‘An incredible Triumph for Democracy’

JP
JP

Scotland’s Referendum was an incredible triumph for democracy with a record 85% turnout, and the new wave of democratic engagement and activism which has been inspired by the campaign shows no signs of stopping. . It was very gratifying to see such a high turnout from our 16 and 17 year olds, and there remains cross party Parliamentary support in Holyrood to allow our young people to participate in all future elections. It is, however, the Westminster Government that will make the final decision on this. The SNP is now the third largest party in the UK after the incredible influx of new members since the Referendum. I am absolutely delighted that so many people from every part of Scotland have recognised that the best way to deliver change is to continue getting involved. These incredible figures are absolutely inspiring as the SNP membership has nearly trebled since the Referendum, and the SNP will do everything it can to ensure the Smith Commission will work in the best interests of the people of Scotland.It is this new wave of democratic engagement which will hold the Westminster establishment to account on their vow of more powers for Scotland - people simply won’t accept the same old politics from the UK Government. Anything less than the substantial powers we need to make Scotland a fairer, more equal and more prosperous place would be an insult to this new movement. Westminster has to deliver or face the consequences at the ballot box at the General Election in 2015. Now that the Referendum is over we enter into a period of party conferences, and I am sure that Scotland will remain at the forefront of the political agenda. I would like to pass on my grateful thanks to all activists and supporters throughout Aberdeenshire West who have knocked on doors, delivered leaflets and attended public meetings in an effort to engage with people over the last two years. Many are still coming to terms with the announcement from Alex Salmond that he is standing down as Leader of the SNP. He managed to take us, and many more from outside the Party, to where we are now and, like him, I fully endorse Nicola to take over as the Leader of the SNP. Alex was a great leader and he undeniably made his stamp on the political world. Alex has stated that he will remain in politics working on behalf of his constituents. He has served the people of Scotland with passion, vision and immense dedication. His role in shaping the Scottish political landscape over the past 25 years has been immeasurable, and in the last seven years he has transformed the role of First Minister. Anyone who knows Alex, knows his extraordinary willingness to make time for his constituents, his determination to improve the lives of our people, and his desire to build a better future for Scotland.Alex’s departure as First Minister leaves Scotland with unfinished business in terms of the new powers promised to our Parliament, but the seeds of hope and expectation he has helped to plant in the hearts and minds of the people of our country will flourish in the years to come, and will make Scotland a better place for all of us. As ever, I am looking forward to engaging with groups and individuals throughout the constituency. I have many events in my diary throughout the coming months and I can only hope that the “Indian Summer” which has been forecast comes true. I will be holding surgeries throughout the coming months and if you would like to meet with me please contact my Constituency Office to organise an appointment.