Friday, September 19, 2014

Just one thing... it wasn't 45%; it was 36.73%. Let me explain...

The referendum vote is being reported as 45% for, 55% against.  But that misses a point.  Although that is the result bearing in mind the number who submitted a valid vote, it does *not* accurately reflect the proportion of people who wanted independence.

The question asked was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" this was not a choice between 2 people.  It solicited support for the proposal to become independent.  The only response that can demonstrate support for this was a Yes vote.

So, it can be correctly inferred that anyone who failed to vote yes did not support the proposition enough to vote for it.  Apathy, contempt for politics, whatever the reason, it doesn't matter.  If you did not vote Yes, then you did not express a desire for Independence.

So, if one takes into account those who were registered rather than those who voted, then we get a different set of numbers, with considerable significance.

Below is a table showing what the result would be given those assumptions.  Interestingly not one area voted by a majority of eligible voters for yes, and the overall percentage in favour of Independence is only 37.81% - barely more than 1 third, rather than the nearly half being touted.

Factor in the voter registration of 97% (or so I read earlier this week, but haven't been able to confirm yet), the actually support for Independence was, in fact, 36.73%.

I think this is important to bear in mind in the coming weeks and months...

Numbers have taken from Wikipedia, and some rounding errors (given turnout was only shown to 2dp rather than absolute numbers.  Click on the table to expand.

NB, if it get more accurate numbers I will update the table, but it  won't change that much.

I reckon this devolution problem is pretty easy to fix...

First off - a basic premise: any powers devolved to any UK member nation's parliament or assembly is automatically devolved to the others.

  • the Westminster parliament splits its time into UK, England, England + Wales, and England+Wales+Northern Ireland matters.
  • only MP's elected for constituencies within the appropriate country can vote in those matters.
  • as matters devolve the UK-only debates will become shorter and fewer; as a consequence the number of MP's needed to discuss is reduced by increasing (and balancing) constituency sizes.
  • Once UK legislation only needs a small amount of time each week at Westminster then a major exercise of reconsidering the number of MP's elected to the Commons can be started, potentially replacing the English "subset parliament" with a fully elected English Parliament; and the House Of Commons with a different structure.
So, no need to increase the layers of government or staffing.

No need for expenses to increase (in fact they should start diminishing as overall Westminster time decreases).

No democratic deficit.

No West Lothian problem.

Of course, it doesn't address the issues of trustworthiness et al...