It’s a Conspiracy!

Tired of being instructed how to vote? Fed up with being told you’re a power-hungry elitist and a traitor to Yes? Still voting for the boring old SNP? What have they ever done for us? Anybody would think there was an organised campaign to harass SNP voters. In my timeline there is a discernible trend in what begins to feel like a wee wave of dissent.

Not sure why. Surely the distorted Sunday Herald piece complete with compliant Macwhirter column counted as a coup. I mean ‘John Curtice says don’t vote SNP in the second ballot. Vote for a smaller party’ is as good coverage as you could expect without paying for it. Iain’s piece claiming Holyrood worked better without a majority and that this was against some founding principle made up the Full Bhuna.

Not sure why either when my blog offerings only say essentially two things – why I am personally voting SNP and why everyone should also vote for their party of choice regardless of outside influence. It seems that any suggestion you’re not sharing your vote is deemed to be treachery. Of what? Of whom? I’m a Scottish Nationalist who votes for an independent Scotland. In casting a second vote for them, I think I’m maximising the vote for my party of choice. I could be entirely wrong. It might work against me depending on the outcome of the FPTP constituency vote but I can’t possibly know that. I believe it’s less of a gamble to stick with the party I want to govern and which presents the only credible route to independence.

Some now say I’m breaking the bonds of friendship born in the Yes campaign. By not voting for one of the other parties? I don’t remember anyone saying in the indyref they would support independence so long as they got my second vote for Holyrood. Do you? This begins to sound like an entitlement. We backed the project, now you pay us back.

As it happens, I am pretty convinced there will be a Green surge this time. Not exactly sweeping Patrick to power …but enough to treble the MSPs and possibly more. So long as there is an SNP majority as well, I welcome this. I strongly suspect people close to me will vote accordingly. Enough people have heard convincing arguments on major issues like energy, local taxation and land reform from persuasive voices who successfully rise above the acrimony in order to feel comfortable voting Green. I think many of us feel good about voting for them as if we know we really should – a powerful motivator which also drives a lot of SNP votes.

Unlike RISE (Scottish Socialists) , the Greens have been a constant part of the Scottish parliamentary scene from the start although similarly suffering from the 2007 SNP surge. They have earned a respect which the socialists squandered. What started out – first with Tommy then the Socialist Six – as an innovative aspect to our parliament gloing on to argue successfully for policies like free school meals, fell victim to personal rifts and backbiting. Despite really good performers like Rosie, Carolyn, Frances and Colin, they collectively failed to promote a public perception of socialists as responsible and trusted legislators and instead confirmed the fears of many about irresponsibility and factionalism. Of course that’s history now but that still taints voters’ memory. I maintain that reasons for the Greens’ success include competence and maturity even while challenging society’s basic assumptions. It requires patience as well as commitment to stay the course. You have to earn the right.

I’m glad others now support independence but I never forget the trials of the early SNP and how many crushing disappointments there have been even in my adult lifetime. It’s easy for liberal commentators to talk about ‘too much’ SNP power as if that were in itself a bad thing. For a start it seems to be a reflection of our voting patterns which makes it the expressed will of the Scottish people. But it’s also a reminder of when Scotland didn’t have power, when we had to plead and beg just for an administrative assembly and times when the SNP leaders we see today pondered giving it all up. I’ve seen some of today’s Cabinet Secretaries in the depths of despair thinking it would never happen for them. It’s partly because of those times and the astonishing advances made since the rise of the SNP drove the whole devolutionary movement, that I believe so strongly in the current SNP leadership.

One of the weakest arguments is the one that the SNP is so powerful nothing can stop it and that we must remember what happened to Labour – that history will repeat itself. In a normal society you might make that case. But in Scotland with its totally distorted media relentlessly hounding the government and pouring resources into opposing everything independence is, it’s pretty silly to argue they are unimpeded. No government has ever been subject to such inexorable and biased scrutiny. Political opposition both within the party and in the chamber has also changed policy and approach from toughening land reform laws to publishing the FM’s tax details. The fact the others are so weak is hardly the SNP’s fault. Maybe’s no try so hard and gie’ us a chance?

