Monday, June 1, 2015

The Cult of "Tactical Voting on the List" : No Dissent Will Be Tolerated

Nigel Mace asked me on the previous thread to have a look at the 'EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland' Facebook page, because he was fighting a lonely battle there arguing against the stubborn misconception that it's possible to "vote tactically" on the regional list.  I was quite shocked when I eventually found the discussion - it seems that the belief in tactical voting has almost become a religion, with any dissenting views regarded as being so offensive that they must be instantly censored from existence.  Just look at this -

Oliver Rattray : Please edit the original post because it is misleading - it's simply false. I'll show you if you want what I mean...Scot goes pop is talking utter nonsense.

Admin : Thanks point taken, Nigel's advice taken from Scotpop has been removed

Oliver Rattray : Nice 1 sorry if it seems I was going on but given the campaign to maximise pro-indy votes alluded to in the times has only just began and this was potentially damaging. Cheers!

Hamish Allan : please remove Nigel Mace's synopsis from the blurb to this link. It is completely mistaken, as pointed out by several commentators here.

Admin : Done

Hamish Allan : Thanks guys, much appreciated.

One or two of you criticised me the other week for not "allowing people to make up their own minds" by putting forward both sides of the argument in my own blogposts on this issue. It's quite true that I stuck to my own point of view in those posts, but what I didn't do was delete views that I disagreed with from the comments section, even when they were factually incorrect or grossly misleading. I disputed them, I debated them, but I didn't delete them. If anyone really does want to make up their own mind on the question of so-called "tactical voting on the list", I'd suggest looking away from Facebook discussions that are so heavily censored they would make the Stasi blush, and instead read open and free debates like the ones that took place HERE and HERE.

162 comments:

  1. That's shocking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These loons are pretty much at the stage where they are displaying the SNPouters tactical 'nouse' combined with Clegg's ostrich factions hatred of free speech.

      Not a particularly great place for them to be because they can certainly wave cheerio to any chance of persuading even a smallish amount of SNP members to risk the list with this kind of lunatic behaviour.

      I suspect what Nicola will have to say on the matter will carry just a touch more weight with SNP members than thees few fringe headbangers.

      Delete
    2. Here is a link to the Facebook page in question:

      https://www.facebook.com/EuCitizensForAnIndependentScotland/posts/956744701050682

      The text of the article was quoted in the blurb in full alongside the link, as is common in the "EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland" newsfeed. Then Nigel Mace posted a comment:

      https://www.facebook.com/EuCitizensForAnIndependentScotland/posts/956744701050682?comment_id=956755717716247

      ...which was subsequently copied to the top of the blurb (a clear endorsement of Nigel's position by "EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland").

      Oliver and I countered Nigel's argument and asked for the endorsement to be removed. We did not ask for the original comment to be removed, and the admins did not remove the original comment; but they did remove the endorsement, presumably because they considered our arguments more persuasive than Nigel's.

      Nigel asked you, James, to weigh in on the Facebook discussion. You could have tried to make the argument to "EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland" that Nigel was correct and that his endorsement should be reinstated. Instead, you decided to cry censorship in a blog post.

      Delete
    3. Indeed I did. Indeed I did, Hamish. I am not going to waste my time attempting to take part in a discussion where people like you ask for views you disagree with to be "removed" (your word), succeed in getting those views "removed", and then celebrate getting those views "removed". That is what happened, and I'm afraid no amount of wriggling will change that fact.

      "presumably because they considered our arguments more persuasive than Nigel's"

      Then I don't know what that person was smoking - although frankly it looks to me more like he or she was browbeaten into it.

      Delete
    4. Once again for the hard of comprehending:

      I did not ask for Nigel's comment to be removed.
      I asked for its endorsement to be removed.
      Nigel's comment was not removed.
      Its endorsement was removed.

      I invite the reader to look at the Facebook page and see that I actually clearly engaged with Nigel, not tried to censor him.

      Delete
    5. It's ironic that you should say that, because my question to you is this : why WEREN'T you content to simply engage with Nigel, rather than seek to have his comment removed? Is it because you were scared that it was too persuasive?

      Your embarrassment over this is fairly plain, otherwise you wouldn't be trying to hastily redefine what you did. At no point in your demand to the admin did you even use the word "endorsement", which you suddenly seem so keen on now. You asked for the comment to be removed, because you didn't want people to read it. Your excuse seems to be that the comment appeared twice, and you only asked for the more prominent of the two to be removed - ie. because you didn't want people to read it.

      That's really not a great excuse, Hamish. If you don't want to be accused of censorship, my advice to you is to argue the case against points you disagree with, rather than demand deletion.

      By the way, "the reader" is going to find it murderously difficult to reconcile your claim that "Nigel's comment was not removed" with the admin explicitly saying : "Nigel's advice taken from Scotpop has been removed."

      Delete
    6. I was perfectly content to engage with Nigel, and that is what anyone who visits the Facebook page will see.

      (What's ironic is that you didn't even link to the page to allow your readers to easily see for themselves.)

      The whole problem with Nigel's comment having been elevated to the blurb is that I did not have the chance to engage with it on an equal playing field.

      You're like the tabloid editor who says if the front page headline was incorrect, it's fine to post the correction at the bottom of the fourth column on page 29.

      Delete
    7. "What's ironic is that you didn't even link to the page to allow your readers to easily see for themselves."

      Absolutely. I very rarely link to articles unless I agree with them. Given that you believe in DELETING things you don't agree with, I'm struggling to see how you can have much complaint about that.

      "The whole problem with Nigel's comment having been elevated to the blurb is that I did not have the chance to engage with it on an equal playing field."

      Then why didn't you ask for a right to reply, rather than DEMANDING DELETION? Sooner or later, you're going to have to take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody forced you to do this.

      "You're like the tabloid editor who says if the front page headline was incorrect, it's fine to post the correction at the bottom of the fourth column on page 29."

      Whereas you, my friend, are like the government censor. Your analogy would work a hell of a lot better if there was anything factually inaccurate in the comment that needed to be "corrected". Instead, you simply didn't like the idea of people reading an opinion you disapproved of.

      Delete
    8. Sure, I could have asked "EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland" to duplicate my reply in the blurb. And Oliver and Josh could have done the same. Come to think of it, I don't know why Facebook bothers with a commenting system at all, when people could just ask posters to edit their blurbs instead.

      I guess it must be true that I tried to censor Nigel's original comment, though, because you wrote DELETING and DEMANDING DELETION in capital letters.

      Delete
    9. Come to think of it, I don't know why Facebook bother allowing people to decide what should and should not be included in their own posts, when they have you and Oliver on hand to helpfully "guide" them.

      "I guess it must be true that I tried to censor Nigel's original comment"

      Hmmmm. Interesting use of the word "tried" there.

      Delete
    10. "Hmmmm. Interesting use of the word "tried" there."

      You seem to be implying that I succeeded in censoring Nigel's original comment. This is verifiably untrue. I've already linked to it, but here it is again.

      Delete
    11. Instead of splitting hairs by repeatedly using the word "original", wouldn't it have been better not to have demanded deletion in the first place? Wouldn't it be better to admit you made a mistake now?

      Delete
    12. It's not splitting hairs: the crux of this matter is that Oliver and I did not seek to have the original comment removed, i.e. we did not seek to censor Nigel's opinion; we merely wanted a level playing field.

      The only other way to ensure that level playing field would have been to copy every comment underneath that article into the blurb, which is clearly ludicrous. So no, I don't believe I made a mistake.

      You, on the other hand, rushed out a tin foil hat blog post, which must now be a bit embarrassing. But the best way out of this hole is not to keep on digging.

      Delete
    13. "It's not splitting hairs: the crux of this matter is that Oliver and I did not seek to have the original comment removed"

      If you're not splitting hairs, then repeat that sentence without the word "original" in it. Go on, I dare you.

      You can't, can you? How embarrassing for you (to coin a phrase).

      It's categorically untrue that you wanted a level playing field - you wanted the post to contain the Sunday Times' nonsense about tactical voting being possible, without any contrary view to balance it out. The addition of Nigel's comment introduced a level-playing field - you demanded that should be reversed.

      On the subject of "digging", I'm touched by your concern, but that's something you might want to do a little less of yourself. Go and get some sleep before you make another howler of "99%" proportions -

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-latest-from-cult-of-tactical-voting.html

      Delete
    14. If you're not splitting hairs, then repeat that sentence without the word "original" in it. Go on, I dare you.

      You have successfully highlighted the importance of differentiating between the original comment and the subsequent copy. Thank you for making my point for me.

      Delete
    15. In other words, the answer is no. You can't repeat the sentence without the word "original" in it, because it wouldn't make sense without it. You demanded that the balanced post, containing both the Sunday Times' erroneous claim that tactical voting is feasible, and the critique of that claim, should be edited to remove the critique, so that anyone who didn't read the comments section would only see one side of the argument - the one you just happen to favour.

      Thankyou for making my point for me.

      Delete
    16. I'll take this as a request that everyone who links to your blog posts also links to Sunday Times articles, for balance ;)

      Delete
    17. Well, if you're happy to pay everyone's subscription...

      Delete
  2. It could be argued that the list vote is actually the important vote because that's the one that they use to match the seats to the individual party vote percentage and that percentage is determined by, ta-da, the percentages on the list vote.

    It's not a "second choice" it's the vote that determines your party's overall seat numbers in the Parliament. It's there in black and white.

    The d’Hondt system allocates additional seats to political parties or independent candidates according to the number of regional votes cast for that party or independent candidate

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Research%20briefings%20and%20fact%20sheets/Scottish_Parliament_Electoral_System.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug, you wouldn't care to try to persuade Stu either to run the article I wrote, or to write or source a better one? I think this needs as much exposure on sensible blogs as it can get.

      Delete
    2. Hi James...

      correct me if wrong but I've been playing with the Scotlandvotes (Weber Shandwick) site..

      putting in the numbers represented by the GE on both lists still to 73 SNP MPs and a majority
      SNP 50%
      Labour 24.5%
      Con 14.5%
      UKIP 3%
      Lib dems 5%

      downweighting the numbers to 45% for the SNP and playing with the list to reduce the SNP vote passing to the greens

      Constituency
      SNP 45%
      Labour 24.5%
      Con 14.5%
      Lib dems 5%
      UKIP 5%

      regional
      SNP 25%
      Labour 26.3%
      Con 14.4%
      Lib dems 5%
      UKIP 5%

      gives the SNP dropping to 65
      the Tories and Labour dropping to 13 and 23 respectively, lib dems to 2 but shows a green surge to 26 seats ....

      am I wrong or does it look like they have a point?

      Delete
    3. I think where you're going wrong here is in thinking it's somehow possible to persuade 20% of the entire electorate to switch from SNP to Green on the list. It's not. What matters is the effect of "tactical voting" on a much smaller scale - and at that level there's a much greater chance of it backfiring (as the North-east result in 2011 amply demonstrated).

