Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Have the Greens just killed their own "2nd vote" strategy by voting against Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland?

Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion and the Green party's only representative in the House of Commons, was challenged on Twitter a few hours ago on why she had voted against Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland on Monday night.  Perhaps surprisingly, she didn't attempt to make the case that FFA would somehow be bad for her own constituents, but instead indicated that she was consciously voting in line with the views of her colleagues in the Scottish Green Party.  I've since seen two people who previously intended to campaign for SNP supporters to vote Green on the list say that they will no longer do so.

That's just a straw in the wind, but my guess is that they won't be alone.  If so, the Greens may have just undermined a key part of their own strategy for next year's election.  We've seen fairly clear indications in recent weeks that they intend to woo SNP supporters by making some fantastical claims about how the AMS voting system can supposedly be "hacked" by voting Green on the list.  A number of us have been trying to explain why listening to those claims would be horrendously dangerous for the cause of independence, and how "tactical voting on the list" is a contradiction in terms that could directly bring about an anti-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament.  But that's a very complicated argument to make, and thankfully the Greens have just supplied us with a much simpler one - there's not an awful lot of point in trying to "hack" the system if the aim of the exercise is to elect Green MSPs who are not on the same page as you on the constitutional question.

Now, to be fair, it's perfectly possible to oppose Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland within the UK while remaining in favour of full sovereign independence when the opportunity next arises, and that appears to be the Greens' position.  But this episode does clearly demonstrate the limits to the idea that we are all part of a cohesive "movement", and that switching votes back and forth between different component parts of that movement can never dilute the impact of your voice on the constitutional issue.

98 comments:

  1. I've also suggested that the Greens opposition to FFA may show the fallacy of tactical voting to some. Let's hope so!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, they have with me. My second vote is now going SNP.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Lordy! Are the Pouter types not going to like this. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What does this have to do with selfies?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for proving my point Jeffrey old bean. :-D

      Delete
  4. Tommy Sheridan makes the case for 1st vote SNP, 2nd vote [different pro-indy party, preferably Solidarity] on Apolitical this week, but it's more in the context of people who naturally support those other parties tactically voting SNP with their first vote.

    It's a fascinating question though, because many people who joined the SNP may well feel an affinity with one or more of the other parties on the Left and fully intend to go different ways with their two votes.

    It's going to be a fun element to examine in the run-up to the election and I don't envy the job of the pollsters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well obviously he would! i will reserve judgement till nearer the time but if in doubt will be voting snp/snp. and sgp also has some unionist members amongst them. too many loose cannons!

      Delete
    2. " because many people who joined the SNP may well feel an affinity with one or more of the other parties on the Left and fully intend to go different ways with their two votes."

      Certainly not that many. If they had that much of an affinity for the other parties they would have joined them and not the SNP. SNP members will be far more inclined to listen to Nicola and her advice on how best to vote at Holyrood to ensure independence and a better scotland.

      Delete
    3. There are only 115K or so SNP members. The vast majority are going to vote SNP twice, especially after the SNP's own counter-campaign against this nonsense has been beamed directly to their inboxes. North of 1.5 million are going to vote SNP in the constituency vote. It's the voters rather than the members whose minds would have to be changed for this to work. Ordinary people, not political anoraks.

      How many people would have to be reached by this argument and convinced by it, for it to have the desired effect? Many tens of thousands at least.

      This was never a realistic possibility. What was possible was for just enough people to fall for the scam to damage the SNP and let a unionist candidate in through the middle. At BEST, it would swap one SNP seat for one Green seat. Which is no benefit to anyone except the Greens of course, which is, surprise surprise, why they're pushing for it.

      If this development takes that possibility off the table, whoopee, basically.

      Delete
  5. I will wait until the manifestos for 2016 are published. I will consider what the SNP and the Greens are promising with regard to the constitution before placing my second vote.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Greens also, and correctly, state that an independent Scotland would need its own currency and central bank. How could it be otherwise? How could a Scottish government set tax and spending levels if monetary control is in the hands of Westminster? Likewise, they understand that FFA means impoverishing Scotland, not enriching it. The difference between them and the SNP is that they are not an independence at any price party and so are not seeking to pretend that everything will be easy and seamless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Likewise, they understand that FFA means impoverishing Scotland, not enriching it."