And don’t you think the very history of Labour hegemony and their low-level corruption, cronyism and creative catatonia is the reason the SNP won’t make that mistake? The SNP has filleted every aspect of Labour and taken what they got right and rejected what was wrong.

There is understandable frustration among RISE folk at the failure thus far to make an electoral impact. The referendum gave a profile they might otherwise not have had but it hasn’t so far coalesced into voter support. The patience and belief shown by the Greens and the SNP point to a way ahead. At the same time, you only succeed by having popular policies and credible representatives who can persuade the public. Asking people with other political priorities to back you instead of their natural party isn’t much of a case.

Nor is attacking SNP types on spurious grounds of abandoning Yes or rejection of electoral diversity. After all the SNP’s the only party whose raison d’etre is independence – the beating heart of Yes and it’s funding source – and on the second point there are already five different parties represented in Holyrood. No one has an automatic right to seats.

I welcome diversity and support a move to STV for future elections. I also promote all views in debates at Newsnet and have given more airtime to RISE-supporting voices than any other outlet. None of which gives anyone a claim on my vote. To repeat – if you’re RISE, vote RISE. If you’re a green Nat – vote SNP and Green (like Peter Arnott). And I’m voting for the party most likely to deliver the outcome I want. So stop trying to hijack my vote to your cause.

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48 thoughts on “It’s a Conspiracy!

  1. Dave McEwan Hill

    Excellent, Derek

  2. Derek you and your followers are sounding more and more like 1. Jim Murphy and 2. Ruth Davidson every day. Why? Victims! You’re all victims. Poor attacked SNP X 2ers. Have you forgotten that there are at least 10 x as many 9f you as the other indy parties. And you know what: you come over a good old fashioned bullies to me. Not so much you Derek as you are just having a temporary loss of marbles. But your disciples are frankly terrifying and i begin to understand how teenagers can end up feeling bullied online. Don’t worry i won’t be hanging around for the attack so fire away. Why Ruth? Well like Ruth who carps on about indyref 2 more often than most Yessers it’s the diehard mantra chanting SNP X 2ers who go on and on about tactical voting. Most of us SNP 1 plus another are just following our principles. Maybe see you after the election. Maybe not.

  3. If you ask me its all a Yoon conspiracy , to keep the SNP in power , the longer they are in power , the more they window dress , and manage competently , the harder it is to make case for “how much more competent things could be with Independence ”

    During the referendum , every “Yes ” leaflet , had “Food banks ” and “Bedroom tax ” references to the gross inequality in the UK .

    Now we realise that once in power , what is being done about “Food banks ”

    Maybe in the next few years perhaps ?

    Hardly a humanitarian disaster then is it .

    Truth to tell things are just fine as they are , for the vast majority of Scots who enjoy free prescriptions , free health and free education .

    • Heidstaethefire

      Sorry, P , I don’t buy that line of argument. Firstly, how can Scottish voters get behind the idea of self governance if they don’t believe such a government was competent? Secondly, and more importantly, Holyrood is more and more becoming the focus of politics in Scotland and correspondingly, Westminster/Whitehall is less and less so. The next stage is to accrue more and more powers, thus making it easier and easier to envisage independence

  4. If we SNP voters lent all our list votes to Green there is no doubt that they would scoop up a good few list seats.

    If every SNP contstituency vote was accompanied by an SNP list vote then there is little doubt that they would gain some seats from the list even in unlikely event that they get all the constitiuency seats accross Scotland.

    So I know that if I vote SNP first ballot and Green list then this will help the Greens as long as enough other people do likewise. If many of the others don’t follow suit then the beneficiaries will likely be the unionist parties.

    So I know that if I vote SNP first ballot and SNP list then this will help the SNP as long as enough other people do likewise. If many others don’t follow suit then the beneficiaries will likely be the unionist parties.

    Between those two scenarios what we know is that there is a big black hole where no one knows what the outcome might be.

    This is the reality of the electoral system that was designed to make it as near to impossible as possible for the SNP to have an overall majority in the parliament. It was also probably designed to make it as near to impossible as possible for the parliament to have an independence supporting majority of either one single party or of a coalition.

    Its a unionist system which we have manged to break once or maybe twice if you count the SNP minority government of 2007.

    Can we break it again? …… I really hope so but thare are no done deals and no tactical no-brainers so I’m going to vote in each ballot for what I believe in.

