He's already been blasted for slating the Lib Dems. Now he has a go at the democratic process.
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (SNP): We are so alike—it is easy to be confused.
Many members have talked about how important it is for the Parliament to take decisions on the running of Holyrood and local authority elections, which would be eminently sensible. After all, as I suggested to Mr Gould, who is a Canadian, during a meeting of the Local Government and Communities Committee, it would be preposterous if the United States of America presided over the running of Canadian elections. It is daft for the Scottish ministers and the Scotland Office to have their oars in the water; we must conclude that the process should be devolved to Scotland.
The ballot paper design clearly caused confusion and difficulty. I am sure that lessons will be learned. I anticipate that whoever designs the next ballot paper will acknowledge that having two, separate, Holyrood ballot papers is essential.
More thought should be given to which parties are permitted to put their name on the regional ballot paper. Voters are confused by the plethora of minuscule three-men-and-a-dog parties—often recently formed and with as few as three members—that are allowed on the regional list. I am aware of no other legislature that allows such nonsense. It is clear that some voters are confused when they are confronted by ballot papers that include such parties. That does nothing to advance the democratic process.
Margo MacDonald: I am curious to know what the member thinks about one woman without a dog.
Kenneth Gibson: Not a lot, if the truth must be told......... .....In my constituency, an obscure fringe party called the Scottish Liberal Democrats was able to take advantage of the free mailing, despite having no campaign whatever.