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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 10, 2015, 09:16:04 am
The Conservative Party was politically linked with the Ulster Unionist Party until 1974. Since then the UUP has been independent of the Conservatives apart from during an electoral pact at the last general election. In recent years the Conservatives have run their own candidates in Northern Ireland with minimal success.

The British Labour Party has never organised in Northern Ireland. It has some international links with the SDLP, who often co-operate with Labour at Westminster.

The Liberal Democrats do have some members in Northern Ireland, but they have not chosen to nominate candidates. The members involved are usually also members of the Alliance Party, which does present candidates. The Alliance Party has international links with the Liberal Democrats and its peers seem to take the Lib Dem whip in the House of Lords. Naomi Long did not do this in the House of Commons, possibly to distance herself from the coalition.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 08, 2015, 04:42:59 pm
I'm intrigued by the idea of Labour and SNP winning a majority of seats with nowhere near a majority of votes.  Any ideas on what the bare minimum of a total vote share might be needed to pull this off?

It is impossible to say in a relative  majority system, with an as yet unknown number of candidates and votes. The minimum number of votes to win a seat (leaving aside the drawing of lots to break a tie, which I saw happen once in a local election - where dice throws decided who won), is one more vote than the second placed candidate.

I happen to have the official results of the 2001 general election to hand. That includes a table of the seats in rank order of the winning party's share of votes. The range is from 77.8% (Labour in Liverpool Walton) down to 29.7% (SNP in Perth). The vote actually needed to win is not totally predictable in advance.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 07, 2015, 10:30:58 am
Surely another hung parliament must mean the end of FPTP?

Not necessarily. The Conservative and Labour parties both have a very strong self interest in preserving FPTP. Presumably any proportional system would accelerate the decline (and possible fragmentation) of the two largest parties.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 07, 2015, 01:58:54 am
The pre-merger Liberal Party was more consistently pro-EEC/European Union than either the Labour or Conservative party were.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 (The Official Campaign Thread) on: April 03, 2015, 02:38:31 am
Quote from: Lief
Quote
It's so weird that he's even still their leader. Obviously I'm an American and don't follow British politics as closely as I do my own, but he just seems like a walking, talking disaster of a human being. I guess there was no one else in the party brave/dumb enough to replace him (as they'd only to end up leading the Lib Dems to an historic defeat anyway), but still...

I have copied the part of the federal constitution of the Liberal Democrats concerning leadership elections. The United Kingdom party is a federation of the English, Scottish and Welsh parties.

Quote
10.2 An election for the Leader shall be called upon:
(a) the Leader asking for an election;
(b) the death or incapacity of the Leader;
(c) the Leader ceasing to be a Member of the House of Commons (other than a
temporary cessation by reason of a dissolution);
(d) the receipt by the President of the resignation of the Leader or of a declaration of
intent to resign upon the election of a new Leader;
(e) a vote of no confidence in the Leader being passed by a majority of all Members of
the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons;
(f) the receipt by the President of a requisition submitted by at least 75 Local Parties
(including for this purpose, the Specified Associated Organisation or Organisations
representing youth and/or students) following the decision of a quorate general
meeting; or
(g) the first anniversary of the preceding general election being reached without an
election being called under any of paragraphs (a) through (f), provided that:
(i) the Federal Executive may postpone such an election for no more than one
year by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting; and
(ii) this paragraph (g) shall not apply if the Leader is a member of the
Government.
10.3 Upon election, the Leader shall hold office until death, incapacity or resignation or the
completion of an election called under this Article.

Nick Clegg is not particularly unpopular within the Liberal Democrats. It is also true that, unless a prospective new leader had advocated breaking up the coalition, they would be in exactly the same political situation Nick Clegg has been in.

No one seriously tried to trigger a contested leadership election during the last Parliament, so Nick Clegg is trying his luck with the electorate in the present general election.

If the general election goes really badly, I expect that there will be a leadership contest in the next few months. Who will be eligible to stand depends upon who is elected to the new House of Commons (as the leader is required to be an MP).