  5. Thomas Valenitne

    I have a vague idea that for most people their local MSPs name hardly matters. They vote for a particular party in these elections. Fine have a local contact who’s an MSP if you want to deal with them. Other wise expand councils to deal with as much local stuff as possible and leave MSPs to national matters. Just now if you don’t want to deal with one party there’s usually a list member from another party available for your region. Does it then really matter if they were not all on some BIG LIST. Say by region if that’s a big thing to anyone.
    Then its a straight party vote and seats awarded by vote share. Maybe with a minimum percentage support level to stop being too chaotic.

  6. What is the outcome you most want Derek? Independence? I’m not sure how increasing the number of unionist MSPs will help deliver that. That also needs weighed up against the need for an SNP majority as well as Greens being potentially 4th largest holyrood party offering another pro-yes voice.

    It’s not just as simple as vote for what you believe in. The workings of the electoral system need to be taken into account at a regional level on the list vote.

    • You cannot 2nd guess a PR system! You wld need to know how many votes were cast in each region to game the list vote. So yes it is a s simo,e as vote for what you believe and let democracy decide the rest.

  7. Brilliant Derek, that’s how most of us feel.

    McWhirter is a nice guy but he is really misguided. If he does believe in independence, that is?

  8. I wonder if the Herald and its columnists actually read (carefully) what Curtice said. The outstanding things for me to come out of his report (https://t.co/mhwyZEtIsJ) were “uncertainty” and “risk”.

  9. Agree with most of this. Years of campaigning with only losing as your reward is my experience as an snp activist. In the late 70s, ridiculed and with limited funding we kept going. The current leadership were part of this including Salmond. Never opportunists (if they were they’d have been in labour then…like Jim Murphy). The current success was never predicted or expected. To be told now that it’s a bad thing to so successful is galling. Hold the line. Eyes on the ball. Don’t use your 2nd vote as a vote for a political system (other than indy) letting unionists in through the middle. Use it as a route to indy and there’s only one party able to deliver that. After indy vote for whatever you like. Change the system then. But to do so you need indy first.

  10. I see you don’t publish comments that disagree with your view now Derek!

  11. “One of the weakest arguments is the one that the SNP is so powerful nothing can stop it and that we must remember what happened to Labour – that history will repeat itself.”

    Which is, of course, complete balderdash, because the SNP is not the government of a sovereign, independent nation the way Labour was. Even in the event the SNP control Holyrood, the councils, and nearly all MPs in Westminster, it will never be in a position of power like Labour was for as long as Scotland remains part of the UK. Look at all the Scotland Bill amendments proposed by the SNP, shot down by a party with a single MP and mere 14% of the vote in Scotland. Look at the number of papers and news sources openly antagonistic towards them. Look at how the SNP’s policies on Trident, foreign policy, immigration and so forth are ignored as reserved issues.

    When Scotland’s independent, then we can have a conversation about the SNP being too “powerful.”

  12. Well said Derek.

    Just what the hell is wrong with voting for your party of choice, or at very least voting for the party you believe will deliver competent government? I’m sick to bloody death of being told who to vote for by the meeja, one of the main reasons IMO just why they have become so very toxic in their own right.

    As for other, newer, political voices on the scene? Well, frankly they have to put the years in, just like any other party. Form track records on what they support, what they believe, how they vote in chambers, what policies they develop. No one simply gets handed a vote just because… If they want to be taken seriously they need to put that record in place. There are no short cuts to electoral success.

    One more time with feeling. Vote your conscience. Vote for the party you feel will provide competent government and if you feel strongly enough about those decisions, then give that party both your votes.

    Newspapers, think tanks and commissions aren’t forming the next Scottish Government, so why listen to a damn word these already widely compromised institutions have to say on the subject? Like any electoral choice, you use your eyes, your ears, your ability reason. Read the literature from the parties, listen to the campaigners on the doorstep and measure what you have learned against your own moral code, your life experience and your aspirations for the future. When you’ve done all of that put your mark in that box, but fergawdsake don’t allow very self interested others preaching their objectivity, tell you how to vote or who to vote for to achieve x, y, or bloody z.