      And you're also assuming it's possible to know all of the constituency results in advance - it isn't. Without that sort of detailed foreknowledge, tactical voting just isn't possible. There are too many variables to make it work - you'd need to know exactly what everyone else is going to do.

      Delete
    4. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 5:07 PM

      "I think where you're going wrong here is in thinking it's somehow possible to persuade 20% of the entire electorate to switch from SNP to Green on the list. It's not"

      I agree that herding cats is difficult, but not if the cats are herding themselves/ they dont look like they need much persuading to do so on the list vote....

      "it seems that the belief in tactical voting has almost become a religion"

      Delete
    5. "but not if the cats are herding themselves/ they dont look like they need much persuading to do so on the list vote."

      Evidence for that, please?

      Delete
    6. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 5:29 PM

      "you're also assuming it's possible to know all of the constituency results in advance - "

      the polls for the constituency seats in scotland in may were very accurate, so while we can know what everyelse will do, more or less. isnt that what this site is about?

      Delete
    7. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 5:33 PM

      Evidence for that, Please?
      you inferred as much in your artcle

      "it seems that the belief in tactical voting has almost become a religion"

      i have also seen many on social media, and personal aquaintances saying the same

      i thought that was a given and we were only discussing the merits or otherwise of this

      Delete
    8. "the polls for the constituency seats in scotland in may were very accurate, so while we can know what everyelse will do, more or less. isnt that what this site is about?"

      Are you saying that you were under the impression that this site exists to try to persuade people that the polls are never wrong? Jesus, no. The pre-referendum section of the archives will disabuse you of that notion.

      "i have also seen many on social media, and personal aquaintances saying the same

      i thought that was a given and we were only discussing the merits or otherwise of this"


      Er, no. I used the word "cult" as well as "religion", which I would have hoped conveys my view on the scale of the phenomenon. I agree with Rolfe on the previous thread - the numbers involved are small, and restricted to political obsessives, but there's potentially going to be just about enough of them to do some damage to the pro-independence cause next year.

      Delete
    9. Oh, and by the way, the polls for constituency seats in May were not "very accurate". Simply untrue. They were less bad in Scotland than elsewhere, but Ashcroft's experiment was largely a failure, and he's going to have to go right back to the drawing board.

      Delete
    10. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 6:13 PM

      no, i thought this site existed to examine the polls, crunch numbers, check for misleading questions etc, ie, to counterbalance the MSM.

      i thought that the may predictions on this site were quite accurate, i merely pointed out that we can know how people are likely to vote, to counter your arguement that
      "And you're also assuming it's possible to know all of the constituency results in advance - it isn't. Without that sort of detailed foreknowledge, tactical voting just isn't possible. There are too many variables to make it work - you'd need to know exactly what everyone else is going to do"

      i dont see how, if i vote SG in the list in my area, it hurts the indy cause if the latest polls show that the snp will win no list seats any way?

      how is ensuring that other yes/indy supporting parties replace the unionist msp's, like wullie rennie, damaging the indy movement?

      religion...cult...ok, i understood you meant a large amount, but am willing to stand corrected, whether it is a large or small amount makes no difference if the polls show the snp winning no list msp's?

      it isnt you or this site's job to convince people to tactically vote, agreed, but if your examination of the polls, eg the last one i posted, show the same trend in the run up to he2016, ie, no list msp's at all for the snp, then it will influence whether or not i vote greens in the list for my area. I will also share my thoughts on the matter with the other snp voters i know and on social media as well.

      Political obsessives? wtf?

      Delete
    11. Political obsessives, absolutely, that's what we are - that's why we're posting on such an obscure subject. If I could just gently point out to you that this is literally the worst moment in the last 23 years to try to make the case that we can put our total faith in opinion polls to be "very accurate", in particular with respect to how they translate into constituency seats. The polls showed a virtual dead heat between the Tories and Labour - the Tories ended up 99 seats ahead. The Lib Dems were predicted to be in the region of 25-35, but ended up with 8. If the Holyrood polls are as bad as that next year, the impact of "tactical voting on the list" could be absolutely catastrophic.

      "i thought that the may predictions on this site were quite accurate"

      I don't recall making any predictions, at least not about the SNP's number of seats. The closest I got was when Muttley79 asked me a direct question, but even then I hedged my bets. I predicted 54 SNP seats in the PB prediction competition a few months ago, but I was deliberately "erring on the high side".

      "how is ensuring that other yes/indy supporting parties replace the unionist msp's, like wullie rennie, damaging the indy movement?"

      Because you wouldn't be "ensuring". You'd be doing the opposite of "ensuring". That's the whole point.

      Delete
    12. While not arguing the toss with the general line of argument, there were one or two instances where Ashcroft was close to the final result. Paisley and Renfrewshire South is one that leaps to mind. He had Mhairi on 50% on the last one (50.9% in the end) and Douglas Alexander on 39 (38.6% in end).

      I do remember some being off and one of the Lanarkshire ones in particular....but then it had only been looked at in January and the SNP lead had probably grown since it was becoming more acceptable to vote for them as people realised that many of their peers in the constituency were going to do so.

      Delete
    13. Come off it. Here in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale we had the champagne on ice after Ashcroft's final poll of the constituency had the SNP 11% ahead of the Tories. Ashcroft himself commented that the SNP might well be uncatchable in the seat.

      We lost by a margin of 2%.

      The number of votes cast for the utter no-hoper Green candidate was greater than Mundell's margin over Emma Harper. I'm not saying this was what happened, but imagine if that 11% lead had lulled 800 supporters of the Green party into the false belief that it was OK to give their candidate a vote because the SNP was a shoo-in anyway?

      Delete
    14. That argument is one for tactical voting then Rolfe, not against (but just tactically in favour of the SNP).

      braco

      Delete
    15. Braco : As has been pointed out a billion times, tactical voting can sometimes work reliably in single-member constituency elections. That is NOT the case on the list.

      Delete
    16. Sorry, that reply was to James after Justin Kenricks post.

      Delete
    17. OK, I've removed the duplicate comment and responded to you below.

      Delete
    18. Tactical voting can be quite sensible in FPTP constituencies, and that includes in the d'Hondt constituency vote. It can still backfire.

      Tactical voting attempts on the d'Hondt list are the stuff of nightmares. The "logic" involved makes Alice Through the Looking Glass look sane and intuitive.

      Delete
    19. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      "tactical voting can sometimes work reliably in single-member constituency elections. That is NOT the case on the list."

      since i showed in the example of snp votes switching to ssp and greens decreased the number of unionists msps and increased the number of pro indy msps, i think it can work. since no indy supporting list msps are likley to be elected in mid scot and fife, my example shows that tactical voting in the list can and will work. why do you say it cannot? evidence please?

      Delete
    20. The word you are overlooking is RELIABLY. You are cherry-picking examples when in reality the system has far too many variables for any meaningful predictions to be made.

      Delete
    21. I should perhaps expand on that. It's not entirely impossible (given current trends) that the SNP could poll high enough to elect a list member there, just as it did in the North East in 2011. Conversely, the narrow loss of a constituency could overturn all assumptions and entitle the party to a list member to compensate - so long as the list vote has held up. If it hasn't, bye-bye to an SNP MSP.

      In either of these scenarios the list seat lost by the SNP as a result of the party's supporters deserting it on the list could go anywhere, depending on the spread of votes. It's not impossible that one of the unionist parties could come up the middle. There's no way to predict such a complex model of voter behaviour.

      Delete
    22. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 12:16 PM

      reliably
      the snp won 8/9 constituencies in 2011 in mid scot and fife
      the snp won 9/9 constituencies in 2015 in mid scot and fife
      the latest polls show no change in voting intentions

      im not cherry picking mid scot and fife.....i live there.

      so i think i can make a reliable and meaningful prediction
      ..the snp will win all 9 constituencies in mid scot and fife in 2016

      if that happens then it is highly unlikely the snp will win any list seats, to that end, i intend to vote for the greens in the list vote in an attempt to unseat the unionists, especially wullie rennie.

      Delete
    23. ..the snp will win all 9 constituencies in mid scot and fife in 2016

      if that happens then it is highly unlikely the snp will win any list seats


      I don't really have local knowledge, but I'd've thought Labour would be in with a good shout in Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline. But even if the SNP do win all Fife constituencies, do the Greens have a better chance of picking up a list seat? That's surely the pertinent question if your aim is to maximise the pro-indy MSPs. If the SNP win all the constituencies, they'll likely have more than 50% of the vote, and the last time they achieved that in a region (the NE), they won a list seat despite also getting every constituency.

      Delete
    24. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:28 PM

      good point about NE scotland, unfortunately mid scot and fife only got 45% in the list vote where as NES got 52%, if the snp do take the last remaining constituency, cowdenbeath, (and after the 7th may, i would not bet against it) then the chances of the snp wining a list seat are zero. the snp got over 116,000 list votes in 2011, the same number in 2016 will win them no list msp's, however, an increase of 5000 votes to the greens would guarentee them a list msp, and ensure wullie rennie gets the boot

      Delete
  3. First YouGov VI poll since the election. SNP at 56% on the Scottish sub sample. 65% think independence is likely in the next 10 years.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/3z9c86l8q0/SunResults_150526_W.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have to confess that I began intending to vote SNP in the constituency and SSP on the list but after having read the discussions here have been convinced by the arguments offered by James and Rolfe. I will take their advice in this matter.

    I also agree that it is important to spread the idea so that people are at least making an informed decision. Wings would be the ideal place.

    Finally, am I wrong in thinking that a "tactical" vote might be more useful or effective, given the right circumstances, in the constituency ballot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely - tactical voting CAN work in single-member constituency elections, as long as it's possible to identify that there are only two candidates in serious contention. Look at how close Jo Swinson got to hanging on in East Dunbartonshire, for example, even as the Lib Dem vote was collapsing across the country.

      Delete
    2. That's what I was meaning about the DC&T vote. It was blindingly obvious that only the SNP and the Tories were in contention. The afternoon of polling day my next-door neighbour - a rare, remaining, Scottlsh Labour supporter - came up to me and said, "I've just been up there and voted for you lot to get that [expletive deleted] Mundell out."

      Other parties still got votes. One assumes that either the voters were so insulated from all political discourse they didn't know what they were doing, or it was more important to them that they support their own party than that they influence whether Mundell went or stayed.

      I presume it was more important to 800+ people that they cast a vote for the Green party than that they helped unseat Mundell. Fine, but don't come trying to blackmail SNP supporters for votes after that.

