"...you cannot change the constitution of any organisation (golf club, drama group, whatever) without a solid majority in favour. A 51% vote in favour of change leaves just too many supporters of the status quo feeling denied and frustrated. You have to demonstrate a solid majority if you want to take everyone with you. Freqently in these cases a two-thirds majority is needed to bring about radical change...."Today the Herald publishes an article by arch-nationalist columnist Ian McWhirter in which he writes ....
"...Well, in Canada....the Supreme Court did indeed rule on the wording of the independence referendum in the French-speaking province of Quebec in 1998. ...in a landmark ruling now internationally recognised as a definitive statement on the rights of secession by disgruntled minorities, it ruled there was no right at all in international or domestic law for one part of a state to leave unilaterally. And even if independence were to be agreed by the other parts of the state, there would have to be absolute clarity over what the independence question meant, and a substantial majority in favour of independence, not just a simple majority..."Earlier this month the Scottish Football Association (SFA) changed its constitution to allow a different voting structure. The change required a 75% majority. The SFA is an important organisation in Scottish life, and many people have an interest in its effective operation, but its governance is far less important than the governance of the state itself or the country.It therefore seems unacceptable that the currently effective governance of the country could be overturned by a simple majority of Scots voting in a one-off referendum.
If the turnout at a referendum was at the same level as recent elections, a 51% vote in favour of independence would need the actual votes of less than a third, maybe even a quarter, of the electorate. This is no basis to create a new country. If the referendum is to go ahead there must be a threshold - two-thirds of votes cast or 45% of the electorate, or some similar substantial proportion – that would secure the acquiescence of the minority in the upheaval implied by breaking up the UK.
After all, if a majority threshold is a necessary requirement to change the constitution of the SFA, or your local golf club, it’s not a lot to ask in respect of radical changes to the governance of Scotland.