    I’m voting SNP because I believe they are the most competent and able for the job of governing Scotland and because they will safeguard our electorate’s democratic right to revisit a future referendum at a time of the electorate’s choosing.

    Other folk’s choice is up to them.

  13. Bang on the nail Derek,

    Here is RISE’s song to all the SNP voters… (hope you don’t mind Derek) 🙂

  14. Derek, this is an absolutely disgraceful article. It encompasses elements of common sense, civil liberties, reasonableness, flexibility, understanding, moral compass (I’ve no idea what that’s supposed to mean but it sounds kind of cool). You’ve also not allowed people to post against your article even though I can clearly see their postings, which is very much prohibitive permissive closed mind and openness.

    The Unionist media will NOT be pleased. Take it back!

  15. Derek, while I would never say that Iain Macwhirter is not a very good writer and journalist (I rate high highly), was he writing articles in the 1980s and 1990s before major elections, when the Labour Party in Scotland was utterly dominant, complaining about this, and if he was not, then why has he started now with the SNP?

    The founding principles of Holyrood were drawn up by Scottish Labour, Liberal Democrats and others because the SNP walked out, due to the refusal of the former too even countenance the option of independence. So Holyrood’s founding principles were essentially unionist. Nothing wrong with that of course (given the SNP walk out), and events have bypassed them and rendered them somewhat moot anyway. Unionists dominated politics in Scotland even beyond the 1990s as well. So why does Macwhirter hold these principles up to be somehow unimpeachable? After all, Brian Taylor has said that Jack McConnell admitted that the PR system was chosen to help keep the SNP out of office and power at Holyrood.

  16. You’re being offered tickets to attend 2 football matches free of charge, with hotel accommodation and travelling expenses thrown in. You have a list of five matches to pick from. The two matches at the top of the list both feature Real Madrid as the main attraction. The others feature Auchinleck Talbot, Darvel Juniors, and the ex-employees of the now defunct Bata shoe factory in Cumnock. Somebody whispers in your ear that it would be a good idea to pick just one of the Real Madrid matches, so that you could feel good about boosting the gate receipts of one of the needy wee clubs. If you manage to exercise a reasonable amount of self-control, you will probably force a smile and tell them to sod off.

    SNP x 2 is the only game in town.

  17. But it’s also a reminder of when Scotland didn’t have power, when we had to plead and beg just for an administrative assembly and times when the SNP leaders we see today pondered giving it all up. I’ve seen some of today’s Cabinet Secretaries in the depths of despair thinking it would never happen for them.

    Yeah those were the days all right….. 😀 😀

  18. So we have no idea about the demographics of each region, the demographic profiles of party voters (particularly Green on list), the regional breakdown of votes on constituency and list, historical results at Westminster and Holyrood, overall SNP voting intentions from countless polls and the relationship between national polls and local outcomes.And the fact that SNP are consistently higher than they were at Westminster in both polls and outturn.

    SNP are consistently lower on the list too to the extent that in a number of regions they are very likely to get nothing on the list. 45% divided by 10 is 4.5 and that’s the likely starting point for SNP on the list in many regions. Green will likely be in a range of 5 to 14 depending on the region. If we can identify the regions where using these ball park figures that green will be say 8 or 9 and higher we should defnitely switch if we think SNP are very likely to pick up virtually all the constituency seats. These are Lothians and maybe Galsgow Mid and Fife and possibly Highlands (the Northern Isles are a danger there on the constituency).

    We have plenty of information so i will use it and let democracy under the d’hondt Additional member system the rules which I understand decide the rest.

    • You into gambling? You like a game of chance too?

      Well, that’s fine, but quit telling others you have this crystal ball and know who is gonna vote for what…

      Gambling is for mugs, I’ve always been told.

  19. Well said Derek, each to their own SNPx2 INDEPENDENCE FIRST, then party politics. It’s a no brainer.

  20. Gavin.C.Barrie

    I’m a lifetime SNP supporter and voter. I will not be voting SNP on the constituency list, not for a not so talented aspiring political careerist who took full advantage of the lack of political guile of the local group.I’ll abstain. The SNP will get my List vote.

    Enjoyed your article Derek.