      Delete
  5. Schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Mid Scotland and Fife
    SNP -1
    Labour -3
    Tory -2
    LibDem -1

    Snp=116691 45%
    Lab=64623 25%
    Tory = 36458 14.1%
    Lib = 15103 5.9%
    SG = 10914 4.2%

    Round 1
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /2 = 32312
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /1 = 36458 ^
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 2
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /2 = 32312^
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2 = 18 229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 3
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /3 = 21541^
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2 = 18 229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 4
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /4 = 16155
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2 = 18 229^
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 5
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /4 = 16155^
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /3 = 12153
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 6
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965
    Lab= 64623 25% /5 = 12924
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /3 = 12153
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /1 = 15103^
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    Round 7
    Snp= 116691 45% /9= 12965^
    Lab= 64623 25% /5 = 12924
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /3 = 12153
    Lib = 15103 5.9% /2 = 7551
    SG = 10914 4.2% /1 = 10914

    ReplyDelete
  6. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 4:36 PM

    bear in mind that the snp got 8 out of the 9 constituency seats in 2011, if the polls remain steady, it is unlikely that labour will hold Cowdenbeath, so even if the list vote returns the same %, the snp will get no list msps in this region. transferring the snp list vote to the SG's will bring 5 SG MSP's and 1 tory and 1 labour.
    wullie rennie Claire Brennan-Baker Richard Simpson and Elizabeth Smith, would all be toast
    bear in mind, that these results are for Mid Scotland and Fife only

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Schrodinger - what are the chances, do you think, of every snp voter switching to green? Almost no chance I would say. Unless the polls start to show the greens on higher percentages than the unionists the most likely outcome for tactical voting is more seats for Labour and Tory.

      Delete
    2. Depends on the argument put to them, and the likely result it would have on their principle reason for voting SNP in the first place (furthering of Scottish Indy I presume).

      If Schrodinger's scenario looks like being the case just before the 2016 vote, and on the current mood of the country I can easily see the SNP dominating entire regions in the constituency first past the post votes (and thereby making it nearby impossible for them to pick up ANY list seats at all). Maybe not in every region of constituency votes, but then that's why such a tactical vote would have to be considered on a region by region basis when pondering it as an option.

      If you do live in such a region as Schrodinger has sited, then the SNP voter that then votes SNP on the list will in actual fact be helping, not hindering, Unionist supporting parties in gaining seats on the list.

      With the current political mood and understanding of the electorate in Scotland, I don't think that it's that difficult a concept to understand or sell.

      Look at your region, if it looks like most/all the constituencies of your region are likely to go SNP (45-50% in the polll say), don't split the pro indy vote, go for the next most popular pro indy party on the list instead.

      It just needs folk to think regionally for their list vote and maybe have plenty of constituency polling collated regionally to help in that decision making.

      braco

      Delete
    3. In 2011 the SNP were at 52% on the North East list vote. They got a list seat (Mark McDonald) even though they'd already won ALL NINE constituency seats. So please stop with this falsehood that the SNP can't gain list seats if it dominates the constituencies.

      This advice is an engraved invitation for the SNP to lose its majority in 2016. If you think that's going to advance the cause of independence, I must disagree with you.

      Delete
    4. Oh yes, and where is this constituency polling coming from? Ashcroft spent millions on professional polling and was still wrong. If anyone acted in DC&T in the belief that he was right, they were very very mistaken.

      Delete
    5. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 10:51 AM

      "what are the chances, do you think, of every snp voter switching to green? Almost no chance I would say"

      which is why i never said they would. in mid scot and fife, the chances of getting any snp msps are virtually nil. so how can the most likely outcome for voting green be "more seats for Labour and Tory"

      Delete
    6. should read, any snp list msps

      Delete
    7. The answer is, it's entirely possible. This is complex series of calculations based on unpredictable voter behaviour and two separate but linked votes.

      Delete
    8. As with all of this Rolfe, we are talking margins of probability. I favour the margin of my list vote NOT being divided by ten before it begins to be counted. (all the caveats about national, regional and constituency analysis and judgments not withstanding).

      Also re the polling. Why can't the grassroots organise regional or national crowed funding projects in order to garner just such an electoral advantage for Independence. It's not rocket science

      braco

      Delete
  7. Schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    transfering 30,000 votes to each of the SG and SSP gives this

    Round 1
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /1 = 64623^
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /1 = 36458
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /1 = 40914
    SSP = 30000 /1 = 30000

    Round 2
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /2 = 32312
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /1 = 36458^
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /1 = 40914
    SSP = 30000 /1 = 30000

    Round 3
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /2 = 32312
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2= 18229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /1 = 40914^
    SSP = 30000 /1 = 30000

    Round 4
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /2 = 32312^
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2= 18229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /2 = 20457
    SSP = 30000 /1 = 30000

    Round 5
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /3 = 14541
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2= 18229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /2 = 20457
    SSP = 30000 /1 = 30000^

    Round 6
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /3 = 14541
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2= 18229
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /2 = 20457^
    SSP = 30000 /2 = 15000

    Round 7
    Snp= 56691 /10= 5669
    Lab= 64623 25% /3 = 14541
    Tory = 36458 14.1% /2= 18229^
    Lib = 15103 5.9% / = 15103
    SG = 40914 /3 = 13638
    SSP = 30000 /2 = 15000

    Tory 2
    Labour 2
    SSP 1
    SG 2

    ReplyDelete
  8. schrodingers catJune 1, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    above is again only for mid scot and fife

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Acme mind-control ray, is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very helpful comment Rolfe.

      braco

      Delete
    2. That's what you're going to need to get any more than a handful of obsessives to follow this. The best outcome is that the obsessives who will get sucked into it are so few their votes will be statistical noise. Unfortunately as James points out, it has the potential to gain just enough traction to fuck up this election for the entire independence movement. Because that's what it will be, if the SNP's overall majority goes.

      Delete
  10. Well, I'm with schrodingers cat on this one, and therefore presumably not with the 99% of other readers of this blog (or so it would seem from the strength of response from James and others).

    I had hoped we could move with confidence from
    - the IndyRef result to
    - the GE result to
    - a Holyrood result that delivered a strong SNP Govt and a strong Green opposition, but if people (and James very forcefully) are insisting that is not possible then maybe that makes it not possible?

    The idea that it is only political obsessives who are interested in this is absolutely not my experience. In fact one of the strongest things we realised in the IndyRef was that we are persuaded (by those who want to hold onto power) that no one else is really interested in politics/ the referendum is boring/ etc; when in reality people are very willing to work hard to make a movement succeed if it is based on hope and hard graft and proposing to make a real difference.

    I think moving from a tired "we're right/ you're wrong" Indy vs Unionist debate to a real debate between those doing good within the current system (the SNP) and those who are trying to change that system completely (Green/ SSP) would be transformational.

    Is trying to persuade people that there is no hope, that we can't get to a situation where enough Indy/ social change voters feel they can vote both SNP and SGP and make a difference, is rounding up the wagons, a good enough approach? Can't we do better than this?

    People get very attached to their parties, but for many of us the movement is bigger than the parties, its about what this movement for independence and social change can enable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "There is no rational basis for the belief that this utopian scale of tactical voting is possible – i.e. you can't just flick a switch and expect hundreds of thousands of non-Greens to vote Green."
      - James Kelly 21st May 2015 at 01:38am


      No, you can't just flick a switch in terms of any changes in voting.

      Yet voting patterns (I think we've all noticed) have changed.

      How does that happen?

      Partly by people daring to think outside the box, and persuading others to do likewise.

      James has been the go to person for numbers for the Indy movement, is he now only the go to person for those who define themselves as SNP rather than all independence supporters? Or, is he the go to person for what he sees as "a realistic assessment" even if that assessment seems often based on what would have happened 4 years ago, or possibly even today assuming current figures and no movement to be more ambitious?

      Some of those of us in this movement for independence and social justice (including Green Party members, like me, who are positive about the SNP and SSP) are proposing that we take this movement to the next level and make the centre of debate and politics in Scotland not a tired argument between Unionists and Independence-advocates, but a real urgent dynamic debate between those advocating good but minimal change (the SNP) and those advocating more radical but difficult change (the Greens or SSP).

      Do we now need to count James out of that movement and see his perspective as simply an SNP-supporting one? That wouldn't make his work any less important, but it would mean it is much more important to a certain section of the movement than it has been to us all.

      James' perspective is one that appears to be based on trying to protect a strong SNP position in the polls (but, from an independence and social justice point of view, not a strong enough position in the polls). It also seems to be based - if I read the quote above correctly - on the assumption that we aren't a movement that can radically change our society's ambition and therefore voting patterns.

      If I was to follow James' advice, I would be advocating voting Green on the list and Green on the constituency vote.

      I have not done that so far, quite the opposite.

      I have been heavily criticised by some fellow Greens for saying that I noticed many fellow Greens were intending to vote SNP at GE2015 and I completely understood why (e.g. in an article on Bella Caledonia just before GE2015: ‘Greens are Voting SNP. Will SNP voters return the favour?’). And, from a party rather than movement perspective, I could be criticised for advocating voting SNP on the constituency vote, and Green on the list in 2016.

      This last point looks irrelevant from the assumptions James is working from, but this is just one example of how James seems to me to be looking backwards rather than forwards. Why?

      Because, as things stand, the Greens WILL be standing in many constituencies in 2016, so we Green voters are looking to see if SNP voters are up for a shared strategy or whether they reject us.

      And if they reject us then we should be building today towards the radical non-oil based, non-carbon spewing independence our kids need, by advocating people vote Green for what we need in the present (Vote Green on the list) and because we need to build for and recover our kids future (Vote Green on the constituency vote).

      Of course voting Green on the constituency vote won't win us any of those seats now, but it will build for the future. I have not been advocating that approach because I don't see politics as one party right, all other parties wrong.

      Delete
    2. I see politics as a dialogue that is either: (1) dynamic and taking us way beyond where any of us stood before (e.g. the SNP is far more left than it was because of the broader movement, and the Greens are completely committed to independence now and would never do a deal with an independence-opposing, Trident-supporting austerity Labour); or politics is (2) a dialogue of fear and contraction and blame as we see down south.

      The reason this discussion keeps returning is because this is a crucial moment: Do we follow what our parties tell us to do and only vote for them, or is this movement larger and more ambitious than any party?

      Do we have it in us to really live as if we are in the early days of a better nation, and to push for doing something quite spectacular next May?

      That is a question for all of us.

      And it is a genuine question.

      Was it worth all those Greens voting SNP so that we had the delight of 56 out of 59 MPs? Or would it have been better they voted Green and helped build towards the 2016 elections (and therefore towards the dynamic the movement needs in Holyrood) because actually as it turned out those 56 MPs hold no balance of power and so (to misquote Alex Salmond) have no power at all, apart from the power they have by virtue of the fact that Scotland might vote for Independence?

      If the latter is what matters, if that is our real power (not the number of SNP MPs at Westminster, or MSPs at Holyrood) then surely we need to be imaginative and ambitious and movement building not be retreating into a fearful protection of party leads?

