Tuesday, 18 May 2010

No to 55% - the Scottish situation

Previous posts on this HERE and HERE

Information on the 66% rule in Scotland:
  • The 66% dissolution rule is standard across many parliaments. For many it is considered a high amount and is designed to provide stability. It is considered 'constitutionally safer' to have a two thirds requirement.
  • The decision to create the two-thirds rule was taken at Westminster during the formation of the Scotland act, 1998. It was enacted by the then Labour Government and would not have been debated in the Scottish parliament as it was not yet reconvened.

Further information can be found in some of the debates during the passage of the Scotland Bill, in the House of Commons, but primarily, in a grouping of amendments on the issue of elections to the Scottish Parliament, in the House of Lords:

Commons Committee Stage 28 January 1998 Col 460 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo980128/debtext/80128-25.htm

Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1342 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-03.htm#80708-03_head2

Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1351 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-12.htm#80708-12_head0

Lords Committee Stage 8 July 1998 Col 1354 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo980708/text/80708-27.htm, particularly the exchange between Lord Mackay of Drumadoon and Lord Steel of Aikwood

Lords Reporting Stage 22 October 1998 Col 1640 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199798/ldhansrd/vo981022/text/81022-21.htm, Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish on amendment 32

1997 White Paper that preceded the Scotland Bill: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/government/devolution/scpa-00.asp - although the only mention there is this: 9.4 The Scottish Parliament may be dissolved before the 4 years is up with the agreement of at least two thirds of MSPs, or if the Parliament fails to agree on the appointment of a First Minister.

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