myths perpetrated and circulating on social media.

Our discussion with Yes Stirling members, Greg and Gerry

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