      To describe voting for the SNP on the constituency vote and Green on the list vote as being 'irrational' or 'purely tactical' or ‘second choice voting’ or 'lacking in principle' or 'unrealistic' misses the point that for many of us such a vote is a positive vote to establish a constructive dialogue between an SNP Government and a Green opposition. It is a vote for a movement for social change that is bigger than any one party.

      If we are wrong to adopt this approach to building that movement, it would be because very few others share this sense that such a way of voting would be positive, productive and paradigm-changing. If we are wrong then we should each think long and hard about which party we should use both our votes for. Whether to vote for some good realistic change in the right direction (SNP) or vote for much more challenging but desperately needed deeper change (Green or SSP)?

      This is why this question matters so much, and how people respond to this question is a major part of how we will determine how we move forward:

      Do we only vote for one party, or is this movement larger and more ambitious than that? Do we have it in us to push for doing something quite spectacular next May?

      Delete
    3. For heaven's sake, Justin, "the movement" is not standing for election. Political parties are. In some ways that's a matter for regret - as you may recall, I argued strongly in favour of a Yes Alliance, which put me on the opposite side of the argument to many of the people who agree with me on the "tactical voting" issue. So accusing me of tribalism isn't going to wash.

      You're a member of the Green party. I'm a member of the SNP, and I didn't make that decision by accident. Of the two of us, I think I'm being somewhat more intellectually honest about where I'm coming from here. If your question to me is whether you should count me out of a "movement" which regards the SNP as offering only "minimal change", the answer is of course you should. The mystery is why you would ever have counted me in.

      I chose the SNP rather than the Greens because my number one objective is independence, or failing that, the maximisation of Scottish self-government within the UK. I am not going to advocate anything that would undermine that objective, which is what your "strategy" does. I've explained why with facts and figures - you refuse to engage on that basis, and instead respond with high-minded lyricism. I commend you on the quality of your prose, but the d'Hondt system does not generally yield to eloquence.

      Delete
    4. James,
      the SNP have just gone from 6 seats at Westminster as a political party to 56 seats (and over 50% in the polls) as the best, most effective, tool to hand of a political movement. Any other explanation simply does not add up.

      Justin is correct in his attitude and understanding of how best to keep the momentum for Independence in the Scottish electorate moving forward. This requires absolutely that the SNP understand that they are in an important leadership role (among others) of a movement now, not just a political party, and that brings with it a responsibility outwith the usual party political vested self interests that party politics inevitably encourages. This is a moment that above all requires every pro independence party member to look to their founding ambition (Independence for Scotland) and act accordingly.

      For what it's worth, I think the greatest thing that's happened since the referendum is the way that the electorate formed themselves into an effective YES alliance behind the SNP inspite of the parties being unable to come to a party political agreement over its formation. The question is, have the SNP the imagination to understand that fact and act accordingly? Especially within the context of the 'proportional' Holyrood voting system. (They did during the referendum campaign, or appeared to, and have had the support and reward of the indy movement ever since as a result )

      Brilliant post Justin, thanks. Keep the faith in the electorate and don't worry too much about the political parties or what they say during election campaigns. I think we, the Scottish electorate, are starting to use those parties in the way they always should have been used in the first place. As a way of advancing that greater goal of an Indy Scotland and the societal and cultural advances only that will allow us as communities to make.

      braco

      Delete
    5. Favour? A tactical vote for the SNP was the only rational thing for an independence-supporting Green to do last month, considering that the Green candidates who stood didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of taking the seat. Many people didn't even have a Green candidate to vote for in the first place.

      This is common sense, not a favour to be returned. Particularly not when it's something that did the Green party no tangible damage at all (as none of those candidates were going to be elected), and the "return" that's being so stridently demanded has the potential to damage the SNP quite critically.

      And can I just point out that nobody at all in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is even listening any more, considering that the Green party chose to stand a no-hope candidate there to "gain experience", and that candidate polled more votes than the margin by which David Mundell beat Emma Harper?

      You stood against the SNP and split the vote that might have unseated Mundell. Patrick Harvie is going to stand in Kelvin next year, where he could split the vote in the constituency to let the Labour candidate through. In the normal course of events, if that happened, the SNP could expect to pick up another list seat to compensate, but -

      AT THE SAME TIME YOU'RE DEMANDING THAT SNP SUPPORTERS GIVE YOU THEIR LIST VOTES TOO?

      What, in return for that lot? Are you guys actually thinking this through?

      Delete
    6. "The question is, have the SNP the imagination to understand that fact and act accordingly?"

      Not for the first time in recent months, that sounds dangerously like you're advocating the sort of outright cheating of the d'Hondt system that would - rightly - get both the SNP and the Greens into hot water with the Electoral Commission. I'm struggling to think of a more innocent interpretation that can be put on your words.

      Delete
    7. That's rubbish James. If the electorate prioritise getting as many pro indy MSPs as possible into Holyrood over getting a particular political party elected then that is not 'gaming' or 'out right cheating' of any electoral system. It's the electorate using the system to get the electoral outcome they want. What I am wondering is whether the SNP push against this outlook and are possibly seen to be damaging their founding principle in favour of party political self interest, or, as they did in the referendum campaign, go with the flow and simply let it happen.

      The danger for the SNP in the long run (as in politics in general) is in perception. The labour party are dead in Scotland because no matter what they say or have in their manifesto, the perception of the electorate is that they have abandoned their principles (and those of their movement) in favour of party political self interest. That process starts somewhere and domination in electoral terms is definitely one of the conditions necessary.

      braco

      Delete
    8. Come on. Stop this slipperiness. Are you advocating tactical voting, or are you advocating that the SNP "take responsibility" and "act accordingly", as you put it earlier? I'm sorry, but you cannot have it both ways. Which is it?

      Delete
    9. The idea that you can make a party with single-figure electoral support into "the opposition" over a party last seen on an all-time low of 25%, simply by repackaging the list votes of a third party, is the stuff of delusion. It is not going to happen, no matter how many idealised scenarios you run on Excel.

      What could happen is that the SNP is damaged sufficiently seriously to lose its overall majority, and then has to govern in coalition or in CAS with the Greens. Thus potentially making Partick Harvie DFM instead of Swinney, and handing him a virtual veto over SNP policy in all areas.

      I can see why the Green party might like this prospect, but I struggle to see why SNP supporters should be expected to welcome it with open arms.

      Delete
    10. No slipperiness James. You seem intent on reading cloak and daggers into everything I write. It's simply a question of whither the SNP fight tooth and nail against something that the grass-root Indy movement might spontaneously adopt as a voting pattern. Even worse, do so by adopting the kind of prejorative and tribal language like 'dishonest, blackmailing, lying' and 'desert' against members of the movement they are considered to lead. That's all.
      I think if this kind of tactical voting idea takes root, it won't matter what the political parties say about it, it will still happen. The question is, do the SNP want to be seen to be on the 'wrong' side of the grass root movement if that's the way the tide swung?. Is that clear enough?

      braco

      Delete
    11. Because, as things stand, the Greens WILL be standing in many constituencies in 2016, so we Green voters are looking to see if SNP voters are up for a shared strategy or whether they reject us.

      I just noticed this. Is this serious?

      The Green party will be standing in many constituencies. Fine jolly good luck to you. What is the actual strategy again? You want Green voters to ignore these candidates and vote for the SNP (which might in fact be quite sensible given that none of them will have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the seat). So what's the point in standing again?

      You think that by standing, but then telling your supporters to vote SNP in the constituency regardless, you can somehow lean on SNP supporters to vote Green on the list? What exactly are you smoking?

      Delete
    12. Braco : If I was being cynical, I'd say that you've hastily redefined your views because you've been rumbled, but OK. If the SNP are not going to "act accordingly" and do anything that would incur the wrath of the Electoral Commission, they will naturally be seeking to maximise their own vote instead. There isn't some kind of middle option between fiddling d'Hondt and not fiddling it.

      Delete
    13. Braco, you're not just seeing the electorate en masse adopt these counter-productive tactics spontaneously. You're arguing and proselytising and campaigning for people to do it.

      Your logic is faulty, based on blackmail, dishonesty and flat-out lies. You are being called out on it.

      Delete
    14. You mean like in a democracy?

      braco

      Delete
    15. Yes, in a democracy where, if you are arguing destructive, counterproductive, irrational nonsense, other people are free to call it as they see it.

      Delete
    16. So if the Greens want the list votes, I take it they won't be putting up any FPTP candidates in seats where the SNP are standing (All)??

      Yeh, thought not.

      I don't think the Greens will get anywhere begging the SNP voters to hand them their list votes....especially not if what works out is a reduced SNP number and no majority government...possibly letting in a Unionist coalition.

      They'll suffer from a massive backlash against them.

      For the record, I think this is being made too much of, I don't particularly see it being a problem as in the cold light of the day the SNP have the better arguments for doing an SNP/SNP rather than an SNP/Green....going by what our esteemed Green people are saying anyway!

      'Go on, please give us your vote' Doesn't work the best!

      Delete
    17. I entirely agree, Chalks. I think this is only being pushed by a few obsessives who don't really understand the system as well as they think they do. Sensible explanation of the pitfalls is likely to deter most people who are initially tempted. It certainly did that with me, when I was originally attracted to the idea!

      I hope the idea gains so little traction it's lost in statistical noise. I think that's the most likely outcome, but the possibility exists that it could result in a reduced number of SNP MSPs, no overall majority, and the necessity to form a coalition with the Greens. Gosh, I wonder why the Greens are so keen on the idea.

      As you say, it's not impossible that it could let in a unionist coalition, though I think that's less likely. You never know though.

      I entirely agree it's being made too much of. Nevertheless I don't think it's wise to be too complacent when such a destructive idea is being mooted, just because it seems unlikely to be a threat at the moment.

      Delete
  11. Dear SGP and SSP folk I've spent a fair bit of time and effort checking out how this d'Hondt system works independently of the work James has done here. And I agree with him completely.

    If you want me to believe that your parties and their leaderships (as distinct from individual members) are serious about independence please do some/all of the following.

    1) give me convincing explanation as to why you thought it was a bright idea to split the pro independence vote and lumber us with Coburn MEP and Mundell MP
    2) ask you supporters to vote SNP on the list to ensure - as much as the system permits - a strong pro independence result in the Holyrood election
    3) provide me with a constituency candidate that is worth considering rather than the "holier than thou dangerous pavement cyclist" and the "arithmetically challenged pontificator" that I dismissed as options in May

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't ask Green or SSP supporters to vote SNP on the list. These parties deserve the representation that their level of support in the electorate entitles them to. That requires their supporters to vote for them on the list. That isn't a problem at all.

      What is a problem is the dishonest, blackmailing, lying tactics being used to try to persuade SNP supporters to desert their own party and vote for another patry on the list. It's pretty unedifying I have to say.