If Nick Clegg retains his seat and the party has say 30 MPs in the next Parliament, there may not be a contested leadership election.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 21, 2015, 04:45:19 am
Helsinkian, there is still time to nominate another candidate. In the UK you only need the signatures of ten electors to nominate a parliamentary candidate (a proposer, a seconder and eight assentors) apart from paying a £500 deposit and filling in a few forms. You can deliver a nomination paper to the local constituency returning officer between the publication of notice of election and the close of nominations.

I am taking dates and times from the Combined Timetable for elections on 7 May 2015, which the Slough returning officer has issued, based on the Electoral Commission guidance.

Parliament is to be dissolved on Monday 30 March. A writ (a royal command to elect a member to the new Parliament) will be sent to each returning officer.  The writ is received on Tuesday 31 March. The returning officer then has to publish a notice of election, which must be by 4 pm on Thursday 2 April but may be earlier. The close of nominations, which is a very rigid deadline, is 4 pm on Thursday 9 April. If a prospective candidate has not delivered valid forms by that time, they will not be a candidate in the election.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: The UK General Election Prediction Thread on: March 11, 2015, 05:09:45 pm
A Labour minority government seems to be the most likely outcome of the general election. I think there is quite a good chance, under current law, that such a minority government could continue in office until the next fixed term election due in 2020; without necessarily needing a formal confidence and supply agreement from the SNP.

The traditional Westminster model treated the ability of a ministry to obtain supply from the House of Commons as being essential to demonstrate that it retained the confidence of the House.  Thus if a government was defeated on any vote it declared a matter of confidence (which by convention would include any major financial vote) it was required to either resign or advise the monarch to dissolve Parliament and order a general election.

A past Labour government got away with relaxing the traditional conventions. On 10 March 1976, the government were defeated 284-256 on a motion approving public expenditure. A subsequent vote of confidence was won 297-280 and the ministry continued in office. Other votes were lost on quite major legislation, but the government did not treat them as matters of confidence. The ministry eventually fell on a formal Conservative motion of no confidence which passed 311-310 on 28 March 1979.

Historically, from the adoption of Home Rule for Ireland as Liberal policy in 1886 until the First World War, whenever there was no Liberal majority and the Unionists (Conservatives and Liberal Unionists) were in a minority in the House of Commons the result was a Liberal minority government. This was not due to formal agreements between the Liberals and the Irish Nationalists, but to a general understanding that only a Liberal government would pursue home rule. In 1892-95 and 1910-15 Liberal governments were in a minority, but they did not fall because they lost nationalist support.

The old conventions about when a government has lost the confidence of the House now seem to have been replaced by the statutory provisions about no confidence votes in the fixed term Parliament legislation. If that is right a government could now be defeated on its budget but still win a statutory vote of confidence, thus being able to remain in office if not precisely in power (unless the Prime Minister decided to resign because his position was too humiliating to go on).

Perhaps a Parliament where the government is unable to pass just about any law it wants, but has to seek support from outside its own parliamentary party, will serve the country better than the usual Parliamentary dictatorship of a majority government.


 
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: March 03, 2015, 08:45:56 pm
Helsinkian, the parliamentary representation of the Isle of Wight has long been a problem. The electorate for the Isle is an awkward number, too big for one average size constituency and too small for two. In view of the strong preference of the islanders not to have part of the island attached to a bit of southern Hampshire across the Solent, the Boundary Commission was left with an awkward decision in each boundary review.

Under former laws, about Parliamentary boundary changes, the decision has been to have one oversized constituency. Under the present legislation, when the boundaries are next redrawn, the Isle of Wight will be divided into two undersized seats (as it is treated as a special case and is not subject to the normal rules).
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 27, 2015, 11:40:23 pm
Ed Milliband's principal rival was his older brother David. David's reputation has risen because he was not elected, but I always thought that Ed was better at simulating normal human behaviour than David was. No doubt if David had been elected, the general opinion now would be that Ed would have been the better option.

