OVER the next month Tory party members will choose their new leader.

That is of course their business. But as that new leader will, almost inevitably, become Prime Minister (though for how long, it is not clear) the outcome is also very much the business of not just one political party, or all of them, but of the 66 million citizens of these islands.

Consequently we should examine closely not just the candidates but also those who will pick the winner.

At Holyrood, the nomination of a first minister has to be approved by the whole chamber before a name is submitted to the Queen.

However in the so-called “mother of parliaments”, no such democratic system exists. It is the existing Prime Minister who will advise the Queen if whoever the Tory members select will be able to “command the confidence of the Commons”.

In the first part of the process, which involves only Tory MPs, Scottish participation is very limited and vastly below our population pro rata. In fact the 13 Scottish Tory MPs are only 4% of the Westminster Tory group.

The scale of Scottish involvement in the part which involves ordinary party members is still marginal. In March 2012, Ruth Davidson claimed that membership in Scotland was more than 11,000, but a more recent survey implies the figure is around 9000 – under 8% of the claimed UK total.

This isn’t surprising as another YouGov survey suggests Tory membership is strongest in the south of England. It also indicates that, across the UK, young people, working class voters, women and EU Remainers are significantly underrepresented in Tory membership.

Assuming a broadly similar profile in Scotland, it is therefore clear that throughout this important process our country will not be properly spoken for. It will also not be properly represented politically by any of the candidates. An examination of their position with regard to Scotland on the BBC website this week indicated that they are not only unanimously opposed to a second independence referendum but also completely clueless when it comes to other proposals for improvement in the governance of Scotland.

Indeed, Andrea Leadsom suggests this can be tackled by annual UK Cabinet away days in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

William III once responded to a petitioner who had come to him in the belief that a monarch’s touch could cure scrofula with the words “may God grant you good health and better sense”. It is also the best response to almost any idea from Leadsom and certainly that one.

Yet despite regular nonsense from the candidates, the race is attracting huge excitement in the UK media.

But the real issue for Scotland is, as ever, ignored.

No candidate represents a Scottish constituency, no candidate has direct experience of Scottish politics, no candidate has had any significant involvement in our governance, yet all presume to opine on – and will ultimately attempt to decide on – the future of our country.

Moreover, the tiny Scottish part of the electorate which will chose the next prime minister is about as far from being a cross section of our population as it is possible to get. It is hard to imagine any country in the modern world so marginalised and misrepresented in such a crucial matter as Scotland now is. The successful candidate will not only control our defence, foreign policy, much of our taxation and social security systems, they will also have a huge influence on our democratic and constitutional wellbeing, and indeed on the very future of our Parliament and nation.

If anything illustrates the bizarre and unacceptable nature of the Union under which we live, it is this UK Tory contest now underway. Let’s hope it is the last we ever have to live through.