      Delete
    2. Rolfe,
      Why not let those SNP 'supporters' listen to the arguments, way up their own priorities and come to their own decision on the best way forward to advance indy, without all the prejorative and tribal language like 'dishonest, blackmailing, lying' and 'desert'.

      braco

      Delete
    3. Yes, wouldn't it be great if people stopped censoring one side of the argument?

      Delete
    4. The errors in the reasoning have been pointed out often enough. The very fact that Mark McDonald sits in Holyrood this very day demonstrates that the repeated mantra that the SNP cannot win list seats if they win all the constituencies in a region is A LIE.

      Pleas to "return the favour" of Green voters (allegedly) casting a tactical vote for the SNP in May, an action that was merely rational and should not require recompense, are indeed emotional BLACKMAIL.

      Trying to pretend that SNP supporters cannot and will not damage their own party by voting elsewhere on the list, is DISHONEST.

      And yes, not voting for your own party so that it loses its overall majority and is forced to govern in coalition with the party you voted for, is desertion.

      I think you need to back off and let SNP supporters hear this side of it.

      Delete
    5. James, yes I agree totally.

      braco

      Delete
    6. You might point out where anyone has censored your side of the argument, as opposed to, you know, pointing out its serious flaws and making a counter-argument.

      Delete
    7. Rolfe,
      I am an SNP supporter but not a member. The SNP has a formidable membership, that's true but it's tiny in comparison to the vote that it garnered to win the 56. All the above arguments may, at a stretch, make sense to a committed member but just comes across as tribal, proprietorial and divisive party politics as usual to the likes of me. Off putting to say the least and I would advise against it for all our best interests.

      braco

      Delete
    8. To be honest, if all you can come back with is that you don't like my tone, I'm underwhelmed.

      When people have repeatedly pointed out where you are wrong in fact, in logic and in your estimation of what is realistically achievable, and indeed tried quite hard to show you that you are in danger of causing real damage to the independence movement, and you simply barge right on repeating the same shonky mantras like a stuck record, news flash, people might get a bit irritated with you.

      Delete
    9. @ Rolfe
      If they want to encourage fantasy football politics (with or without mind control ray) then it might as well be to the SNPs benefit rather than its detriment. ��
      SNP majority => Independence, other results not so much in my opinion.

      Delete
    10. Difficult to see how it could possibly benefit the SNP. With luck, the damage may be trivial.

      I note James started this by pointing out that people were having posts deleted on another blog for putting rational arguments against the holy writ of the "split vote". THAT is censoring one side of the argument.

      On Scot Goes Pop, James is on the opposite side to those doing the censoring, but he's not deleting posts. On the contrary, he and others are making rational, if sometimes forceful, arguments to support their contention that this craze has the potential to damage the SNP and the independence movement.

      For that, we're accused of censoring, and not letting SNP supporters hear the other side of the argument.

      That is indeed getting close to cult behaviour. Delete counter-arguments where you can, and demand that those making the counter-arguments elsewhere be silent, by accusing THEM of censorshop by having the temerity to post counter-arguments.

      It's ridiculous.

      Delete
    11. Nobody here has accused anybody of censorship, in fact we are in total agreement against it. Just because some fb page on one or other side is acting stupidly does not effect the arguments being made. Please don't try and dismiss my and others argument by associating us with censorship which we have and do disagree with and condemn. This is a tactic I was more used to dealing with during the referendum campaign.

      night night.
      braco

      Delete
    12. What on earth were you on about then? You demanded that I "let SNP supporters listen to the arguments" as if by posting counter-arguments I was in some way stopping them.

      You have been pushing this destructive and ill-considered idea for some time. Nobody is preventing people from reading your posts. If you weren't demanding that I stand back and give you a clear run then I struggle to imagine what you meant.

      Delete
    13. Just the language Rolfe, as you well know. When have I ever worried about arguing with you or James or anybody else here on Scotgoespop? I am here because I enjoy frank exchanges of views, so why would I want to 'silence' and 'censor' them? It's just all the prejorative language that you are using to try and bolster your cause. Among Indy supporters (which we all are) those kind of accusations are counter productive to our joint cause. I don't doubt your motivations just your tactics, can't you extend me and others putting the alternative view that courtesy also?

      braco

      Delete
    14. Braco, sometimes extreme exasperation with people who simply aren't taking rational arguments on board but instead continue to repeat a false position as if it was some sort of holy writ can make people express themselves rather robustly.

      How about extending the courtesy of actually reading and trying to understand what I and a number of other posters are trying to explain to you?

      To put it in a nutshell, just because you can construct one possible scenario that seems advantageous doesn't mean that this scenario is the one that will transpire. Multiple additional scenarios can be constructed that are anything but favourable, some of which are entirely likely if people start trying to get too clever and manipulate the voting system. And it's impossible to control or influence which one will actually transpire.

      Simply continuing to present and re-present your contrived favourable example doesn't change this one tiny little bit.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    "Yes, wouldn't it be great if people stopped censoring one side of the argument?"

    I am not censoring anyone, merely pointing out that, in the region I live, (nb not dumfries) the polls indicate that the snp will win all 9 constituencies in 2016. (these polls are also consistent with the recent election results in my region) Should this happen, the chances of the snp winning any list msp's is greatly reduced. I know plenty of people who vote for different parties in holyrood elections, i have done so my self. it isnt that unusual an occurrence. I put forward my reasons for considering this option again in 2016 (and backed it up with some figures, the only ones ive seen in this thread) and why I intend to vote 1.snp and 2. green. everyone else is of course entitled to vote for whoever they like. Im unsure how it is even possible to "blackmail" someone in what is a secret ballot?? or indeed, why this makes me a "fringe headbanger"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely!

      braco

      Delete
    2. You can vote whichever way you want, and as a Green party supporter I wouldn't expect you to vote for any other party.

      What you can't do is parcel out other people's votes on the basis of outrageous assumptions about how many thousands of people will cast their votes in 11 months time.

      The reason only you are quoting figures is that any set of figures you like can be produced to illustrate and support any position you care to take. All are equally valid at this stage. It's only a year since the SNP got only 29% of the vote in the Euro elections after all. What goes up can come down.

      All this whining about "paying back" for some tactical SNP votes last month is getting sickening. Yes, it's blackmail. Nobody forced anyone to vote SNP, or promised them anything if they did. Given that voting Green was indeed wasted in that election, it was hardly a sacrifice. Nobody owes you anything for doing that. Especially not given the Mundell situation.

      And in recompense you ask SNP supporters to throw away the SNP's chance of gaining list seats which they may well absolutely be entitled to and may absolutely need to keep the majority which is so important to the independence campaign.

      If you want more Green votes, go talk to the Labour and Tory voters.

      Delete
  14. "transfering 30,000 votes to each of the SG and SSP"

    And with an arrogant entitled wave of their hand 30,000 votes were 'transferred'.

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      if they dont transfer, then the unionists will take all 7 list seats in scot mid and fife
      that is my point

      and your point is????

      Delete
    2. My point is self-evidently that you aren't dealing with reality.

      Perhaps you could outline just one of the policy changes the Greens intend to make to court all those Labour voters who we couldn't even reach before you float the lunatic idea that you can just waft into being the opposition with an airy wave of your hand.

      Or do you still not realise you have to win voters over and win votes rather than arrogantly parcel them out in some absurd hypothetical?

      Delete
    3. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      as a member of the snp these past 35 years, the only policy of the greens i really care about is they are not unionists.

      what labour voters are you talking about? im highlighting why snp voters like myself will vote green in the list vote for mid scot and fife. seems fairly simple maths. perhaps you should read the comments before posting personal insults

      Delete
    4. Drop the victimhood bullshit since you appear all too keen to promote the views of the kind of arseholes who can't stand dissent and will censor it at the drop of a hat. Unless you somehow missed what this thread was about?

      "the only policy of the greens i really care about is they are not unionists. "

      Thanks. That's what I thought. You clearly don't give a fuck about policy or winning over voters. This is just some potty out of touch scheme to arrogantly parcel out votes you have no intention of earning or winning. Idiocy worthy of the SNPouters.

      If all you cared about was Independence then I'm afraid advocating voting for a party like the Greens whose priority is clearly NOT Independence is just a bit laughable. We all know what the priority of the Green party is just as we all know what the priority of the SNP is.


      It's hardly going to be difficult to guess who SNP members think is more coherent, in touch with reality, and worthy of their votes. You and your fringe 'risk the list' chums or Nicola.

      Delete
    5. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      goodness me

      feel free to continue yer rant, but with someone else

      Delete
    6. By all means flounce off then chum. It's what the Pouters would do after all. ;-)

      Delete
  15. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    not very appealing i would say

    James
    The Cult of "Tactical Voting on the List" : No Dissent Will Be Tolerated
    any dissenting views regarded as being so offensive that they must be instantly censored from existence. Just look at this…… political obsessives,
    I think I'm being somewhat more intellectually honest about where I'm coming from here
    (infers your opponent is intellectually dishonest)
    you refuse to engage on that basis, and instead respond with high-minded lyricism.
    sounds dangerously like you're advocating the sort of outright cheating
    (I have voted for 2 different parties before in Holyrood elections, I was unaware this was cheating)
    Stop this slipperiness

    Mick Pork
    These loons are …..hatred of free speech. …..lunatic behaviour…… fringe headbangers.

    Rolfe
    don't come trying to blackmail SNP supporters for votes
    a handful of obsessives
    The Acme mind-control ray, is it?
    the stuff of delusion
    What exactly are you smoking?
    Your logic is faulty, based on blackmail, dishonesty and flat-out lies
    you are arguing destructive, counterproductive, irrational nonsense,
    What is a problem is the dishonest, blackmailing, lying tactics being used …… It's pretty unedifying I have to say.
    the repeated mantra ….. is A LIE
    indeed emotional BLACKMAIL.
    Is DISHONEST.
    is desertion.
    if all you can come back with is that you don't like my tone
    you simply barge right on repeating the same shonky mantras like a stuck record, news flash, people might get a bit irritated with you.
    getting close to cult behaviour
    You have been pushing this destructive and ill-considered idea for some time

    Andrew
    the "holier than thou dangerous pavement cyclist" and the "arithmetically challenged pontificator

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If all you've got is "I don't like your tone", then you can't have much of an argument.

      Delete
    2. Schrodingers Cat : I do find it rather telling that it's my criticism of censorship that you find so "unappealing", rather than the censorship itself.

      Quite honestly, you're making me angry now. For one thing, you must know perfectly well that you're misrepresenting what I said about "political obsessives", which I very clearly explained. If you're not going to debate honestly, don't complain about the reaction.

      Delete
  16. "Mick Pork
    These loons are …..hatred of free speech. …..lunatic behaviour…… fringe headbangers."


    So we can add selective and misleading quoting to the list since I quite obviously was referring to this behaviour James right condemns.