      Jeffrey's back with more idiot tory tabloid 'pearls of wisdom'.

      LOL

      Bit if a hint Jeffwey old bean. I strongly doubt any Green supporters will be pleased at the prospect of far-right bigots praising them.

      Delete
    2. Dear God. So our resident Tea Party enthusiast is suddenly an admirer of Green economic policy. You couldn't make this stuff up.

      Delete
    3. Someone does not agree with Jim and Mick, ergo they are a far right bigot and a Tea Party enthusiast. Isn't civic nationalism wonderfully positive and inclusive? It's so different from the type of nationalism that seeks to silence any kind of opposition. :-D

      Delete
    4. So Jeffwey is a Palin enthusiast too. Wee that must be one of the least shocking things I've ever heard. LOL :-D

      Delete
    5. That's right Micky. I don't agree with you. Therefore, I must be a right wing bigot. There's no other way of seeing it.

      Delete
    6. Don't whine just because you get called out for your bigotry Jeffwey old bean. You don't like it then don't spam James blog with idiotic far-right pish and pretend to be three different people to try and hide it.

      Delete
    7. Give us all a laugh if you want, and tell us why you oppose the Tea Party, "Jeff".

      Delete
    8. Probably for the same reasons as you James. My guess is that politically there is a lot more that unites us than divides us. It's just that the one big thing that does divide us is a pretty big deal. As far as I can tell, I have posted nothing on here that woud indicate I am a right winger, unless you believe that not being a nationalist de facto makes you right wing. Clearly, that's Mick's view - tot he extent that he is capable of forming views, of course. :-D

      Delete
    9. "Probably for the same reasons as you James."

      For example?

      "As far as I can tell, I have posted nothing on here that woud indicate I am a right winger"

      Since the convenient name-change, you mean?

      Delete
    10. Got it - Simon was a right winger.

      In terms of holding the same views as you: I doubt you are a creationist, or a supporter of the death penalty, or a believer in eliminating welfare, or an advocate of gun ownership, or a supporter of violent regime change, or anti-gay marriage. I suspect that you support "socialised medicine", are opposed to private education, are a republican not a monarchist, are pro-EU and would liek to see a much fairer distribution of wealth and opportunity. I couod be wrong about one or all of these things, and I apologise if I am, though I suspect I am not. These are certainly views that I hold. Where we differ is how best to bring them about - within the context of a single state encompassing the current countries of the UK or with an independent Scotland.

      Delete
    11. Well, that's interesting. So maintaining Tory rule from Westminster helps those things in what way? Admittedly Cameron supports gay marriage and isn't proposing to reinstate the death penalty, but what about the other stuff?

      Delete
    12. My aim is to replace the Tories at Westminster. I do not think the English are irremably right wing (living in London, I know they are not), nor do I believe that independence will lead to a fairer Scotland. I think that the economics of going it alone, as well as the Sterling zone that the SNP advocates, would end up with Scotland a more divided country and one in which the poorest and most vulnerable get an even worse deal than they do under the Tories inside the UK. As a social democrat I am also opposed to building international borders where they don't currently exist. This is where we disagree, of course.

      Delete
    13. As a social democrat, why do you think Scotland is more "fair" under a Tory government that it would be under a homegrown social democratic government? That's a nonsensical proposition, surely.

      Delete
    14. In terms of practical outcomes, I think that there would be more redistribution from rich to poor within the UK under Barnett than there would be under any government in an independent Scotland whose fiscal policy is controlled form Westminster and whose tax take does not come close to matching current levels of expenditure. A social democratic government in and of itself does not mean anything, it's what it can actually do that counts.

      Delete
    15. Perhaps it's that sort of counsel of despair that has led European social democracy to the desperate state it currently finds itself in. Calling Tory government preferable is not my idea of social democracy.