The other candidates for the Labour leadership were Ed Balls (now Shadow Chancellor), Andy Burnham (former Health Secretary now shadowing the job) and Diane Abbott (a black London MP who appears on television a lot).

A truly dreadful field. I would not have voted for any of them, even if I had been a Labour supporter. However, if absolutely forced to choose, I would concede that Ed was the least worst of them.

Mind you the recent Conservative and Liberal Democrat leadership candidates have not been much better. I think all UK parties had better quality leaders in the past. At least they usually tended to have been prominent political figures for a lengthy period, during which they had done things and stood for something more important than winning the next election.


10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 12, 2015, 11:48:54 am
Quote
AV was lost because it was too complicated a system and it looked desperately self serving on the part of the LibDems.

AV is much simpler than any system of PR. The pro AV campaign probably failed to explain it adequately. It also failed to provide an emotional case for why people should support it (ie the Tory fat cats do not like it, so it must be good).

If the AV system was perceived as self serving for Lib Dems, then the anti-AV campaign did succeed in making an emotional case against the change.

In fact many Lib Dems were distinctly lukewarm about AV because it was an inadequate move towards change/fair votes, which would have provided minimal benefit at best and might have been less favourable to the party than FPTP in other circumstances. Certainly AV would have been less favourable to the Lib Dems than any form of PR.

However in an environment where there are multiple medium sized parties, an argument based on antipathy to any one of them is less likely to be persuasive than if there was only one which seemed likely to benefit. If we continue to have a series of inconclusive elections then electoral reform may eventually come back on the agenda.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 12, 2015, 09:07:49 am
Presumably if Lib Dem pressure in 2010 had got a PR referendum, it would have faced exactly the same Tory misrepresentation as the AV referendum did. At least there is still the remote chance that at some future date PR will re-emerge on to the agenda, which would have been prevented if a PR referendum had been lost.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: February 09, 2015, 07:14:35 am
When the Liberal Party were a major party, they supported first past the post. After 1922 the prominent Liberal, David Lloyd George, was reported to say that if he had known the future he would have strongly supported PR in 1918 and as the Prime Minister he could have made sure that it passed.

Conversely when Labour was a third party it had supported PR, but once it had reached major party status party opinion rapidly changed.
13  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: If the president elect dies before being sworn in... on: January 22, 2015, 11:03:41 am
As I understand it, the significance of taking the oath or affirmation prescribed in the constitution is not that it confers the office of President but that it is a requirement before the person who is  President can exercise the powers and carry out the duties of the office of President.

If you imagine a situation, similar to what happened to Ariel Sharon, where the President-elect was totally incapacitated by a stroke (so they could neither resign nor take up the duties of the Presidency) but was still alive; the President elect would become President at noon on 20th January.

Presumably in that situation the Vice President elect would have to be sworn in as Vice President and there would then have to be a short pause in the inauguration so the principal officers of the executive department (the outgoing President's cabinet) held a brief meeting to declare the President incapacitated, so as to allow the Vice President to become Acting President under the terms of the appropriate constitutional amendment.

A really difficult situation would be if the person who had won the Presidential election was to die on the day when the electors were due to meet and vote for a President and vice President elect. Particularly if the circumstances were such that some of the electors knew about the death when they voted.

There is precedent (Horace Greeley in 1872) that electoral votes cast for a person known to be dead are invalid.

14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: December 22, 2014, 09:57:22 am
I am in the Slough constituency. Nothing to see here - safe Labour win.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Canadian federal election - 2015 on: December 10, 2014, 03:03:48 pm
For what it may be worth, Canada ranks 20th in the International Cricket Council rankings (and it was higher in recent years when the country had limited over international status, teams 11-16 in the list have limited over international status).