    It's quite true that I stuck to my own point of view in those posts, but what I didn't do was delete views that I disagreed with from the comments section, even when they were factually incorrect or grossly misleading. I disputed them, I debated them, but I didn't delete them. If anyone really does want to make up their own mind on the question of so-called "tactical voting on the list", I'd suggest looking away from Facebook discussions that are so heavily censored they would make the Stasi blush, and instead read open and free debates like the ones that took place HERE and HERE.

    I've heard nothing so far to change my mind that this Pouter level idiocy is somewhat unlikely to change SNP voters minds when asked to elect Nicola and the SNP into government to Holyrood in 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      "And with an arrogant entitled wave of their hand 30,000 votes were 'transferred'.

      "So we can add selective and misleading quoting to the list "

      repeated verbatim, nothing selective or misleading here mick


      Delete
    2. So are you admitting to being one of those twats who censored the Facebook pages since that was what I was referring to by your selective and misleading quoting?

      Try thinking before you post.

      Delete
    3. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:04 PM

      i dont have a facebook page

      no idea what yer havering about

      bye

      Delete
    4. Try listening, and you might get there.

      Delete
  17. This conversation is making Effie Deans and the SNPouters look rational.

    Actually, what they were proposing was rational. It was absolutely true that if unionist voters in every constituency united behind the unionist candidate best placed to win the seat, the SNP would have been defeated in quite a few constituencies it actually won.

    One problem was identifying which was the best-placed unionist candidate, hence the multiple versions of the wheel that appeared. The main problem though was lack of penetration and lack of uptake. They had, allegedly, 600 activists on the ground. That's not many, but our wee village was actually leafleted by them! They had the support of several newspapers, who helpfully provided details of who to vote for to defeat the SNP. I can't see any newspapers taking this current campaign on board and running with it. They even had candidates reproducing the wheel in their campaign literature. Again, the equivalent is not going to happen in 2016.

    It wasn't daft, it wasn't inherently destructive to their own side so long as the candidate identification was done intelligently, and it was well publicised. It got more or less nowhere. There is always some tactical voting in FPTP elections, but there's no evidence this was any more prevalent than usual in 2015, and the campaign was manifestly unsuccessful.

    This one is a complicated sell, it's actually destructive to the party whose voters are being targeted, and it's not going to get any support from the media or from the SNP. Any support from the Greens is going to have to be extremely covert, to avoid accusations of dishonesty. There is no possibility at all that 60,000 votes are going to be magically transferred, to order, in one region. No more than there was the possibility of getting a couple of thousand more LibDems to vote Conservative in BR&S, which would have handily (and obviously) defeated Calum Kerr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      "One problem was identifying which was the best-placed unionist candidate, hence the multiple versions of the wheel that appeared"

      which was why i posted a senario which included more than one party in the list vote in mid scotland. even if the snp voters spread their vote between 2 parties, they still have a better chance of electing a non unionist list msp than the snp do. as it currently stands, the snp will will win no list msps in scot mid and fife. i never mentioned any constituency votes, im talking only about list votes. your constituency senario is irrelevant in the list vote which is based on PR

      interesting that it is your own comments you guys find rediculous. lol

      Delete
    2. The constituency vote is entirely relevant to the list allocation, as the aim is to make the entire parliament proportional. If the SNP narrowly loses a constituency seat, but its support holds up on the list, this seat will be recouped on the list allocation.

      It's beyond disturbing that you don't seem to realise this.

      Delete
    3. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:54 PM

      correct rolfe, but that is the point ive been tryig to make. we didnt narrowly lose any constituency seats in scot mid and fife in may, and the polls are showing that the snp wont,

      im well aware that the total number of votes in the list is divided by the number of existing msp's +1, which means that the snp would win no list msp's in scot mid and fife. their vote would be divided by 10 even before they start to attribute the list msps. an increase of 5000 to the greens would ensure they won a list seat

      Delete
    4. You have absolutely no idea how many votes the SNP, or any other party, is going to get in Mid-Fife next year, either on a constituency basis or on the list. It's eleven months away.

      The support could be so high that in spite of getting all the constituencies, the party is still in line for a regional MSP. On the other hand someone might find some five-year-old tweets by one or two of the candidates and get them splashed all over the media alleging that they want all newborn babies boiled in oil or something like that.

      Always in motion is the future. You're trying to pin it down like a butterfly on a card, and if you do that you'll kill it. You need to stop obsessing about your own wee best-case scenarios and understand how this plot is highly likely to go wrong in the real world.

      Delete
  18. Another point which isn't really being addressed and one which is definitely worth thinking about, is that not every Green candidate will be an independence supporter. So the Yessers advocating a list vote for the greens, might actually end up electing a unionist green candidate....like Robin Harper says....a significant minority of Greens are opposed to independence.....

    Yes, there are SNP voters opposed to indy, but you'll struggle to find SNP members opposed to independence.

    So vote for the greens, get a unionist green msp....LOL...well done

    ReplyDelete
  19. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    So vote for the greens, get a unionist green msp....LOL...well done

    the greens round here were very active in the yes campaign, heres a list of those standing as list msp's in scot mid and fife.
    1. Mark Ruskell 2. Claire Reid 3. Michael Collie 4. Louise Ramsay 5. Andy Collins -

    if the scottish greens were to ditch independence....they would cross the floor. ...guarenteed
    I hope this addresses your ....point



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really, as the fact that they might not be indy supporting candidates wouldn't stop Harvie and Co from selecting them, as the constitution isn't in question, nor is it the most important factor for them, whereas for the very people who's support they want, it is.

      'Please check and see if your Green list candidates are actually independence supporters'

      That'll work well

      The whole point of your argument and of others, is that its a Yes coalition, yet the greens own very party has unionists in it, so it's not true.

      Vote green and you might actually get a unionist politician that never wants another indy referendum!!

      Delete
    2. Vote Green to lose the SNP its overall majority and force it into coalition with the Green party, which gained seats in excess of its real electoral support because SNP voters were bamboozled into doing something stupid.

      Vote Green for Patrick Harvie as DFM. Hey, I wonder why the Greens are so keen on this wheeze?

      Vote Green to put Patrick Harvie in a position to veto every SNP policy from now to the next election.

      Now explain to me again why SNP supporters should be so keen on this?

      Delete
    3. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:12 PM

      "Not really, as the fact that they might not be indy supporting candidates "

      but the green candidates for the list in mid scot and fife have already been chosen and all of them are pro indy. fact, so yes really, it does address your point.

      wrt the region you live in i cant say, but im not advocating voting green anywhere other than scot mid and fife. so i wont get a unionist msp if i vote green in the list

      QED

      Delete
    4. Something to remember and consider about the reason that Holyrood was 'structured' (some might say gerrymandered) with the voting system we are debating, is that the Labour Party thought they had designed a system to forever deny an absolute majority. They did this because they new that they, as the largest party, always had the Liberals to achieve government with and at a push both the Liberals and the Tories to vote down any pro Indy nonesense!

      That is, from the start, even the Labour Party understood that their Unionist advantage in Scotland was not in the electoral arguments but in the structural realities that they had at least two well established political parties with which to coalesce, while the SNP would always have none. Job done! A referendum could never be called.

      That underlying electoral structure still exists, but the unionist parties have, for now, self destructed. Even so, on current voting we are only just still over the 50% mark. Getting that SNP majority is always going to be a mamoth task and even if achieved in 2016, incredibly unlikely to be achieved regularly again.

      My argument (and Schrodinger's I think) is that the SNP come to terms with the realities of this unfairly stacked deck that's the Holyrood electoral system and realise, just as Labour did when setting it up, that in order to truly control government in Scotland as a pro Indy CONSTANT they will need to allow for the growth and development of a truly electorally viable alternative pro Indy party, with which they can form workable coalitions (within which they would have the dominant role).

      If they were to understand that simple electoral truth (which I am sure they do) then the calling of an Indy referendum could occur as often as the chamber of Holyrood has the majority to legislate for it. That, or any other radical policy (such as true land reform etc) that holyrood currently has the power to instigate, but not the long term pro Indy political stability to politically take those powerful unionist vested interests on.

      Essentially, we need to be turning the dirty electoral trick pulled by the unionists when creating Holyrood, right back on them and then, just like happened with the FPtP elections three weeks ago,'hoist the buggers by their own p'tard'.

      All this requires is some of that good old fashioned (but politically out of fashion) Scots trait of 'enlightened self interest'. I can tell you from experience that the Grass-root Indy movement is absolutely awash with the stuff, so if the SNP leadership find they need to borrow the odd cup full, it's sitting here waiting.

      braco

      Delete
  20. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 3:35 PM

    "Vote Green to lose the SNP its overall majority"

    eh? vote green in the scot mid and fife list will lose the unionists a list msp, most likely wullie rennie, the snp will get zero list msps from the list in this region, how can they lose anything?

    Now explain to me again why SNP supporters should be so keen on this?

    getting rid of wullie rennie? im keen, ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "vote green in the scot mid and fife list will lose the unionists a list msp"

      Rubbish.

      Delete
    2. Well argued James.

      braco

      Delete
    3. Another superb retort, Braco.

      Delete
    4. We're all over this James! ;-)

      Delete
    5. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 5:54 PM

      really? as it stands, as per the may election results, the unionists will win all 7 list msps in this region,

      if the greens get 5000 more votes than in 2011, they will gain a list MSP

      7-1 = 6

      c:/programfiles/calculator.exe



      Delete
    6. I despair. You have simply no way of knowing how people are going to vote in eleven months time. Things could be significantly better, leaving the SNP in line for a list seat despite having won all the constituencies. Or they could be significantly worse, leading to one or two constituency losses which would under normal circumstances entitle the party to list seats in compensation.

      You want SNP supporters to gift these seats to your small party, because you seem to be unable to persuade enough people to vote for you on your own manifesto. Even though in the latter situation these seats may be what the SNP needs to avoid losing its majority.

      Not going to happen.

