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Why did all SNP MSPs abstain on the Fracking ban?

(18 Posts)
LizzieMacQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:23:40

BBC link

Does anyone know why all the SNP MSPs chose (? or were told to) to abstain on this crucial subject?

From what was said on the news last night, I think it was because they would have had to have voted with the Conservatives, and there was no way they'd do that.

I could be wrong though.

LizzieMacQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:30:13

But the Conservatives voted against the ban didn't they.

Aren't SNP against fracking?

I think the SNP want to examine the evidence more closely, before they make a final decision - they don't want to go for an outright ban immediately, but may do, once they have all the facts.

So, at this point in time, they didn't want an outright ban, and would have had to vote with the conservatives - but didn't want to. If that makes sense.

Eve Thu 02-Jun-16 11:36:12

... So voting (or not ) to make a political point, rather than doing what they were elected for, to represent views of their constients!

....this is why politics is wrong! (And not just the SNP....all as bad as each other)

LizzieMacQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:37:18

Were they all told to abstain then?

I presume so, Lizzie - all parties instruct their MPs on how to vote on many issues - the Whips (MPs selected by their party to organise their party's MPs contribution to parliamentary work) issue instructions on how to vote (or if a free vote is allowed) - if something is a really important issue for the party, the instruction is underlined three times - and this is called a Three-line Whip. Disobeying the Whips is frowned upon, and the more serious the issue, the more seriously it's frowned on if an MP disobeys their party's Whips.

I have been told that the SNP MPs and MSPs are very strictly 'Whipped' - ie. they have to do as they are told, and the leadership makes most, if not all of the decisions on how the party will vote, and there's little room for individuality. But the person who told me this is not a fan of the SNP, so their opinion is not unbiased.

Oh - and an MP/MSP who disobeys the party Whip can be expelled from the parliamentary party - called 'having the whip withdrawn' - which is quite a big issue because they aren't eligible for cabinet/shadow cabinet/spokesman roles which is how MPs get promotions, nor do they get their party's support at the next election or by-election in their constituency. Their party will have an official candidate, and they would be an independent candidate, and might well lose their seat.

OhBuggerandArse Thu 02-Jun-16 11:57:02

It's because an outright ban without evidence could lead to a court challenge from the companies who want to get licences to frack - therefore could be counterproductive and lead to a situation where fracking is actually outside government control. That's why they want to wait till the evidence is watertight. There's been plenty of discussion of this - it's very irresponsible of reporters not to make this context clear.

LizzieMacQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 11:59:07

Ok, thanks SDTG, most informative.

I'm glad that their abstaining hasn't affected the ban, that's the main thing.

LizzieMacQueen Thu 02-Jun-16 12:00:15

Thanks too OhBugger - I did think the BBC reporting on this was quite light.

OhBuggerandArse Thu 02-Jun-16 12:01:33

Good proper explanation from a lawyer here:

talkingmince.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/its-not-easy-being-green-part-two-along-came-a-lawyer/

(lots of lawyery definition-ing to start with, but the meat is in points 29 & 30)

OhBuggerandArse Thu 02-Jun-16 23:05:35

Here's another article from Joan McAlpine in Bella today:

bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/06/02/fracking-posturing/

cdtaylornats Fri 03-Jun-16 07:49:42

Disobey the whips often enough and you can be leader of the party.

The SNP is juggling here - they have to keep the Greens happy, equally the have to keep Grangemouth open.

There is no evidence that fracking is bad and there isn't liable to be as the Scottish Government has been without a Cheif Scientific Advisor for 18 months. Though in keeping with Scotlands go ahead modern image the Goverment Poet (Makar) was replaced in a month.

FannyFifer Fri 03-Jun-16 11:40:09

Quite a good article from Joan McAlpine via Bella Caledonia re this.
http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2016/06/02/fracking-posturing/

LunaLoveg00d Fri 03-Jun-16 18:41:18

Because in order to oppose it they'd have to vote alongside the Conservative MSPs and they're far too petty minded and childish to do that.

Bunch of toddlers, the lot of them.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 03-Jun-16 20:43:23

They really are terrible aren't they - bunch of sheeple too witless to have any thoughts not pre-approved by Sturgeon.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 03-Jun-16 20:46:02

I knew I would regret clicking on a Bella Caledonia link. Still one has to admire the audacity of climbing up on to the moral high ground.

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