PE01483: Dreach da-chananach de cheist an refreinn air neo-eisimeileachd Bilingual version of the independence referendum question

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Petitioner: Iain Macleoid


Date Lodged: 05 June 2013

A’ gairm air Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ìmpidh a chuir air Riaghaltas na h-Alba ath-bheachdachadh a dhèanamh air an rùn aca gun dreach dà-chànanach (Beurla/Gàidhlig) de phàipear baileit an refreinn air neo-eisimeileachd a sholarachadh. 

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review its intention not to provide a bilingual (English/Gaelic) version of the ballot paper for the independence referendum. 

Petition History:


17 September 2013: The Committee took evidence from John Macleod, and Professor Robert Dunbar, Chair of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities, University of Edinburgh. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Management Board for Scotland. Link to Official Report 17 September 2013 (597KB pdf)

Below: John Macleod and Prof Robert Dunbar giving evidence on 17 September 2013


26 November 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 on the basis that the Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee considered this as part of its Stage 1 scrutiny and concluded that a persuasive case for a bilingual ballot paper had not been made; the Bill has now completed Stage 3, and no Member put down an amendment to seek a bilingual ballot paper. In closing the petition, the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 26 November 2013 (515KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

1. Chan eil Riaghaltas na h-Alba a’ toirt taic do Ghàidhlig na h-Alba air bhonn “dìth tuigse na Beurla” ach airson “còraichean cànain” agus “co-ionannachd spèis ris a’ Bheurla”
2. Bu chòir do Riaghaltas na h-Alba a bhith gnìomhach ann a bhith a’ cur an sàs briathran reachdail Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005, Cùmhnant Eòrpach nan Cànanan Roinneil is Mion-chananan, agus am Plana Gàidhlig aca fhèin gus sealltainn gu soilleir gu bheil iad dha-rìribh a’ cumail ris an rùn a gheall iad dèanamh cinnteach gum bi a’ Ghàidhlig tèarainte san àm ri teachd.

1. Scottish Government support for Scottish Gaelic is not given on the basis of “lack of understanding of English” but for “language rights” and “equal respect with English”
2. The Scottish Government should be active in applying the statutory provisions of the Gaelic Language (S) Act 2005, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and their own Gaelic Language Plan to demonstrate their stated intent of ensuring a secure future for Gaelic.

As an official language of Alba the referendum should also be available in Gaidhlig. Actions speak louder than words.

Dj Macdonald

0:10 on 06 Jun 2013

Should have heard about this before now!

Katherine Napoli

23:28 on 05 Jun 2013

Why not?

Alistair Mackay

23:05 on 05 Jun 2013

Feumaidh Gaidhlig a bhith air a phaiper-bhotaidh airson neo-eisimilach na h-Alba. 'Se 'English only' an t-seorsa rud a bha duil againn bho Westminster agus tha mi an dochas nach dean Parlamaid na h-Alba an aon rud. Gaelic must be on the voting paper for the independence referendum. ‘English only” is the type of thing we would expect from Westminister and I would hope that the Scottish Parliament wouldn’t do the same thing.

Scott MacDonald

18:54 on 05 Jun 2013

Simple really - 'The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 (the Act), passed by the Scottish Parliament, seeks to secure the status of Gaelic as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language.'

Seumas Mac an t-sagairt

17:19 on 05 Jun 2013

Normalisation means just that.

Lillis O Laoire

16:33 on 05 Jun 2013


Louise Cousins,

16:29 on 05 Jun 2013

I went to School in the 50's when children were still belted for speaking Gaelic. I cannot speak Gaelic in consequence

Alison Lindsay

11:52 on 05 Jun 2013

Narach, direach, gun smaointichte air a leithid a dheanamh ann am Beurla a-mhain! Narach cuideachd nach leig larach na parlamaid leam litrichean le stracan a chur a-staigh! It is just shameful that it should even be considered that the like should be done in English only. It is shameful too that the Parliament’s website won’t let me insert letters with accents

George Jones

10:47 on 05 Jun 2013

Why weren't the instructions on filling in the petition given in Gaelic too?

David Frier

10:22 on 05 Jun 2013

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