      Delete
  21. schrodingers catJune 2, 2015 at 8:38 PM

    Im a bit bewildered by some of the language of the opponents to this idea of tactical list voting, so I have re read the comments and would like to make a few observations

    After the indy ref, the future of our local yes group came up for discussion. Many proposed an Alliance party being formed, which I opposed because
    1. I thought it would precipitate the formation of a Unionist party in Scotland and we would struggle to win as many seats against such a united unionist party
    2. I thought it important that the indy movement campaign should continue and that a stonking win in the GE would achieve this. The SNP was the only vehicule who could do this, It made no sense to dissolve a successful party, the snp, 6 months from an election, to form an alliance with the SG and SSP, who have never had any success in a GE.
    I argued that these parties should support the SNP in the GE, Some of the SG’s argued they would pick up unionist votes as well. As Rolfe has already pointed out, wrt Mundells seat, there is no way of knowing this for a fact, and that, should the SG’s split the vote in any constituency, the recrimination would follow and the Yes campaign would be compromised. I remember the accusation against the 11 snp mps who supposedly brought down calaghan, complete bollox btw, but the public believed it and set back the indy cause a generation.
    It was this argument which effectively ended the local yes group.
    I was still very annoyed about which constituencies they stood candidates in, I understood their belief that they needed to have some presence otherwise they might as well disband and join the SNP but I argued they could have chosen less marginal seats to contest/
    As it turned out, the SG and SSP ran very low profile campaigns, I know some activists and even candidates who voted SNP, and I believe that their own supporters also backed the SNP in large numbers..(large relatively speaking) In the end, they “split” the vote in only one seat, mundell’s. it could have been a lot worse, they could have denied the SNP the chance of being the king makers in a hung parly and there would have been hell to pay. In the Euphoria of 56 MPs being elected, The general indy movement has been given a real boost and everyone is happy…..except, obviously, the people in mundell’s seat. .

    With this in mind, perhaps I could reframe the proposal, couch it in different terms for the sake of clarity since I doubt this issue will disappear, it will only intensify.

    Senario….
    1. If in 2016, the voters support the SNP, in the same numbers they did on May 7th, then the SNP will win 70+ constituency seats. Fact
    2. If the above happens, the number of SNP list MP’s will reduce drastically. Fact

    Question
    If the above scenario looks likely, is there a case for voting for another indy party, say Solidarity , in some of the regions, to reduce the number of unionist msps?

    Can we afford to take the risk?
    Can I just point out here, that should there be a marked decline in snp support in the next 10 months, then even my answer will be no.

    Why should we take the risk? Why should we favour parties who stood against the snp in may?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look, give up with the hypothetical examples. Not only has a single vote not yet been cast, we're eleven months away from a single vote being cast. We don't even have any opinion polls that might give some guidance, though after what happened this year anyone who advocates a complicated tactical voting scheme based on opinion polling needs their head examined.

      It's been explained in post after post that switching away from the SNP on the list will definitely damage the SNP, and it's impossible to predict which party or parties might gain. Might be the Tories, or even Labour.

      Or it might be another party which stood against the SNP in May. The Green party. A party that is increasingly showing itself to be devious, self-serving and untrustworthy. Even if they hadn't already shown a cavalier disregard for Yes solidarity in facilitating Mundell's re-election, I'd be disinclined to trust them with a vote for ink monitor.

      Delete
  22. schrodingers catJune 3, 2015 at 2:02 AM

    lol, ok rolfe, i feel your pain, really do, we will revisit this, no doubt about it, but for the mo. case closed

    ReplyDelete
  23. Been away working so only just responding now.

    James,

    I have given my reasoning as to why I think that, if your "number one objective is independence, or failing that, the maximisation of Scottish self-government within the UK", then your route to achieving that is not to restrict your support to the SNP alone, but to help build a much broader movement. I think that the Yes vote in the Indyref was so high because a much larger % of people saw that Yes as not just about independence but about other fundamental issues as well.

    You say that you are "not going to advocate anything that would undermine that objective, which is what your [Justin’s]"strategy" does. I've explained why with facts and figures - you refuse to engage on that basis, and instead respond with high-minded lyricism."

    I disagree, I think your strategy undermines your objective, and have explained why (not through lyricism, and not through numbers, but for the reason I briefly summarise in the paragraph above).

    I know you disagree with me, and I'm no longer trying to persuade you.

    You could after all be completely right and I could be completely wrong about how best to achieve your objective. What that would mean is that I am also completely wrong about how to achieve my objective.

    In other words, I am suggesting that change happens by aligning the priorities of a range of parties and people who want to change society for the better (e.g. aligning your focus on independence from Westminster and my focus on the need to become independent from a system that is destroying communities I work with in Africa and is fast building the conditions for an uninhabitable planet). Your suggestion is that, in effect, we need to pursue our separate struggles. Maybe that's right, but reminds me of the caricature of left parties arguing among themselves over tactics and which brand name counts, when to the rest of the world they look like they are all wanting the same thing.

    I have not in any way suggested you are not being intellectually honest (and I don't see why you would think I was being intellectually dishonest). Absolutely fine to agree to disagree on this, without anyone having to impugn anyone else's motives (I'm not referring to your response here but to that of others) - but its been a useful few (or rather many) blogs debate on this one, because I have now learnt that at least in this blog (which I really like) it is clear that my suggestion doesn't stand any chance of flying (the suggestion being that we are capable of persuading enough Green and SNP voters to vote SNP on the constituency vote Green on the List) .

    I know you don’t see this is possible, and if I go by the responses here then I will definitely be voting Green / Green since I am being told by SNP voters that there is no room for any larger movement in this process.

    Yesterday I read an observation I agreed with by John Reid (of all people!) saying something like: "Charles Kennedy argued his case with people assuming that their beliefs were based on a sincerely held different view". It would be good if we could all disagree without having to impugn each others motives: disagreeing with what each other are saying but not condemning who each other are. If you are nodding your head in agreement then try this thought experiment: that was something John Reid said because he sincerely believed it, and not as a way of getting over on someone. Difficult, isn't it?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "if I go by the responses here then I will definitely be voting Green / Green since I am being told by SNP voters that there is no room for any larger movement in this process"

      Depending on which constituency you'll be in, voting Green twice may not even be an option. But if there is a Green candidate on the constituency ballot, I really struggle to comprehend why a member of the Green party would not vote for that person. To me, membership implies giving more than just your vote to the party, rather than giving less than your vote.

      "I have not in any way suggested you are not being intellectually honest (and I don't see why you would think I was being intellectually dishonest)."

      What I'm getting at is this idea of a "favour owed", which basically rewrites recent history in an attempt to demonstrate that the Greens are somehow 'entitled' to receive votes from people who are not Green supporters. As Rolfe has pointed out, the Green party stood candidates last month, and people voted for those candidates. In one case it looks like that cost the SNP the seat, allowing the Tories to win instead. I part company from Rolfe in the sense that I would never criticise the Greens for standing in Dumfriesshire or any other seat - I think small parties have to play the game, even under FPTP. But self-evidently there is no favour to be returned here, and I find it very hard to believe that you don't understand that.

      "Your suggestion is that, in effect, we need to pursue our separate struggles."

      Justin, what on earth would you be advocating if it wasn't for the peculiarity of AMS giving you two votes? If parties compete against each other in a one person, one vote election, you can't vote for two or three parties simultaneously, regardless of whether you regard them all as being part of some intangible "movement". That doesn't preclude cooperation between parties where there is overlapping views, but that happens after an election, not during it.

      I clearly remember why the Lib Dems pushed for a two-vote system - it was to allow people to vote for the party they really wanted on the list, while still allowing scope for a tactical or personal vote in the constituencies. Nothing has changed since 1999 - that is how the system was set up to work, and it's basically how it does work in practice.

      My general rule of thumb with John Reid is to assume he isn't being sincere about anything, but I haven't read the article so I'll reserve judgement.

      Delete
    2. Hi James, re your 3 points:
      (1) I give lots more than my vote to the Greens, and part of that 'more' is being willing to see the party as part of a larger movement (that e.g. for me links the struggle for community land rights here and where I work in Africa). The party isn't the purpose, it is part of how to realise those purposes, and the SGP, SNP and SSP are all - for me - crucial contributors to that movement.
      (2) Crucially, I wrote the article on Bella 'Greens Are Voting SNP. Will SNP Voters Return the Favour?' BEFORE the May election. It wasn't a reflection on the past, and that was why some Green colleagues had difficulty with it, they told me that simply by observing what was going on I was endorsing and encouraging it. I was not looking back and asking for a favour in return, I was looking forward and asking a question, and if you read the article you can see that there, as here, I didn't mean something was somehow automatically 'owed' but just asking if SNP voters would see the same need for a larger movement success that SGP voters were seeing in May. That's not a question about 'entitlement' (that would be crazy) but about strategy.
      (3) Even within the FPTP system many were voting with that larger picture in mind. I remember Green voters in the Highlands wondering what to do because they wanted to continue voting for Charles Kennedy but wanted to also send a strong signal by voting SNP.

      I think the main difference between our approaches to a largely similar set of shared goals (and to me they are different approaches, rather than one being right and one being wrong) is that for me the agency in al this is with the voter and the movement, the moment in history they feel they are part of, and it is us as voters who shape what is possible. Whereas for you the agency is far more with the parties themselves, and what parties decide to do.

      What is your take on the origin of the Holyrood voting system? You talk of it being pushed for by the Lib Dems, and people often talk about it as being designed to keep the SNP out, but Robin MacAlpine was saying the other day that that last point is nonsense, that it was pushed for purely for democratic reasons by the Constitutional Convention and the story of it locking the SNP out was used by Labour members of the Convention to persuade the Trade Unions to accept it.

      As for John Reid, that's been my rule of thumb as well, which is why what he said was such an excellent challenge!

      Delete
    3. James, I don't question the Green party's right to stand candidates where it wants to stand them either. What I do point out is the hypocrisy in standing a candidate in a seat where there was the obvious possibility of splitting the anti-Mundell vote, and then once the worst has happened, still coming back and bleating about a favour owed.

      They have every right to stand, but they also have every right to expect the reaction they're getting in DC&T. The choice doesn't come without consequences.

      Delete
  24. Justin don't capitulate too soon. This site is inhabited mainly by party members, not simple party supporters. It's party supporters such as myself that delivered the 56 MP's rather than the previous 6, and it will be part supporters that will decide whither the conditions are suitable to maximise their pro indy vote come May 2016, not the Parties or the party members, be they SNP, SSP, left alliance or Green.

    That's the magnificent change that's been happening in Scotland since the referendum, but is being masked by our understanding and manipulation of first past the post as an electorate. As I said before, the electorate pragmatically formed their own yes alliance behind the SNP as a result of the SNP and Greens being unable to come to any arrangement themselves. That same pragmatism that led them to conclude their vote's strength was maximised by swinging behind a single party (SNP) under first past the post, is the same logic that will attract them to maximising the value of their pro indy list vote under the d'Hondt system by selecting a second choice pro indy party if the circumstances seem favourable at the time.

    Politics in Scotland is being taken out of the hands of the tribal and is now being exercised by an educated and motivated electorate to achieve a primary goal, Independence. Please, remain with us motivated generalists and continue to argue, even with 'lyricism' if you must (;-), for sensible, enlightened self interest and common cause. Don't be goaded by political specialists back into the closed corridors of narrow party politics, and please don't start arguing against your own principles from short sited party political retaliation.

    It's true that we would never have got to this threshold without them, but, If this thing is ever really going to happen, it won't (in the end) be achieved by the party politically tribal (of whichever party) and that's the difference between 'parties' and a 'movement'. My advice to you and anyone else still reading is, stay with the movement Justin.

    braco

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Braco - I am not capitulating but nor am I competing.