    • And there’s another advantage of having separate votes for constituency and list members. If it was only a single vote you’d have to vote for the not-so-talented political careerist if you wanted to support the SNP for Scottish Government.

      I’m not my sitting SNP MSPs biggest fan, shall we say, but we’re all of the same side here and she has done some good things as well as the things for which I’d happily fillet her. And none of the opposition candidates is worth a button. So I’ll vote for her.

  21. Steve Asaneilean

    You should vote for who you want to because you believe in their policies.

    The Scottish electoral system is a mongrel merger of first past the post and proportional representation. So unless you are convinced you can accurately predict the winning lottery numbers any attempt to “game” it is fraught with risk.

    In a democracy if enough people hold a set of views and values they form a movement or party then try persuade enough other people to accept their views and in this way gain power to have these views implemented.

    If you cannot persuade enough people then you have to accept that, to the majority, your views are mince or that you haven’t been persuasive enough. Either way the fault lies with you not the electorate. To simply regard the voters as fools who won’t listen is the pathway to political annihilation as (Not) Labour are slowly coming to terms with.

    Other parties have no right to ask voters to give them their second vote on the list when they are not prepared to stand in the constituency.

    I loathe the list system. It is profoundly undemocratic in the sense that the important link (and therefore responsibility) between politician and local constituency is broken and instead place people chosen not by the electorate but by the parties are then parachuted into parliament. personally I think that sucks. They very fact that almost no-one can accurately name 100% of their local “list” MSPs is evidence enough for me of a broken system and it sucks.

    Anyway, if your are RISE or Green vote however you want. Likewise if you are SNP. Either way accept that the democratic right to vote comes with the responsibility the accept the consequences of that vote, good or bad.

    As for the Scottish Government’s record being bad? Really? Like which previous Government in Holyrood did better? And which previous SG has had to deal with all the constraints forced on the current SG or an almost universally hostile media and political class?

    Is the current SG briliant? No – no Government does all it wants or all it promised. Compromise is inevitable in a democracy. But to say that their record is “bad” flies in the face of all the positive changes we have seen in under a decade. Sure they could do better. I hope that they will and I will continue to badger them to do so. But does anyone seriously think Scotland will get a better deal from Ruth of Kez?

    Aye right.

  22. Eyes on the Prize – and only one party has the winning ticket – the SNP! SNP x 2 – I’m of an age when I can’t take chances on the wee parties internal wranglings. If the SNP don’t get an overall majority watch the unionist form a coalition as quick as lying to stop ANY chance of Independence. Then look at the hurt and disappointment in the eyes of those who were conned into “lending” their second vote. Don’t do it! Don’t think about doing it! You are playing into the hands of the greatest con merchants on the planet if you do!

  23. First things first: Independence.

    SNP x 2

  24. I have believed in ecological policies of the sort thought of as “green” since the 70s.

    I will not be voting Green though. Why? I do not trust them

    Patrick Harvie marginalised and undermined his alleged co-convenor. I also remember him sniffing around Labour, his former party in 2011 when polls looked to give them victory. I do not trust him.

    The Greens lied about how the list vote would operate, showing and arrogance towards the electorate that beggars belief. They lied about being able to ban fracking and never considered the consequences if they tried. Power over planning would be taken back to Westminster in days

    They lied about figures of family abuse, when the figures show a fall.

    There have been anecdotes of Green activists telling voters that a list vote for the same party will not be counted or is even illegal. Though Garvie’s former Labour buddies have done the same.

    The one thing stopping me voting Green is the Green Party. I do not trust them.

    • Good to read something that does not drone on about tactical list voting in either a positive or a negative or a matter of fact facist manner. I’m not sure the greens are that bad but that’s the nub. Social bella seldom tells me anything about green policy because it has drowned itself in tactical voting evangelism.

  25. […] most likely to deliver the outcome I want. So stop trying to hijack my vote to your cause.” (http://derekbateman.scot/2016/04/18/its-a-conspiracy/) That as a matter of principle is of course, fine, but it does not address the problem that Curtice […]

  26. kailyard rules

    SNP x 2. There is also an aggregate count of all votes given to the SNP (constituency + list) which shows Westminster which direction the winds of change are scuddin. SNP x 2.

