Independence could see a sea change in Scottish politics, including a collapse of the SNP


Allan Faulds, who runs independent polling and election website Ballot Box Scotland, said independence has often led to major political change for countries that have experienced independence.

He said the choice of voting system in a newly independent country would also impact the type of political system that exists after independence, while speaking to The Scotsman’s new limited podcast series.

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How to be an independent country: Scotland’s Choices will look at how other countries have experienced independence and what lessons could be learned for Scotland, with the second episode focusing on the kind of democracy Scotland could have.

Mr Faulds said there could be significant opportunities for new political parties to establish themselves after independence.

Highlighting the experience of post-communist countries such as Lithuania which quickly saw the old dominant parties as the one-party system collapsed and new parties take shape, Faulds said it was likely that there would be changes.

He said: “These are obviously very different circumstances, going from an undemocratic society to a democratic society, while Scotland would go from democracy to democracy.

How to Be Independent: Scotland’s Choices, is now available wherever you get your podcasts.

“But maybe there are parallels in terms of thinking well, once the thing that binds the independence movement is gone, there will be change.”

The choice of voting system will also be decisive, especially if proportional representation is used after independence.

Mr Faulds pointed to the case of New Zealand which adopted proportional representation in the 1990s and saw a “substantial change” in its policy.

This has seen the historically dominant parties, Labor and the National Party, lose members who have created new parties, while making room for smaller parties like the Greens.

What would the Scottish Parliament look like after independence?

He said: “I would expect that if Scotland voted for independence we would see something similar in that sense, of a really dramatic realignment.

“You can think of people from the SNP who wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the Tories without independence.

“If Scotland were to vote for independence and that dividing line was removed, you might see some interesting movement between the parties.”

The expert said it could even see political enemies joining forces after independence due to their broad agreement on most policies when the constitution is scrapped.

The first episode of How to be an independent country: Scotland’s choices is now available

Mr Faulds said: “Similarly with the SNP and Labour, I am not the first and will not be the last political commentator to say that there is not much of significance between them, at the beyond the fact that governments feel coerced and oppositions have blue-thought from heaven.

“You could see that part of the fake war between people who otherwise agree on everything, it could lead to the formation of a new party.

“Are we going to see Anas Sarwar and Nicola Sturgeon, are they going to be in the same political party if Scotland becomes independent, because that could happen.

“Are we going to see Fergus Ewing and Douglas Ross in the same political party, that sort of thing would be really interesting but it’s also important for our democracy that it’s not a structural thing, that’s hard to predict at the time. advance. “

The second episode of the brand new limited series podcast, How to Be an Independent Country: Scotland’s Choices, is now available.


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