      Delete
    16. Outcomes are what count, not the name of the party in power. Of course, the Tories are a disaster for vulnerable people across the UK - and are not muc good to anyone else apart from the super-rich - and we need to get rid of them. But in my view FFA and indpendence would be an even bigger disaster for the most vulnerable in Scotland. Given the gap between what Scotland generates and spends, Barnett is absolutely essential. Lose that, but keep monetary policy in Westminster's hands as the SNP is proposing, and it would be a disaster. It's not about being too wee, stupid etc, it's about the practical reality of a dispersed and ageing population and a tax take that is far too dependent on an inherently unstable commodity and a financial services sector whose primary market is in England. In my view, sticking together and fighting to get rid of the Tories will solve more of Scotland's problems more swiftly than going it alone.

      Delete
    17. "Of course, the Tories are a disaster for vulnerable people across the UK - and are not muc good to anyone else apart from the super-rich - and we need to get rid of them."

      Well, if only we'd had some sort of opportunity to do that last year. September would have been a good month for it.

      "In my view, sticking together and fighting to get rid of the Tories will solve more of Scotland's problems more swiftly than going it alone."

      Jesus. By 2020, the Tories will have been in power in the UK for 32 of the 50 years since 1970, and in 13 of the other 18 years we only had a non-Tory government because Labour adopted Tory policies wholesale. And with that track record, you think voting against independence is a promising strategy for getting rid of the Tories?

      I believe there's a phrase about doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

      "But in my view FFA and indpendence would be an even bigger disaster for the most vulnerable in Scotland."

      Vote No because my disaster is marginally less bad than your disaster. I've rarely heard such an inspiring social democratic message.

      Delete
    18. Inspiring messages really aren't the point though, are they? There were plenty of inspiring messages during the last Greek election, but now a country that has no control over its monetary policy and levels of expenditure far in excess of the revenues it raises is going through penury. What price the soaring, inspiraitonal rhetoric and promises now? When in power, Labour did not adopt Tory policies, as this current Tory government is showing us.

      Delete
    19. "What price the soaring, inspiraitonal rhetoric and promises now?"

      Perhaps you should listen to the Greek people, Jeff - they show absolutely no sign of regretting their choice, and opinion polls shows they would re-elect Syriza by a handsome margin if there was an election tomorrow.

      This is the malaise of the recreational modern social democrat - you forget that some of us actually believe in this stuff in practice, and not just as an abstract theory that we might eventually do something about when all the stars align perfectly.

      Delete
    20. Do you seriously believe it would be a good idea for an independent Scotland to allow a foreign country to dictate its monetary policy? And to paraphrase you, voting Syriza because it is a marginally less disastrous option than the alternative does not tell us much about anything. It's not about winning elections, it is about doing something with the victory. Again, I believe that a social democratic party winning a Westminster election would do more for vulnerable people across the UK than a social democratic party that won an election in an independent Scotland could do for vulnerable Scots. And that's because there would be more financial resources available, much stronger credit lines and far greater control of monetary policy.

      Delete
    21. "It's not about winning elections, it is about doing something with the victory."

      Quite the reverse, Jeff - for you it's all about the passivity and powerlessness of defeat. You think that a Tory government with Barnett is MORE REDISTRIBUTIVE than a home-grown social democratic government without Barnett would be - that's how useless you think we are as a country.

      That's not even a caricature of your position - it's pretty much exactly what you've said.

      "Again, I believe that a social democratic party winning a Westminster election would do more for vulnerable people across the UK..."

      What a pity that social democratic parties have won just two of the last twelve UK general elections. But hey, hope springs eternal for a No-voting social democrat, right?

      Delete
    22. In practical terms, yes I do believe that the most vulnerable would be more protected under Barnett in the UK than in an independent Scotland with no Barnett. I understand that you *believe* that would not be the case, but I have yet to see anything from you or anyone else to persuade me that would be the case. As an SNP supporter, you believe in an end to Barnett, but Westminster control of Scottish monetary policy. To me that makes absolutely no sense.

      I do not believe that Scotland is a useless country. It's where I ma from and I know it to be a great country. But it is also one with very specific challenges that can only be tackled through heavy expenditure. That expenditure is much more likely to be available through the UK for the reasons I have set out: a greater income, a better credit line and control over monetary policy. I don't see an iScotland trumping that.

      Delete
    23. I think there is a good argument that independence is worth it in the medium to long term, even if you believe we would be slightly worse off in the short term.
      Scotland's current economic situation is as a result of the current set-up, while other similar sized countries are far better off than us. Looking at the big picture, with the ratio of resources to population, Scotland has huge potential.

