The Referendum One Year On: A Health Check on Democracy
Institute of Ideas / Battle of Ideas

Event Type:

Guest Lecture


Reid Auditorium, Reid Building, Glasgow


29 Oct 2015
19:00 - 21:00



The Referendum One Year On
A Health Check on Democracy

The Referendum One Year On: A Health Check on Democracy

Event info

Democracy is arguably one of humanity’s greatest achievements but today it is under scrutiny and no more so than in Scotland. Over the past year the Scottish people have spoken twice. If the Referendum outcome was clear-cut, the General Election result was resounding. Contradictions abound, and clearly a wide range of considerations inform the electoral choices people make. While dissatisfaction with Westminster and a collapse of trust in representation are key driving forces, what else lies behind the seismic shifts we are witnessing here?

It has been said that democracy is merely a, “morally thin procedural device about how decisions are made”. Though fundamental, the Independence question is certainly less binary and more nuanced than it appears. For example, why did Scottish voters reject independence and then half a year later vote for the party of independence? Will the coming Scottish national and local elections maintain the rise and rise of the SNP? Might centrifugal forces reappear after a vote for independence and lead to further localism and more single issue campaigns? What approaches might existing incumbents deploy to rebuild faith in representative democracy? In a time of austerity and when some basic freedoms are under attack, if ‘the people’ are to be more than just democratic window dressing, some of these conundrums need to be addressed.

A panel of invited speakers including Dr Oliver Escobar, Ruth Wishart, Liam Murray and Dr Stuart Waiton will address these questions as the introduction to an open public debate.

Tickets are free and can be reserved via Eventbrite here.