Quote
ICC GLOBAL RANKINGS (as at 29 June 2014)
SENIOR MEN'S CRICKET
Reliance ODI Championship Table:
Rating
1 AUSTRALIA FULL MEMBER 115
2 INDIA FULL MEMBER 112
3 SRI LANKA FULL MEMBER 111
4 SOUTH AFRICA FULL MEMBER 111
5 ENGLAND FULL MEMBER 109
6 PAKISTAN FULL MEMBER 100
7 NEW ZEALAND FULL MEMBER 98
8 WEST INDIES FULL MEMBER 94
9 BANGLADESH FULL MEMBER 72
10 ZIMBABWE FULL MEMBER 61
11 Afghanistan Asia No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member 34
12 Ireland Europe No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member 33
Then, Associates & Affiliates from most recent WCL event (excluding Ireland/Afghanistan mentioned above);
13 Scotland Europe 2
14 UAE Asia 2
15 Hong Kong Asia 3
16 PNG East Asia - Pacific No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member
17 Kenya Africa No. 1 Associate/Affiliate Member
18 Namibia Africa 2
19 Netherlands Europe 3
20 Canada Americas No.1 Associate/Affiliate Member
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK parliamentary by-elections 2014 on: November 21, 2014, 09:45:37 am
Extract from the Wikipedia article on White van man.

Quote
"White van man" is a stereotype found in the United Kingdom of the driving of smaller-sized commercial vans,[1] perceived as selfish, inconsiderate, mostly working class and aggressive.[2] According to this stereotype, the "white van man" is an independent tradesperson, such as a plumber or locksmith, self-employed, or running a small enterprise,[2] for whom driving a commercial vehicle is not the main line of business, as it is for a professional freight-driver.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: October 15, 2014, 05:54:08 pm
Shouldn't it be the Lib Dems who are the oldest political party anyway, since (no matter what date you put it at) the Tories/Conservatives split from the Whigs?


The history is quite complicated. I will try and summarise it, but you will appreciate that many books have been written about aspects of the history. I am just attempting my own summary of what I have read without citing particular sources in this post.

1. Tory and Whig parties came into existence during the Exclusion bill debates in the 1680s. The Whigs wished to exclude the catholic Duke of York (later King James II of England) from the succession to the Crown.

2. King James II was eventually overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of 1688/89. Members of both parties accepted the new situation, apart from the Jacobite wing of the Tories.

3. From the Glorious Revolution until the Hanoverian succession in 1714, comparative cohesive parties competed for royal favour and in the frequent general elections of the period.

4. King George I distrusted the Tories. From 1714 until 1760 just about any politician who aspired to executive office had to associate himself with a Whig faction. There were still Tories in Parliament, but the old disputes gradually became irrelevant.

5. When King George III came to the throne in 1760 politics was organised around faction supporting prominent political leaders. Some, like Lord North, might be from families with a Tory tradition. Others like the Duke of Newcastle might regard themselves as Whigs but it no longer mattered. People from both traditions belonged to each faction.

6. Politics began to again re-crystallise into parties, more significant than mere factions, in the late 18th and early 19th century. During the Revolutionary War, most politicians supported William Pitt the Younger. Pitt's followers, at the time, were known as the Pittites but in retrospect were the core of what became known as the Tory Party. Ironically some prominent Pittites, like Pitt himself and the Duke of Portland, called themselves Whigs.

7. The small number of opponents of Pitt, led by Charles James Fox, became the core of the 19th century Whig Party.

8. There continued to be factions created, in the early 19th century, but they increasingly tended to be distinctly Tory or Whig. By about 1820 the two parties were fairly cohesive. There were some factions swinging between the two parties until the late 1850s. In the 1830s and 40s the Tories came to be called the Conservative Party and the Whigs (and associated groups) were informally described as the Liberal Party. The Whigs, joined with Peelite Liberal Conservatives, Radicals and some Irish Opposition politicians to create a formal Liberal Party in 1859. The Protectionist wing of the Conservative Party then became the only organisation claiming to be the heirs of the Tory tradition.

9. The Whig aristocratic families mostly broke from the Liberal Party over Irish Home Rule in 1886. The Liberal Unionists, including the few remaining Whig Unionists, formally merged with the Conservative Party in 1912. The 1859 Liberal Party eventually merged, in 1988, with the SDP to create what is now the Liberal Democrats.

