Petition for Official International Observers for Next Scottish Independence Referendum 501

Please sign the petition

This UK Government cannot be trusted to behave democratically. We have seen that in the prorogation of the Westminster Parliament and in tricks like not providing tellers to count votes against an amendment, causing it to pass. Ian Blackford, SNP leader at Westminster, described Boris Johnson as behaving “like a dictator, not a democrat”.

It is highly likely that the Scottish people will shortly be voting on whether to become an independent nation again. It is essential that process be scrutinised by formal international invigilation, to make sure the conduct of the referendum is fair.

Please sign the petition for international observers to the next Scottish Indyref. Only the UK government can request an OSCE observer mission (it must be a current member state that asks), therefore the petition must be addressed to Westminster, not to Holyrood.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, through its Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, is the organisation specifically charged with monitoring democratic processes in Europe, and in which the UK government is an active participant in monitoring other countries’ elections.

Not only will the OSCE send a large team to observe the conduct of the campaign and physical balloting and counting process, they will send an advance team of experts with international experience in monitoring media bias in campaign situations, with a particular emphasis on state media. These experts will produce a careful and scientific quantitative and qualitative analysis of the extent of media bias, and this analysis will be presented to all the member states of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe. The very presence of the international monitoring team will be a strong deterrent to bad media behaviour, and will boost public confidence in the process.

In the 2014 referendum there was massive anti-Independence bias through all the privately owned media and also, blatantly and demonstrably, within the BBC.

There was a crucial and highly significant breaking of the rules of the referendum when the Unionist parties combined to issue the (since spectacularly broken) promises of “The Vow” during the official purdah period of the last week. Suspicion was attached by many to some extraordinarily high postal vote turnouts in certain localities. All events of this kind would be subject to real time scrutiny were an OSCE observer mission present.

We are frequently told by the government that, when it comes to their programmes of mass surveillance of the population, “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Those who wish to claim that it is axiomatic that both the media coverage and the physical process of an Independence referendum would be fair, have nothing to fear from OSCE scrutiny. It is an organisation of which the UK is a contributing member anyway, so there are no grounds to objection to its monitoring.

The OSCE handbook on the media monitoring they will undertake is well worth reading and gives a valuable insight into how thorough they are. They do not just measure crudely the amount of time given to each side. They assess the quality of coverage of each side, the inferences and body language of the presenters. They look at the legal, institutional and ownership framework in which journalists operate and the pressures on them to self-censor, as opposed to just considering whether there is formal state censorship.

It is essential that all sides in a future Independence referendum have trust in the fairness of the process. There is every reason to believe that British state institutions, including both the BBC and the Electoral Commission, need to be subjected to outside scrutiny.

Wherever you are in the UK, and whatever your stance on Scottish Independence, please sign and support this petition for strengthening confidence in the fairness of democratic process. The restoring of Scottish Independence and the break-up of the UK state is a major step; it is essential that the process involved in the decision is accepted by all as fair.

Obviously an observer mission takes some time to organise and needs to be in place right from the start of any campaign period, or even before. Like all international organisations, the OSCE’s processes take some time to agree between members. Therefore it is essential to launch this petition now rather than wait until a referendum is called.


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501 thoughts on “Petition for Official International Observers for Next Scottish Independence Referendum

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  • Jessie Young

    Yes. Shortly after, the Government had to admit that they had opened some of the ballot boxes ahead of the official closing time, just to see how the vote was going.Then ,we all saw the yes votes being piled on the no tables, and other unsavoury things going on. and just in case people do not remember, two lorry loads of ballot papers seemed to vanish.Then there was the inexplicable fire alarms going off, and we saw the cameras pick up on people seemingly changing the votes on the papers themselves.Not hard to do when the votes are filed in with pencils. This Government cannot be trusted with anything. They should all be in jail.

  • Muriel Kirton

    1.Evidence on live TV last time of yes votes being placed and hidden in ‘No’ files,
    2.The Scottish Tory leader stating on live TV, while the polls were still open, that sampling of the postal vote indicated a win for Remain.
    3.Apparently one or two ballot boxes found hidden in bushes, though possibly erroneous since, as far as I am aware, this was reported primarily through social media.

    Points 1 and 2 above demonstrate the need for impartial observers, at all stages of the process of counting ballot papers.

  • Daniel Dominick

    Not only should this condition be imposed, but also postal voting should be banned.
    Postal voting is the most corrutable voting methods there are.

  • James Youngson

    Scotland have to become Independent as democracy is what the people want to keep along with our human rights . Westminster have lost the plot and have been showing nothing but dictatorship for the last 5 years

  • Kareen Rennie

    During another IndyRef people need to have trust in the Democratic process. In 2014 people actually observed discrepancies.

    We need Independent observers.

  • Robert McDougall

    The UK Government has too much to lose…last ref was rigged in my opinion -Latin America banned this way of voting 20 yrs ago…

  • Cameron Gauld

    This is a must for as we all know, the last vote was not counted fairly. bring in International observers and put an end to this dictatorship called a ‘Union’

  • Heilan Laddie

    The next indyref must be overseen by independent invigilators to get an honest answer.
    Wastemonster are corrupt and rotten to the core, selfservatives, filling their own pockets.
    The have the big corporations on very little or no tax at all, expecting the taxpayers to shoulder the burden
    All these so called rich elite think that too much money is never enough.
    You find the money men, you’ll find who’s actually pulling the strings in wastemonster.
    How anyone could believe that bulbous buffoon BackDoorBoris is fit to run the country is beyond me.

    Saor Alba Gubrath.

  • gordon smith

    We have to stop the corruption in counting the votes ,it was soooo obvious last referendum but nothing was done ,time to get other people in to do the counting

  • Jane Cooper Stewart

    it was completely rigged in lots of ways ,postal votes being tampered with,power cuts ,dead people voting ,putting yes votes into the no piles ,people being told they had already voted ,hundreds of yes votes found in rubbish bins ,no exit polls ,mobile phones taken off observers but gov running around with lap tops ,ballot boxes taking longer than normal time to reach the counting stations flight delays ,have I missed anything ,oh yes not one of these being investigated ,not one ,all that after being completely lied too and false promises ,yes no doubt in my mind we were shafted just hope the powers that be in the Scottish Parliament don’t let them near the next one

  • Allan Gilmour

    It was evident prior to the prorogation of the Westminster Parliament that the electoral system in the UK is open to abuse.

    During the 2014 Independence Referendum it was announced by those in support of the No campaign that there had been interference with the Postal Vote. Ruth Davidson had boldly announced she had inspected samples of this vote. Despite a Police investigation and there being evidence of illegal activity, no prosecutions were made. Other examples of interference with the vote were ignored by the Electoral Commission, e.g. the last minute attempt to sway the electorate with The Vow, video evidence of “mis-counting” where Yes votes were bundled with No votes and others.

    It is clearly obvious that the UK electoral system cannot be trusted and therefore impartial independent observers must be engaged to oversee the next Independence Referendum.

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