Monday, October 20, 2008

The Tale of Two Debates

Both the student wings of the SNP and Liberal Democrats in under a week had their say in the SNP government's decision to raise the age of off-sales to over 21s. The SNPs youth tabled an ammendment to their parties motion while Liberal Youth Scotland proposed the motion that had an ammendment of additions from the Policy Committee.

As reported in the press over the weekend Friday's debate by the Nats changed from being about the policy to "one of delegate loyalty to the leadership". The Lib Dem debate meanwhile had stuck to the liberalism or rather ill-liberalism of several of the SNP proposals, the stigmatism of 18-21 year olds as well as separate supermarket queues.

It was hardly surprising that when loyalty became an added issue to the debate in Perth on Friday that the Scottish Youth for Independence amendment was defeated 191-130, whereas when only the policy was as stake in Edinburgh at the Lib Dems conference on the Saturday the amendment had a few more objectors but the motion was carried almost unanimously.

The Times may well have congratulated the SNP for allowing the youth wings amendment to be debated by the party hierarchy but when using Shona Robinson carried out the subtle change for the substance of the motion to confidence in the leadership was it really given a fair run?

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