The Scottish Parliamentary elections are every four years - as stated in the Scotland Act - but to suit Westminster the 2015 election has been postponed until 2016. London can't have these irritating Scots electing their own political representatives while they, as the Mother of All Parliaments, have decided they will have their own ballot on that day. That's due to the Libdems who insisted, as part of the coalition agreement, the next general election should be held on 7 May 2015.
I have no particular grievance with this one-off change but the Scottish Secretary's proposal that Holyrood elections should be permanent five year occasions concerns me. The cynic in me ponders the benefits to unionist Westminster; there must be some or the idea would never have been mooted, although there is evidence from Germany that when Bundestag and state elections (which are conducted by Länder rules) are the same year, the state elections were completely overshadowed. Yet what are the benefits to Westminster?
The Herald reports:
Winners of all future Holyrood elections could be given a five-year term instead of just four, he said in an interview... (my emphasis)
He added: “The point that we have made is that when we established the four-year term of the original Scotland Act it was the result of a fair degree of public consultation and discussion.
Regularly I read about Westminster telling us how it will be; no public consultation, no debate, just instruction and we accept it. Why do we acquiesce without even a murmur of discontent? Changing the timing of our country's election can't be seen as a priority and it could be damaging - not least to democracy. The argument appears to be that 5-year Scottish elections would create more stability and give our government longer to legislate for change.
I dispute that. If an elected Scottish government cannot push through legislation within four years, they've little chance of doing so with the addition of 365 days.
As for Mr Moore, he's forgotten his party's policy, not so long ago, was for 4-year fixed term parliaments.  To assist him with his memory:
The Liberal Democrat policy in favour of four year fixed terms was set out in the policy papers Real Democracy for Britain(2007) and For the People, By the People (2007).
Who would have believed that was libdem policy only four years ago? Me.
All these constitutional changes we're hearing about at present favour the libdems. No matter how badly they do in future voting, if the AV result is a yes, then they will be the king-makers.
Time we stood up to this style of dictatorship from London and did become the government who 'picked fights with Westminster'. Much rather that than submitting to Westminster to keep the peace. The only party who can do this is the SNP and I'd like to see them stand up to Mr Moore and suggest his idea isn't in the interests of the Scottish people (which it won't be in 2020 because the elections will once more coincide).
Time we woke up, stopped being submissive and noticed how much Westminster 'rules'. If we're ever to be a country which makes our own decisions and has has total fiscal control we need to continually challenge Westminster decisions which are not in our interests.