10. The continuity between the 17th century Tory Party and the modern Conservative Party and the 17th century Whigs and the Liberal Democrats, are both dubious. However if the Conservatives can claim succession from the Tories, I do not see why the Liberal Democrats are not the political heirs of the Whigs.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: October 03, 2014, 08:22:53 am
Phony Moderate.

Quote
What happens if we see a result along these lines?

Lab - 290 seats
Con - 290 seats
SNP - 35 seats
Lib Dems - 20 seats

There also some other members in a House of 650 (minus Sinn Feiners not taking their seats), who might provide some additional chances of negotiation.

There is some sort of constitutional convention that politicians have a duty to provide the Crown with an administration, so as to avoid troubling the electorate with too frequent new elections. Given the numbers suggested, no stable majority coalition seems likely. 

However the Labour Party seems better placed than the Tories to form a minority government, which might either through formal confidence and supply agreements or informal understandings and case by case negotiations, keep things together for at least six months or possibly longer. 

As the Conservatives would be busy disposing of Cameron and the Liberal Democrats would not be keen on the expense and risk of a quick second election, it is probably only the SNP who would vote against the government in the short term. Labour could then arranges a dissolution at the time of its choosing (not as easy now as before fixed term Parliaments, but not impossible - would the opposition really vote against a dissolution when they could not put together an alternative administration with a majority).
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 22, 2014, 05:09:54 pm
The Labour and Conservative Parties are both seeking to redesign the British constitution with minimal regard to principle and maximum attention to partisan advantage. It may be that some half baked plan will be adopted before the general election or during the next Parliament. Most likely the whole exercise will prove to be as futile as House of Lords reform and everybody will give up the idea of major reform for English government, for another generation.

Neither party wants to create a proper English Parliament, elected on its own by some form of proportional representation, similar to what exists in Scotland.

The Conservatives want English votes for English issues, with the representatives of English constituencies only voting on the English legislation. Possibly they may create something called an English Parliament, but really it would just be part of the UK Parliament. Official Conservative policy (as so far invented by D. Cameron) does not seem to envisage splitting the UK and English executive governments.

Party advantage - more often than not the Conservatives could hope to have concurrent UK and English majorities. If Labour have a small UK majority, the Conservatives may hope to gridlock the system by exploiting a Conservative English majority. That would leave the UK government having to accept and administer its opponents legislation, unless it advised the monarch to exercise the Royal veto over bills for the first time since the early 18th century. Parliament has no power to override a Royal veto, so this situation might lead to a bit of a constitutional crisis.

Labour (official policy) is to call for a constitutional convention (which looks like it would be wholly dominated by the Westminster politicians with little or no input by the general public). This will put off constitutional change at Westminster for years. It may be that the hope is that the issue will be less pressing by the time any report is agreed (if one ever is), so that the next government can ignore it. Labour is prepared to agree to what sounds like an English grand committee to debate English legislation, but is not willing to agree that MPs from the rest of the UK should not participate in the final decision on a bill.

Party advantage - Labour keeps some control in the UK Labour, English Tory majority situation. The government, in that situation, might not be able to pass legislation it wanted but could block legislation it did not like (without breaking the very strong convention against use of the Royal veto). So another form of deadlock.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 12, 2014, 11:28:41 am
The royal representative in Scotland before the union of parliaments had a title like Lord Commissioner.

I imagine Princess Anne would be well placed to represent the Queen, as she and her son have been building up support for a while. Princess Anne often attends rugby union internationals in Edinburgh and her son was involved in playing the game within the Scottish system.

The Queen is, of course, half Scottish herself and spends part of her year in Scotland (Christmas and New Year), so no doubt some arrangement could be made foe who does what within the royal family.  
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 11, 2014, 06:12:57 am
The problem of England continues to be intractable. Creating an English Parliament leads to the risk that the First Minister of England would do to the Prime Minister of the UK what Boris Yeltsin did to Mikhail Gorbachev.  Federal type states do not work very well when one member of the Federation is stronger than all the others combined.

