bookmark_border2011 + 4 + 1 + 4 = 2010 + 5 + 5



Scottish Parliament
Originally uploaded by Kieran Lynam

The Scotsman could recently reveal that the Scottish parliamentary election following this year’s election will be moved from 2015 to 2016 because the four-year cycle for elections to the Scottish Parliament would clash with the newly-established five-year cycle for UK elections.

At first that sounds like a really good idea, but as a commenter called “Save the cheerleader – save the world” wrote underneath the article:

Let’s see if I’ve got this right. The next Scottish Parliament will be extended from 4 years to 5, in order to avoid a clash with the next 5-yearly UK election. That means it will run from 2016 to 2020…the date of the next UK election. D’oh!

No doubt the obvious solution will be to delay the Scottish elections yet again. And again. And again. At a stroke, without any public debate at all, the term of the Scottish Parliament will have been increased from 4 years to 5, in perpetuity.

This is absolutely true, of course, and I find it strange nobody has spotted this – or does everybody assume that the five-year Westminster cycle will be abolished as soon as a single party gets into power again?

There are already signs the election campaign will be interesting, by the way. In a blog posting about Wendy Alexander, Iain Macwhirter wrote:

As far as I can tell, Labour stands – in this election – for 1: increasing council tax; 2, cutting health spending in real terms; 3, restoring university tuition fees in the form of a graduate contribution; 4 stuffing yet more people in jail who shouldn’t be there; 5 protecting supermarkets from proper taxation. Oh: and jobs, of course – theirs. No wonder they were so determined to keep the price of booze down. We’ll need it.

Harsh, but fair!