- Scotland Decides: The Devolution Issue and the Referendum - The Lincoln Repository
- The Devolution Issue and the 1997 Referendum, 1st Edition
- Nicola Sturgeon speech marking 20 years since Scotland’s devolution referendum
In Wales, most people read British newspapers, which are unlikely to cover Welsh events extensively. This proved true during the referendum campaigns. While the devolution plans were agreed to by a resounding majority of the Scottish people, they only got the backing of the slightest of majorities in Wales. The majority was more restricted on the second question than on the first; yet it was higher than most had predicted, since the taxation powers had been interpreted as powers to raise taxes, not to lower them. The Conservatives had also focused their attacks on this aspect of the devolution package, which they had felt to be its weakest.
In , Consensus over devolution had also spread throughout Scotland. In , only half the regions 6 out of 12 had voted in favour of a Scottish Assembly, with as little as By contrast, in , even Orkney and Shetland agreed to the establishment of a Scottish Parliament. As for turnout, it was lower in than in So even though more than half the Scottish voters Out of a turnout of only half the population This corresponded to as little as 0.
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Moreover, only half the councils 4 out of 8, as table 4 shows and half the local authority areas 11 out of 22 agreed to the creation of a Welsh Assembly. So why were the overall results so close in Wales?
The geography of the vote seems to confirm that there is an East-West divide in Wales. These geographical divisions echo both socio-economic divisions, and cultural and linguistic divisions. Table 5: Welsh referendum: Language spoken and referendum vote. Source: J. There was also a clear relationship between feelings of national identity and voting behaviour, but this was less true in Wales than in Scotland.
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Table 6 is based on the results of the Scottish and Welsh Referendum Studies, carried out in Scotland and Wales at the time of the referendums. Table 6: Scottish and Welsh referendums: National identity and referendum vote. Finally, there was a relationship between feelings of national identity and turnout: the people who felt strongly Welsh had lower levels of abstention than those who felt strongly British or who felt equally British and Welsh. What was different in the Scottish case was that there was no correlation between national identity and turnout: those who felt exclusively Scottish were just as likely to have voted than those who felt exclusively British.
So the more strongly Scottish group was markedly more in favour of devolution than the corresponding group in Wales. A comparison between the Welsh case and the Scottish case shows that the national identity variable is undoubtedly useful to explain differences in voting behaviour, but that it applies better to the Scottish model than to the Welsh one. Home Rule Bills and official reports on devolution have often concerned both Scotland and Wales.
The first two referendums on the establishment of Scottish and Welsh Assemblies were held the same day. Therefore it was not surprising that the decision to hold a new referendum in Scotland in led to another referendum being held in Wales.
Yet the parallelism between the two nations must not obscure the marked differences between them, which the referendum campaigns and results highlighted. First of all, it is important to note that the movement for constitutional reform was initiated by Scotland, not Wales. In Wales, the debate on devolution was mainly restricted to Labour ranks, and the movement for devolution in the Labour Party was largely driven not by a desire for a Welsh Assembly, but by the Scottish Constitutional Convention.
This explains why the devolution proposals were more extensive, and why the public was better informed about them, in Scotland than in Wales. This in turn explains why there was a one-question referendum in Wales and a two-question referendum in Scotland, and why the campaigns took place in very different contexts. Different devolution schemes and different referendum campaigns gave different results.
The Scottish people demanded a Parliament, while the Welsh only gave the Assembly grudging support. But in both Scotland and Wales the pro-devolutionists hailed the referendums as landmarks in the histories of their nations, as they represented the first concrete steps towards the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Wales Says Yes. A Voice for Wales.
The Road to the National Assembly for Wales. Scotland and Wales: Nations Again? Shaping the Vision. Preparing for a New Wales. Most VitalSource eBooks are available in a reflowable EPUB format which allows you to resize text to suit you and enables other accessibility features. Where the content of the eBook requires a specific layout, or contains maths or other special characters, the eBook will be available in PDF PBK format, which cannot be reflowed.
Scotland Decides: The Devolution Issue and the Referendum - The Lincoln Repository
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Indeed, since its election in May , the Conservative government has brought forward measures to devolve more powers away from Westminster. The devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales have received extra powers, and a number of "city regions", notably Greater Manchester have been granted extra control over some local spending and decisions. The table below gives an overview of the main powers given to the Northern Irish and Welsh assemblies, and the Scottish Parliament.
The Devolution Issue and the 1997 Referendum, 1st Edition
The UK government's proposals for the devolution of further powers to each constituent nation are discussed further below. The UK government, led by the prime minister in Downing Street, is responsible for national policy on all powers which have not been devolved - known usually as "reserved powers". The Scottish Parliament sits at Holyrood in Edinburgh and is made up of elected Members of the Scottish Parliament MSPs , who scrutinise and pass bills in various areas of its many devolved responsibilities.
Under this Act the Scotland Act a range of powers were transferred devolved to Scotland including agriculture, economic development, education, environment, planning, health, housing, justice, local government and transport. In , following the recommendations of the Calman Commission, a further transfer of powers took place.
Nicola Sturgeon speech marking 20 years since Scotland’s devolution referendum
Under the Scotland Act the Scottish Parliament gained new powers over borrowing, drink driving alcohol limits, air weapons, stamp duty and a new Scottish rate of income tax. In the wake of the "No" vote in the Scottish independence referendum, all parties participated in the Smith Commission, a body which undertook to look at the devolution of further powers. This act devolved substantial new powers to the Scottish Parliament including:.
The Scottish Government says the proposals fall short of the mark and continues to argue for full independence. The Welsh government is its executive branch. Since the Welsh assembly has had primary law-making powers over devolved areas, and in it gained tax-raising powers including stamp duty and landfill tax.
In addition, the assembly can make laws relating to ancient monuments and historic buildings, public administration, sport and recreation, tourism, town and country planning, flood defences, the assembly itself, and the Welsh language.