Fundamentalists and gradualists

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The gradualist viewpoint within the Scottish National Party (SNP) is the idea that Scottish independence can be won by the accumulation by the Scottish Parliament of powers that the UK Parliament currently has over a protracted period of time. It is also a philosophy that emphasises the election of an SNP government should bring about trust in the Scottish people in the ability of Scotland to govern herself, thus bringing increased support for independence.

Gradualism stands in opposition to the so-called fundamentalist point of view, which believes that the SNP should emphasise independence more widely in order to achieve it. The argument goes that if the SNP is unprepared to argue for its central policy then it is unlikely ever to persuade the public of its worthiness. Many fundamentalists (including Jim Sillars) were extremely wary of supporting the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament as they believed it had been designed to limit the aspirations of those who desire independence. Sillars used his column in The Sun to make clear such concerns and accordingly advised people to abstain from voting in the 1997 referendum which endorsed the principle of devolution.

Notable fundamentalists

Notable gradualists

See also

  • Étapisme, gradualists in the Quebec sovereignty movement (literal translation "gradualism")
  • Pur et dur, fundamentalists in the Quebec sovereignty movement (literal translation "pure and hard")
  • Wets and dries, a similar ideological split in the UK Conservative Party

References

  1. ^ a b c d Seenan, Gerard; MacAskill, Ewen (6 May 1999). "SNP's radical wing threatens to split party". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fundamentalist Neil poised to make bid for SNP leadership". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 29 June 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Taylor, Brian (21 September 2000). "Tussle for the top". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Under-fire SNP leader resigns". BBC News. BBC. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
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