  27. Every vote less than we got in 2011 will be broadcast by the propaganda directorate (BBC Scotland and the Scottish press) as the end for independence. Now you and I know that is not true but many do not take as much interest in the minutiae as we all do ……………………….. It’s easy, it’s sensible and it’s for Scotland’s welfare – SNP x 2!

  28. I can’t help wondering if the Greens ans RISE would have attracted less criticism over this stuff if they’d said “we will not form the next government of Scotland because we’re only standing on the list in most places. We are willing to work with an SNP government though since we believe they can be persuaded to act more radically on key issues and we agree with them on the important issue of Scotland’s constitutional status. So if yu support independence but you believe poverty/inequality/climate change need to be tackled now, even while the battle for independence goes on, we encourage our supporters to back us on the list vote and lend the SNP your vote in the constituency ballot.” That would have been a lot more honest and constructive and would probably have tempted a lot of SNP voters who want the party to get a bit more radical. The sense of entitlement as Derek puts it is what is putting a lot of people off the idea. Couple that with some shocking dishonesty about how certain any of the polling information is and you have your explanation for why so many people saying #bothvotesSNP are so riled about the subject.

    • “we will not form the next government of Scotland because we’re only standing on the list in most places. We are willing to work with an SNP government though since we believe they can be persuaded to act more radically on key issues and we agree with them on the important issue of Scotland’s constitutional status. So if yu support independence but you believe poverty/inequality/climate change need to be tackled now, even while the battle for independence goes on, we encourage our supporters to back us on the list vote”

      Oddly enough, that is exactly what the Greens have been consistently saying for quite a while now.

  29. I notice this blog has attracted the same type of disruptive ,annoying, keyboard, clickbait ,arsholes that have popped up recently on every Independence supporting blog and website , i have like others been tempted into interacting , dont it’s a waste of time ,dont expend any energy on them like any other irritation it eventually goes away if it’s deprived of attention .

  30. “Of course that’s history now” not so sure about that, re Solidarity

  31. Well I say vote for whoever the hell you like but when the opponents knock in a goal on the final minute and Scotland once again snatches glorious defeat from the jaws of victory some folk might wonder why they wanted to change the team management to inexperienced folk who are as likely to dissolve in the first shower of rain as get elected and then make incredible claims they’ll never have to ever worry about fulfilling but it’ll get them votes from the party who’s coat tails they’re hanging on to,…… Nobody wondering why the BBC are going big on this?

    But Hey Ho that’s Scotland, let in the Loony leftists once again and the game’s a bogey
    And I’m sorry Greenies you’re not a political party, you’re a protest group with Michael Mouse economics
    Chairman Harvie’s counter to capital flight, he employs the Victor Meldrew argument
    “I don’t believe it” His words “We’ll take over private companies and tell them what to do” he exclaims to Bernard Ponsonby… FGS

    One wee last observation regarding the bullying nonsense, folk are entitled to a little irritation when the people who got us to where we are now are being monstered by the very people they’re trying to help
    Without the SNP the Yes movement would have had no legitimacy and just looked like a mob and would have been happily reported in that way even more than it was

    Every organisation needs the right figureheads and the right focus and has to be answerable
    Still that’s just one person’s opinion and there are plenty others out there but when it comes to who’s going to speak for Scotland to the world I think I know who I m going to pick

    I do so hope that didn’t sound like bullying one would certainly not want to offend the sensibilities of the new parties (You want to play in the big politics stop greetin) the SNP have had to put up with a damn sight worse for a damn sight longer

    • Dr Jim I believe covers all the relevant points and very clearly in my opinion , anything other than SNP 1 & 2 would be a total gamble well if you feel lucky carry on but be warned there is only one party who can deliver a second Indepedence Referundum , only ONE .

    • What Dr. Jim said. If one more recent convert to Yes berates me for “wanting the unionist parties to get more seats” because I’m voting SNPx2, I’ll probably put the nut on them.

      I joined the SNP in 1992, shortly after the “free by ’93” campaign failed to make a breakthrough. It was the only independence movement we had, then, so it was the only game in town. I’ve stuck with the party for 24 years through elections when we only won 3 seats, annual conferences held in dusty provincial town halls, and campaign budgets that wouldn’t cover Tony Blair’s hotel bill.

