From Gerry Hassan’s comment piece in today’s Scottish Review:

mackay derek 7.jpg 8In Scotland, 306 different people have been elected as MSPs since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament – 22 of who have been elected representatives for the entire 21-year period. Nearly all of the 306 have been from the four established parties or the Greens and Scottish Socialists, with only a tiny smattering of independents and others: Dennis Canavan, Margo MacDonald, Jean Turner. And there have been numerous scandals which have cost politicians their seats: Mike Watson, David McLetchie, Bill Walker, Keith Raffan. Some of these and others could have been aided by recall.

The Scottish Parliament does need to continually revisit and renew its democratic procedures. It recently commissioned and published a review by John McCormick to examine Holyrood’s procedures and suggest areas for reform and improvement, but its remit and recommendations were cautious and narrow in the extreme.

We always need to be careful about the motivations of making law as a result of one case, but the Derek Mackay, above, controversy throws light on an important weakness in our parliamentary procedures. He has resigned as a Government minister, pocketed £12,000 ministerial severance payment paid by taxpayers, and is failing in the job he was elected to do – to represent his constituents. If he is not charged by the authorities, there is no current mechanism to get rid of him as an MSP until the next Scottish Parliament election, with him being paid £63,579 per annum in the meantime.

Read the whole article here at Scottish Review :

Leave a Reply