      I am just happy to think out loud with others about how best to make the changes we so desperately need.

      When I said "If I go by [most of] the responses here then I will definitely be voting Green / Green since I am being told by SNP voters that there is no room for any larger movement in this process", I meant that. But there are very different conversations I am having elsewhere which suggest otherwise.

      For example, here in Portobello I'm surrounded by people who are making the kind of choices you are describing. They've joined one party or another but they see themselves as part of a larger movement, and that's where their hearts lie.

      However, I am genuinely torn in terms of this coming election. Peter McColl will be standing for the Greens here in the Green Party's 'target seat' of Edinburgh East (just as Patrick Harvie will be standing for the Greens in Glasgow Kelvin) and he is an absolutely excellent candidate. It would be brilliant to keep on building our support and move towards 'doing a Lucas' in Edinburgh's Brighton! That's why I find it funny people reacting as if I am asking for a 'favour' from SNP supporters! I am not, I'm asking should we pursue a strategy where people like me be put work into persuading people to support the SNP as well as the SGP in terms of this election, or should I just focus on working for the SGP (still as part of a much broader movement, but recognising that the party is way more than the people as far as many in the SNP are concerned). But I take your point, I should go by the conversations at the school gate and on the street . . .

      Which reminds me to look back at the 2011 election - http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2011/05/05/porty-clause-4-and-election-fever/ - Can we manage something as unexpected now as we managed then?

      Delete
    2. Bear in mind that the principle reason for the opposition to this "mass tactical vote" plan is that it has the potential to go horribly wrong. If its proponents would face that fact, we might have a better conversation.

      Delete
  25. I don't know what more it's possible to write to explain that as far as I can see, nobody at all is even trying to persuade Green party supporters not to vote for the Green party on the list, or indeed in a constituency if they field a candidate.

    The stronger the Green party becomes, the better for the independence cause and Scottish politics in general, so long as it gains that support by genuinely persuading uncommitted voters of the merits of its cause. There are plenty people who don't vote, or who vote for unionist parties not because of ingrained unionism but because they don't like the SNP. These people should be the targets of a genuine campaign for votes.

    Instead of doing that, the Green party seems intent on getting votes by damaging the SNP. It's busy inducing SNP supporters whose primary impulse is of course to vote SNP on the list by lying about this being a "wasted vote", by invoking wholly unrealistic scenarios involving impossible numbers of split votes, and bleating about being "owed favours".

    This is not attractive, or edifying. The Greens have only themselves to blame if it's turning SNP supporters against them.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Can I just say re. the original post that no comments were deleted, nor were they asked to be. What was asked was if Nigel's comments which had been added to the actual post itself could be removed by admin as the actual post is what most people read and they were presented there as if an undisputed fact, despite being highly contentious as is obvious from this and other discussions. Having listened to several opinions about the advice being wrong the admin agreed.

    Not everyone reads the comments section where lots of opinions to the contrary were and where Nigels original post was copied from, and where it remains along with everyone else's comments and opinions.

    No comments were deleted.

    I assume you read through the thread so it's a bit disingenuous of you to suggest that people's opinions were censored and comments removed when no such thing happened.

    You should maybe instead have joined the debate on the page like Nigel suggested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I assume you read through the thread so it's a bit disingenuous of you to suggest that people's opinions were censored and comments removed when no such thing happened."

      Rubbish. The exact sequence of events appears to have been extremely complicated, and there's no way of making sense of it from simply reading the thread (not least because of the edit made on the demand of both yourself and Hamish). But what has become abundantly clear from my discussion with Hamish is that Nigel's comment appeared twice, and you successfully asked for the more prominent of those two to be deleted - because you didn't want people to read it and be influenced by it.

      "No comments were deleted.

      The admin's response to you tells a more accurate story : "Thanks point taken, Nigel's advice taken from Scotpop has been removed."

      "You should maybe instead have joined the debate on the page like Nigel suggested."

      I have absolutely no intention of wasting my time attempting to take part in a "debate" in which people scream for dissenting views to be deleted.

      Delete
    2. His comment was copied from the comments section and added to the post itself which appears one everyone's facebook timelines. It was then taken off because several people strongly disagreed with its content.

      The original comment is still there, in the comments sections along with our own differing opinions.

      I'm sorry but no-ones opinions were censored.

      Delete
    3. "It was then taken off because several people strongly disagreed with its content."

      Can you honestly not see the problem with that?

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. Yes but why did the admin add it to the original post? I assume because he read it (I think Nigel called the Times article essentially a unionist conspiracy or something similar) and believed it. Several people strongly backed the campaign referred to in the Times article and were aghast at it being labelled such - you may argue we are wrong but it is genuine idea about how to advance the pro-indy cause, not a unionist trick. Having looked at what several people were saying the admin removed the comment from the main post, where it had looked as if it were being presented as an undisputed fact. I assume he realised there were 2 sides to the story. Was it fair that Nigel's commentary and not others appeared on the main post, the only part that most people would have seen?

      It simply returned to being neutral, all Nigel's comments including the one in question, and all opposing views were still in the comments section, no comments were deleted and certainly no-one asked for any censorship of any kind.

      Delete
    6. Oliver, you're trying to redefine what you did. You didn't demand that it be removed because it was being presented as undisputed fact - you wanted it gone because it was "simply false". You said it was inaccurate, and that you could prove it was inaccurate. It was on that basis, and that basis alone, that you demanded that a dissenting view be deleted.

      I've read the thread and therefore know that you failed to make good on your promise to provide proof of inaccuracy - hardly surprising, because it wasn't inaccurate.

      Delete
    7. I provided a link to the Scotland votes holyrood seat calculator and invited people to play about with the numbers to see how the opposite of what Nigel was saying was true - that an snp constituency vote and green list vote would result in an increased number of pro-indy MSPs, I believe Hamish posted some concrete examples of this and asked Nigel to do the same as regards his view point.

      Delete
    8. And once again we didn't ask for his view to be removed from the comments section where he posted it, just from the main post where the admin had since added it. No-one asked for anyone's opinion to be censored Nigel's post is still there.

      Delete
    9. Oh, come off it, Oliver. Pointing to a few wildly optimistic hypothetical examples doesn't demonstrate that "the opposite of what Nigel was saying was true". At best you offered an alternative opinion. How does that justify deletion?

      Delete
    10. "And once again we didn't ask for his view to be removed from the comments section where he posted it, just from the main post where the admin had since added it."

      You demanded deletion on the SPECIFIC BASIS that the comment was factually inaccurate, and that you could prove it was factually inaccurate. You couldn't, and you didn't.

      Delete
    11. It uses the same mathematical formula as the Holyrood elections, it's not an opinion. Try it with current polling numbers and I wouldn't say it's wildly optimistic either. It only can't start to work if the Greens fail to get 5% on a list, no?2011 results surely aren't particularly relevant.

      Delete
    12. "It uses the same mathematical formula as the Holyrood elections, it's not an opinion."

      What does that sentence even mean? Are you saying that your hypothetical examples are based on the actual electoral system that will be used next year? It would be very odd if they were based on any other electoral system, so I can't quite see how that takes us any further forward, or justifies your demands for deletion. Hypothetical examples are hypothetical examples.

      "2011 results surely aren't particularly relevant."

      That is an opinion, not a fact.

      Delete
    13. I'm saying that 'hypothetical examples' using current polling data are more insightful than 'hypothetical examples' using election results that are 4 years old. And if you feed current predictions into the seat calculator it becomes clear that it won't take much for the plan to begin reaping rewards. We have 11 months to push the idea so I don't consider the few points movement needed "wildly optimistic" at all.

      Secondly the notion that this idea is "a pro-union scam" (those were Nigel's words) is, as I said - "simply false".

      Anyway I don't see us finding agreement on this any time soon, but the reason I came on here was to defend myself against accusations of censorship. I can see how the thread was perhaps "extremely complicated" so can accept that you weren't being deliberately disingenuous, (you maybe should have investigated all the facts before rushing out an article) but nevertheless you painted an extremely misleading picture of what had actually happened. You have since released another article with a more accurate description - "(demanded) that a post be edited to remove commentary" - although no-one demanded, we asked. This article, however, contains the following claims:

      "dissenting views regarded as being so offensive that they must be instantly censored from existence" - no-ones views were removed or deleted from the discussion.

      "but what I didn't do was delete views that I disagreed with from the comments section" - and this categorically didn't happen on the thread in question either.

      "Facebook discussions that are so heavily censored they would make the Stasi blush" - this is so preposterously over the top I don't know why I'm even bothering to comment on it.

      I take the fact that descriptions such as these are missing from the new article as a tacit admission that they were a completely inappropriate description of what took place. Maybe next time you should fully investigate all the facts and gain a clear picture of what actually took place before rushing out an article publicly accusing people you don't know of censorship from behind your keyboard.

      Anyway I've made my point.

      All the best.

      Delete
    14. "I'm saying that 'hypothetical examples' using current polling data are more insightful than 'hypothetical examples' using election results that are 4 years old."

      What "current polling data"? There isn't any! What are you actually talking about? The three subsamples we've had since the election? Is that what this whole bloody "strategy" is based on?! That would be very, very silly indeed.

      "And if you feed current predictions into the seat calculator it becomes clear that it won't take much for the plan to begin reaping rewards"

      Rubbish. It'll take more than a few people chatting to each other on Facebook to shift tens of thousands of votes. What it would actually take, of course, is mass-hypnosis. Or to put it another way, it isn't going to happen.

      "nevertheless you painted an extremely misleading picture of what had actually happened"

      Nope. You asked for a commentary you disagreed with to be deleted, because you didn't want people to read it and be influenced by it. It was deleted. That part of the story is extremely straightforward.

      "this is so preposterously over the top I don't know why I'm even bothering to comment on it."

      If you don't want to hear that sort of thing, don't silence dissenting views.

      "I take the fact that descriptions such as these are missing from the new article as a tacit admission that they were a completely inappropriate description of what took place."

      Then you're kidding yourself, I'm afraid. The lesson you should take from this incident is simple : DON'T CENSOR. DON'T DEMAND CENSORSHIP. But if you do, DON'T COME CRYING WHEN SOMEONE POINTS OUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE.

      Delete
  27. With all due respect,

    1) As far as I'm concerned I neither censored, nor demanded censorship as I have tried to illustrate,

    2) I assure you I am not 'crying' and

    3) Oh thank you for the lesson, you are so knowledgeable and gracious, what would I do without you your lordship!

    Anyway I'm finished here, bye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what you said the last time. How many more times are you going to attempt to get this dramatic flounce just right?

      1) You did censor. The clue is in the fact that the comment was deleted, after you asked for it be deleted. This is pretty simple stuff.

      2) What are you doing here, then?

      3) Flounce and censor, I expect. That seems to be the extent of your repertoire.

      Delete