      We can never be allowed to truly prosper under the union, because the UK parties don't want any competition for London, and because keeping Scotland looking like it needs to be subsidised reduces the demand for independence.
      There was a good reason for the McCrone report being classified as secret.

      The argument that we can't do better, even under a currency union, is uninspiring at best.

      Delete
    24. Jeff, what if Scotland were to be independent but with its own Scots Pound as currency? That is my preferred option.

      I'm also interested to know your preference between Scotland as part of the UK but not in Europe, and Scotland as not in the UK but in Europe? (I'm assuming a 'Brexit' in this scenario).

      Delete
  7. The Green parties of the UK are affiliated, but separate. The Scottish Greens have no control over policymaking by their counterparts south of the border.

    You've got to ask yourself why a 'progressive' party would oppose FFA. Could it be due to trying to look out for the wellbeing of people in Scotland? Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Green parties of the UK are affiliated, but separate."

      I know, but as I said in the blogpost, Caroline Lucas said today that she voted in the way she did because of the Scottish Green Party's policy.

      Delete
    2. Oh apologies, I didn't notice you were trolling. I made the mistake of giving you a serious answer.

      Delete
    3. You've got to ask yourself why a 'progressive' party would oppose FFA. Could it be due to trying to look out for the wellbeing of people in Scotland?

      They really aren't all that progressive when it comes right down to it would seem to be the far more reasonable conclusion. Given that SLAB and the lib dems also suffered from amusing hypocrisy on the subject it's not as if scotland's voters don't know by now precisely how best to respond to those kind of double standards and contradictions. The Pandas know too. ;-D

      Delete
    4. Have the Greens said why they are opposed to FFA?

      Division in the pro independence camp - not good! At least the Greens would appear to have minds of their own, however. Good for them!

      Delete
    5. And do you have a mind of your own, Simon/Jeff/Steve? Or is your unholy trinity remote-controlled by McDougall HQ? What's the current daily rate?

      Delete
    6. So, let's get this straight. The tories voted against it. Labour voted against it. The libdems voted against it. The Greens voted against it. The SNP were defeated by a staggering margin but the SNP response is "we're right - you're wrong"?

      Delete
    7. The bit you've missed out is that Scottish MPs voted in favour of it by 56 votes to 3. That's quite a big margin, Simon.

      Delete
    8. The people standing for constituencies which stood to gain from FFA for Scotland voted for it by an overwhelming margin. Unfortunately the people standing for constituencies which stood to lose from FFA for Scotland voted against it. Hardly surprising, but that's where we are in the union.

      Delete
  8. You must have upset someone James as you're being trolled every day now. Granted, it's truly hilarous and inept stuff from the dimmest of BritNats and Stormfront Lite detritus. You can almost feel the impotent rage from these far-right twits as they shriek their little heads off.

    I hate to think how upset they will become when Cameron Major starts his Pro-Europe campaign and demands the rest of his party support his position in support of EU immigrants and EU immigration. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why don't you debate properly instead of insulting people and making paranoid accusations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leave Simon alone - he has some good points too. Well, one or two.

      Delete
    2. Surely you mean Jeffrey? LOL

      Delete
  10. You insult my intelligence in every post Mick. But your side was the one that lost. Your side failed to convince the people as to your cause. Does that mean that, actually, in fact, you're the thick one? Or is it the Scottish public that is stupid for making the 'wrong' choice?

    James, we are part of the UK. We voted to remain so. These decisions are taken by the British parliament. FFA was not only voted down - it was crushed. Why? Are they all racists?

    Is Caroline Lucas a racist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "But your side was the one that lost...FFA was not only voted down - it was crushed."

      Er, what? 56 MPs elected in May to support Full Fiscal Autonomy, and only 3 elected to oppose it? Funny kind of 'defeat'. It would be rather more accurate to say that the opposition to FFA was not only only voted down - it was crushed.

      "Is Caroline Lucas a racist?"

      Whatever gave you that idea? I'm a huge fan of Caroline Lucas. But she's wrong on Full Fiscal Autonomy, and so is the Scottish Green Party.

