Here at Delib, we’re not political, but we are passionate about democracy. With the vote announced this morning, we look at how Scotland won at democracy during this momentous referendum.
We’ve been following this with interest, from the initial discussions and consultations, to the fiery passions and clamour of the final few weeks. Arguably, it is the fervour with which this campaign has been fought, particularly in its latter stages, that has led to a record number of citizens registering to vote and standing up to make their voices heard on the future of their country. The result: a voter turnout of over 84.5% – the highest in the UK since the general election of 1950.
Some basic rules of engagement were followed as part of the referendum:
A simple question was asked > in a defined timescale > with full inclusion of the Scottish public in the journey to polling day.
The consultation asked the Scottish people to become part of the machinery of democracy and to shape the structure of their referendum. It asked nine questions, ranging from whether 16 and 17 year olds would get the vote, to how voting could be made easier for them to take part.
To keep things completely transparent, the responses of all consenting participants were published in full on the site.
What we really loved about this consultation was that the public response to the questions asked, was directly actioned by the Scottish Government. When it asked whether 16 and 17 year olds should get the vote, the public said yes – so it happened. The nature of the referendum question and the ballot paper were decided by the respondents to the consultation. This was true of all nine questions – no response was left unread, no voice left unheard.
By asking Scottish citizens to be involved from the outset, the result has been that they have responded in their millions to vote and to own the process.
There will be many people in Scotland today understandably feeling defeated, but their participation in the vote means their assembled voices cannot be ignored. Their actions may also be the catalyst for significant, democratic and constitutional change across the UK.
We have a number of Scottish customers using our apps; Scottish Government, Clackmannanshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council, East Lothian Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Borders, Edinburgh City Council, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, and we’ve worked with more in the past.
One thing we have known for a while is that Scotland does democracy well, and now the rest of the world has been able to see it too.