The attempt to square the circle by dividing England into regions did not work. The Labour government (as represented by John Prescott) promoted a devolution revolution for North East England. The people of that region rejected the idea. If an area like the North East did not approve a Regional Assembly, no part of England would.

However, if Scotland remains in the UK and gets the promised devo max, perhaps the UK constitution will have to be changed in quite a major way. The politicians may have to bite the bullet and risk an English Parliament. The UK Parliament could be left as a federal or quasi federal legislature with quite restricted powers compared to the national parliaments and assemblies.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: September 10, 2014, 05:05:40 pm
I have identified one Speaker defeated at the polls since the Union. Sir Richard Onslow (a Whig politician who had represented Surrey since 1689) was defeated in the 1710 general election. He was Speaker from 1708-1710. Speaker's, in that period, were partisan figures who were by no means certain of retaining the chair in a new Parliament but it was still an unusual event for one to lose an election.

Quote
Local opinion believed that he had been taught a lesson that ‘’tis dangerous for a man to act in opposition to the greater part of the gentlemen’, and the post-mortem into the causes of his political demise continued into the new year. After a run of nine county victories, the magnitude of Onslow’s defeat was heralded by many Tories as the greatest of their electoral triumphs. By all reports Onslow was shattered by his electoral reverse, and although one of the Whig ‘cities of refuge’ was secured for him nine days later at St. Mawes, the Surrey defeat had a profound influence upon him.

As the election had been a Tory triumph, Onslow had no hope of being re-elected Speaker.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 08, 2014, 07:05:23 pm
I found some material on page 352 of the Scottish government's document about ''Scotland's Future''. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00439021.pdf

Quote
We propose that Scotland’s independence day should be on
24 March 2016. The first election in an independent Scotland
will then take place on 5 May 2016
■ Between the referendum and independence, we will put in place
the initial constitutional platform for independence and
the arrangements for the transfer of powers to Scotland
■ The legislation on independence will place a duty on the
Scottish Parliament elected in 2016 to establish a constitutional
convention to prepare the permanent written constitution of
Scotland

The SNP definitely want the constitution to be wholly made in Scotland. The 'initial constitutional platform' would presumably be drawn up by the existing Scottish Parliament dominated by the SNP. Nothing is said about the electoral system to be used in 2016.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 08, 2014, 06:40:50 pm
Quote
Has there been any talk of the electoral system post-independence? Would it essentially be the same as the current Scottish Parliament's elections or something completely different?

I have not noticed anything, although I am in southern England so I might not have seen it.

Presumably a yes vote, would be followed by some negotiations over the terms of disunion. The independence constitution might be negotiated during that process, but I would suspect that Scotland would prefer as little interference as possible from the rest of the UK.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have suggested a constitutional convention, with representatives of all the parties and civil society groups in Scotland. This was modelled on the body which came up with the current devolution arrangements (which notably was boycotted by the SNP). The existing convention proposal is related to changes within the union, but there is no reason why it could not be used to draft an independence constitution if there has been a yes vote on independence.

Such a body would not be likely to make major changes to the existing Scottish Parliament electoral system.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 10:57:08 am
In the days when rotten boroughs abounded, the House of Commons sometimes noticed particularly outrageous examples and punished them by not issuing a writ for a by-election. This left a seat vacant for the rest of a Parliament. The disappointed electors were thus cheated of the opportunity to freely vote for the highest bidder, one more time. Nineteenth century spoilsports were sometimes so outraged that they disenfranchised the borough (see the sad history of Grampound in Cornwall, whose two seats were transferred to Yorkshire). It should be noted that the borough would still be represented as part of a county constituency, when its individual representation disappeared, but there would be fewer opportunities to make a corrupt profit.

However punishing a corrupt constituency is not really something to be done in a modern democracy. Nowadays it would just be a squalid party game to leave innocent electors without an MP.
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