      Delete
    2. "But your side was the one that lost"

      #More Pandas than tory MPs
      #More Pandas than Labour MPs
      #More Pandas than lib dem MPs

      Wakey fucking wakey Jeffwey! :-D

      We're already starting the Holyrood campaign while you far-right bigots don't seem to have a clue you just handed us much of that campaign on a plate.

      But then that IS the default position of the nasty party. To be wildly out of touch with the real world, particularly in scotland. The tories had their worst share of the vote in HISTORY in scotland in May. So well done you! You have somehow forgotten just how comically unpopular you are in scotland thanks to the red-faced fop and his endless reserves of incompetence.

      Let's see just how amusing his inane and undemocratic his attempt to solve the WLQ in a couple of days is.

      Oh and unlike you I've campaigned alongside greens so it's pretty fucking obvious who the bigot and racist here is and it sure as fuck isn't me.

      Delete
    3. Though you won't explain why they are wrong. They just *are*.

      Delete
    4. Simon (sorry, "Jeff"), I'm not going to tolerate a repeat of this garbage from you. We have had this discussion umpteen times, and I have answered every question you have asked me on my support for FFA. Changing your name to pretend that you haven't heard those answers is utterly pathetic.

      Delete
    5. Oh dear, Mick's shouting again. And going on about pandas. I imagine he likes to photograph unionists too. I wish I could be as democratic, unbigoted, inclusive, non-racist and positive as Mick. LOL

      Delete
    6. Yes, that is something you and the rest of the Tea Party should probably aspire to.

      Delete
    7. You don't like it when people do not agree with you do you James? It's a shame that you feel the need to accuse people of being on the far right just because they do not share your views. But there you go. I'll keep on posting here because you have a sizeable readership and I am confident most of those who come here are a little more open to having their preconceptions challenged. Well done for creating such a popualr site.

      Delete
    8. You don't like it when people dissent from unionist orthodoxy, do you, "Jeff"? Dear goodness, how it MADDENS you! Don't worry, you'll get used to it - if you really do intend to carry on posting on this blog, you'll find that people who disagree with you have a frightful habit of ANSWERING BACK.

      Just not cricket, what?

      Delete
    9. James - what is utterly pathetic is accusing every poster you do not agree with of being someone called Simon. Why you can't just accept that there are people in this world who do not hold the same views as you is a difficult one to understand. Are you really so unsure of what you believe in that you cannot accept any challenge to it?

      Delete
    10. "Jeff", you are Simon. Your posting style is identical, your tedious preoccupations are exactly the same. Don't insult our intelligence any further. If you want to call yourself "Jeff" in future, that's fine - but don't pretend that you didn't previously post as Simon.

      Delete
    11. I'm not. But if you want to think I am, then there is not much I can do about it, I suppose. On my brief time here, you do seem to have accused every unionist poster - named or anonymous - of being Simon. It does seem to be somhting of a fixaiton. Anyway, onwards and upwards ...

      Delete
    12. Oh yes of course, because you're not "Steve" either, are you? Nor are you any of the other anonymous posters who by complete coincidence all appeared at exactly the same time, saying exactly the same things.

      I believe you, "Jeff". Thousands wouldn't.

      Delete
    13. No, I am not Steve either. I am me. Are you Mick Pork? Maybe you are Scottish Skier too and you are just having one great big conversaiotn with yourself :-)

      Delete
    14. Well, you're the expert on that, right enough.

      Delete
    15. I'm not nearly as funny as Mick Pork.

      Delete
    16. No, no-one is on this blog.

      Delete
    17. Sunshine on CrieffJuly 2, 2015 at 6:51 PM

      #More Pandas than tory MPs
      #More Pandas than Labour MPs
      #More Pandas than lib dem MPs

      And more chance of a baby panda being born in Scotland and immediately shouting 'Vote SNP!' than there is of a Scottish Green being elected MP.

      Delete
  11. The truth is the Union has lost Scotland. The cause was reinforced on 8th May 2015. And every day since the cause strengthens. The cause is now Justice.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "but instead indicated that she was consciously voting in line with the views of her colleagues in the Scottish Green Party."


    Fair enough, does that mean then that Caroline Lucas supports Scottish Independence?