      I’ve seen the party grow from that to its present form with the gladdest of hearts. This morning I gave a lift to and sat next to one of the September 2014 new members in our village (at the manifesto launch), and very few things have made me happier. And jumped-up arrivistes think they can kick 80 years of dedication to the cause of independence in the teeth and expect me to vote for their brand-new, utterly inexperienced zealots? Not on a bet.

      I can also count somewhat better than they can. I know that there are 73 constituencies, which makes claims that the SNP is guaranteed a working majority on constituency seats alone extremely foolish. (We know from the last parliament that a working majority in Holyrood is about 69, and we know that the press will declare Nicola a failure if the party doesn’t at least equal that total in 2016.) I know very well that the SNP can and probably will win list seats even if it sweeps all the constituencies in a region. It did last time, so why not this time? I know too that if the party fails to win all the seats in a region (and this is highly likely if not inevitable in both South of Scotland and Highlands and Islands), its support is high enough to recoup these lost seats on the list. IF supporters aren’t taken in by the calls to play Russian Roulette with the list vote.

      I live in South of Scotland. I think our candidate will win in our constituency (she’s the sitting constituency MSP so she damn well better). I’m working my socks off not for her, really, but to maximise the list vote from our voters in the hope of getting list MSPs (including Emma Harper, who lost out last year to David Mundell, by a margin that was less than the votes cast for the Green candidate) elected in the region to compensate for the fact that we don’t really expect to win a couple of seats further south. If our list vote falls off, it’s not going to be the Green Party that picks up the benefit, but Labour, who still have a fair chunk of voters but won’t win any of the constituencies.

      If this malarkey means that the SNP loses seats it should have gained, and Emma (who is an outstanding candidate) loses out again, and Labour gets these lost seats, there are a few people I will never forgive.

      • Excellent post Morag , Nothing beats Experiance ,Like you and others here I have always voted for what I believe to be a decent honest party with one aim Independence from this rotten self serving Union .
        This bile and derision directed at the only party who’s aim is to protect fellow Scots even the ones who will never vote for them but are more than happy to enjoy the fruits of their efforts escapes me .
        This baffling vote system has to be changed , I don’t know but this mess has Labours grubby finger prints , Like the gift that keeps on taking namely PFI all over it , every single thing this lot get involved in ends up a tangled mess , They couldn’t even build the Parliament Building without it turning into a total comedy of errors Farce .

        • The electoral process for Holyrood was designed to prevent overall majorities. I think what they really had in mind was preventing an independence supporting majority coalition. I think they believed that a single party with majority control was almost of the scale and even more so where that party was SNP. So sorry Greens, sorry Rise, sorry SunTan party etc but I’m now definitely both votes SNP.

          • The National is still pushing for a split vote and I am sorry to say Leslie Riddoch is at it today, pushing for a second split. Her preference is , she is also praising Rise. Why are the Sunday Herald and the National so intent in pushing a bunch of nobodies like Rise so hard?

    • I read Lesley Riddoch’s piece and I agree with many points she makes. We need to look at a lot of detail regarding the current legislative procedures in the Scottish parliament as well as the way it gets the members elected. I like the idea of a second chamber composed of random voters who get leave of absence from their normal jobs to protect us from bad laws getting onto the statute books. So much better than the house of lords where taking up your seat requires that you endorse everything that is wrong in our very undemocratic structures.

      I think it is important to remember that the SNP did not create the system in which they are now winning and that they are open to examining and considering ways in which it could be made fairer. That is quite a gift from a party that beat a system that was designed to make sure that they never had power. To add to that, all this infernal grumping about the one party state of Scotland seems to consistently ignore that the two party state of the UK never reflects a fair democratic choice whichever of the two are in power. If the Tories were polling around 51% of the popular vote in England and getting about 495 England constituency seats in the House of commons on the back of it what would Labour be saying about that and what would our different MSM columnists be saying about it in their copy?

      I am still going both votes SNP this time but it is not set in stone until independence because who knows the circumstances and current politics that we will face at our next election for Holyrood. I know Lesley R does not agree that my SNP x 2 is the best approach but I enjoyed reading her points of views in this article and did not feel I was getting the common no brainer list vote propaganda that gets churned out daily from Bella Caledonia.

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