    We need to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know she does, yes. Natalie Bennett certainly came up to support a Yes vote.

      Delete
  13. I wish folk would stop playing the Unionist game. FFA is Devo Max. Because Devo Max was the popular choice of the Scottish public, the Unionists hope to confuse voters by using a different term.
    FFA is Devo Max, use the correct name!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FFA and Devo Max are not exactly the same thing - Devo Max is broader.

      Delete
    2. The attempt by unionists to reframe the argument isn't just to avoid the fact that DevoMax is self-evidently extremely popular but to try and weasel out of all those awkward questions about why they opposed putting DevoMax on the ballot.

      Sure there are some differences but they are more than similar enough to speak of as one considering the unionists oppose both.

      Nor do I expect the SNP and Nicola to forget to mention DevoMax as Holyrood get's ever closer.

      Delete
    3. What is the difference?
      As far as i'm concerned, the Greens voted against Devo Max.
      The non politics geeks don't know what FFA is, but they know what Devo Max is, hence the name change by Westminster. SNP spokespersons need to make this clear when being interviewed.

      Delete
    4. "What is the difference?"

      Devo Max is the devolution of almost everything apart from foreign affairs and defence. That includes Full Fiscal Autonomy (so yes, the Greens voted against Devo Max), but it also includes a lot of other things as well.

      Delete
    5. I'd be fine with the SNP mentioning DevoMax every time FFA is spoken of but keep in mind we are still dealing with an overwhelming unionist media who has a grasp of scottish politics that can usually charitably be described as comical, to say the least.

      I can't wait to see just how confused and out of their depth they get now that the fop has decided to try and solve the WLQ in a mere matter of days. No need for a commission, consensus or MPs scrutiny on an issue that is a westminster byword for an intractable problem.

      Just hand it to Hague and Grayling to 'brainstorm' for a few days then attempt to rubber stamp it. Problem solved!

      What could possibly go wrong?? :-D

      Delete
    6. Your [Yes] side failed to convince the people as to your cause

      I think you mean unionists failed to convince people? No had like a 25 pt lead and steadily lost 15 points of that to end up with only a 10 point lead. Sure they didn't lose the final vote, but were not convincing people of the union at all, but losing them to independence. Recent polls suggest its now ~50/50 which might tie in with the GE results.

      http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Slide19.jpg

      Unionists were the ultimate losers (or support) during the campaign although they didn't lose the vote.

      Delete
    7. James.
      "(so yes, the Greens voted against Devo Max)"
      I think that's an unfair assessment. The reason the SGP gave for opposing FFA was that it did not come with sufficient powers over macroeconomic policy. If Devo Max was offered(including macroeconomic powers) then they might have come out in support of it.
      I don't agree with the Green view, but I think it should get a fair hearing.

      Delete
  14. Predicted pre ref TS has had and always will his own agenda if he truely loved Scotland he would step down from politics instead of causing a divide in order to gain for himself ,HOF was all about him ,his vote snp but really ssp plannig his own party and running ,well never would i want this man having anything to do with running my country ,Robin Hood ,more like pied piper ,nice smile ,good .patter .look further than the smile ,please read your modern politics ,he is a dangerous man who has lied sold his own party down the river.broken the law on more than one occasion ,just not been caught ,and yes i'll say what folk won't through fear or backlash from his groupies.please please do your research ,keep supporting snp until next election get our independence then let the people of Scotland vote for who they want ,TS is as bd as Cameron ,selfish .nasty ,and as i said dangerous ,the ones who smile and tell you all you want to hear are the most dangerous!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I voted No because The Vow said we are getting Devo Max. According to Jackie Bird, it's on its way, they just have to get rid of all this FFA nonsense first, and there were murders and fitba and SNP bad.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The Scottish election *is* the list vote. All that happens is that the calculation of the list seats for each party is started from the base of the constituency results they've achieved instead starting from zero which would happen with a pure proportional system.

    The constituency seats are treated as list seats in the calculation based on the list vote totals in order to get the final MSP numbers for each party. Treat the list vote as a "second choice" and you've got the most important part of the vote completely wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The priority of the list vote can't be emphasised enough. In Germany a version of the d'Hondt list system is used. My very politically aware German friend told me that there the List vote is seen as by far the most important and gets most attention because it determines in end effect how many seats a Party will win

      Delete
  17. On topic and ignoring the annoying troll, was Caroline Lucas actually present during the debate or did she just nip in at the end to cast her votes?

    I managed to watch most of it but don't recall seeing her there but did notice MPs from other "minority" parties including a certain Carmichael who sits amongst the SNP but with a noticable ring of empty seats around him....

    ReplyDelete
  18. Disappointed in this Green stance - it could cost them a lot of list votes in Scotland.
    I was considering it in my constituency, but not now.

    The way I see it, FFA or Devo Max is a big step towards independence.
    Now it simply looks like they can't be trusted.

    I would rather have a clear SNP majority for a second referendum, than having to depend on the Greens throwing up all sorts of conditions in the way.
    If we end up in a situation like that then fair enough, but if that arises through SNP tactical voting, it seems like we could be shooting ourselves in the foot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would rather have a clear SNP majority for a second referendum, than having to depend on the Greens throwing up all sorts of conditions in the way.

      My feeling exactly. Couldn't agree more.

      Delete
  19. Bang goes plan A then... I think. I'd like to hear what Patrick Harvie has to say on this. I wonder if he would distance himself and the Scottish branch from his southern colleagues mindset. I could be wrong here (I'm a bit of a newbie, so I probably am), but isn't The Green Party of England and Wales a separate entity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patrick Harvie spent a good bit of the afternoon talking about this subject on Twitter, and made it abundantly clear that he is opposed to Full Fiscal Autonomy.

      For good measure, he also threw in one or two sarcastic remarks aimed at SNP supporters -

      David Officer : "Crikey, there's a lot of nonsense flying around on the internet today eh? Imagine political parties having different opinions about things!"

      Patrick Harvie : "I know, how old fashioned. Why can't we all just be Team Scotland? [ducks for cover]"

      If there is some kind of hearts and minds operation aimed at getting SNP supporters to vote Green on the list, I'm not sure that sort of comment is the most obvious way of going about it. But then the Scottish Greens have always had a novel approach to public relations - they once employed James Mackenzie as their press officer.

      Delete
    2. "If there is some kind of hearts and minds operation aimed at getting SNP supporters to vote Green on the list, I'm not sure that sort of comment is the most obvious way of going about it. But then the Scottish Greens have always had a novel approach to public relations - they once employed James Mackenzie as their press officer."

      The "be nice to another political party so you can maybe get some of their second votes even though SNP supporting sites like this one consistently hammer the point that you should never ever under any circumstances ever ever vote for the Greens ever" line is pretty ridiculous at the best of times.

      The only way the Greens are going to win enough votes to get into a coalition in 2016 is if they underline the (as it happens many) reasons why they offer superior policies to the SNP. They're to the left of the SNP, they're far more radical in their approach to tackling inequality, they actually take the environment seriously and they have genuine principles that go beyond independence, to name four. About the best anyone can seem to offer for the SNP is some half-baked tactical voting argument.

      Delete
    3. "The "be nice to another political party so you can maybe get some of their second votes even though SNP supporting sites like this one consistently hammer the point that you should never ever under any circumstances ever ever vote for the Greens ever" line is pretty ridiculous at the best of times."

      Raymond, you've got the wrong end of the stick, old chap. Nobody is suggesting that the Greens should do that, other than the Greens themselves. (They aren't making a terribly good fist of it so far, hence my observation.) If you and others of like mind have managed to dissuade them from pursuing that strategy, that's something to be warmly welcomed. They should try to win votes on the merits of their arguments, rather than beg for "tactical" votes.

      "About the best anyone can seem to offer for the SNP is some half-baked tactical voting argument."

      Are you on drugs?

      Delete
  20. Should she not have listened to the elected members sent there on a very clear mandate by the Scottish people and made her own mind up on the merits of their case? I see no Scottish green MPs sent to Westminster by the Scottish electorate. Why then should ahe slavishly follow the leader of a party which polled les votes in Scotland at GE than UKIP?

    Casting her vote in this way is as undemocratic as the whipped mobs who trod through the lobbies from tories and labour who likewise did not give the SNP the benefit of at least being there to listen to the arguments put forward by a group of MPs with as clear a mandate as has been seen for many a year. Poor.

    ReplyDelete
  21. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/news-scotland-cic-newsshaft-and-beyond#/

    Any donations for these guys?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting they've chosen to go down the "X days to save NewsShaft" route. Puts them in a tricky spot if they miss the target, carry on anyway and want to come back for more funding later.

      Delete
  22. Does voting Green with your list vote not make sense in as much as if we assume that the SNP are going to get all of the constituencies in a regional list (like they did in 2011 in the North East) that makes it almost impossible for them to get a list seat according to the D'Hondt qualification which divides your total overall vote by the number of constituencies you win plus one. So last time round in the North East the SNP got all 10 constituencies giving them a divisor of 11 they got about 140,000 votes but once that was divided by 11 they only got one list seat over the quotient. Labour only got 40,000 votes but got no constituencies and so that was only divided by 1 and they got three seats. The Greens don't stand for constituencies so their qualifier will always be 1....I'm sure you can see where I am going with this....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we can. We've been round the houses several times on this. The SNP's list votes in the NE last time secured an MSP, therefore they were not wasted. If you want an SNP MSP, vote for one.

      If the right (or wrong!) number of SNP voters had deserted to the Greens/SNP on that occasion, the SNP would have lost the seat and the Conservative candidate would have got it, not the Green. Is this a wise choice?

      Even if the numbers fall out as desired (which there's absolutely no guarantee they will), the best that can realistically be achieved is to sacrifice one SNP MSP and replace him/her with one Green MSP. In what way is that a good deal, unless you're a Green? The number of people who would have to be persuaded to split their votes to achieve better than this is absolutely unrealistic and could never sensibly be imagined to happen.

      In parliamentary terms, the strategy WILL damage the SNP. The damage may be trivial, or it may be severe. If trivial, the party ends up with a working majority, just a smaller one than it might have had. If severe, it loses its majority. Which would be a very serious setback not just for the party but for the independence movement as a whole.

      If it loses its majority, then the best outcome would be a coalition with the Greens. Actually, I think this is actually why Harvie is proposing this destructive strategy - he still wants to be DFM, after being disappointed by the 2011 result which didn't result in the anticipated coalition. I can see why Green supporters like this, but from an SNP point of view it would be disastrous. Particularly in the light of recent events.

      Less likely, but still possible, is that the unionists learn their lesson from 2007 and force through a unionist grand coalition of some sort. As I said, I think that's unlikely, but if you play with fire there's always a chance you'll get burned.

      Now can YOU see where you're going with this?

      Delete
    2. "If severe, it loses its majority. Which would be a very serious setback not just for the party but for the independence movement as a whole."

      A Green/SNP coalition would be by far the most likely outcome if the SNP lost its majority. That's not a serious setback to the independence movement - in fact it's not a setback at all. It would keep the SNP honest while retaining a pro-independence majority. It would also in my opinion lead to significantly better governance of the country and a government that actually takes radical policy decisions (rather than merely paying lip service to radical politics, as the SNP has a habit of doing).

      Delete
    3. Maybe the NE List in 2011 was a bad example...after all that was unusual in as much as it was the first time any party gained all the constituencies and still got a list member.

      In 1999 Labour got all 10 Glasgow constituencies and no list members. They also got all the 9 West Coast constituencies and no list members. In 2003 they again got all the Glasgow constituencies and no list members. In 2007 nobody got all the constituencies on any one list. 2011 we have already discussed.

      If we assume that the SNP are likely to sweep the board all over the country in terms of constituencies then the chances are they will not get any list seats. As in the four times that any one party has gained all the constituencies only once has that party also got a list seat. The proportion of votes needed to switch from the SNP to Green on the list would therefore only be in the region of 20,000 to 30,000 to see the Greens getting one or two or even three seats. While the SNP would need in the region of 150,000 just to get one. Is that likely on the lists outside the North East? Can the SNP even count on the North East after all not one single North East Council voted "Yes" except Dundee. Now do you see where I'm going with this?

      Delete
  23. They lost my vote. I will telling folk exactly why as well! You don't vote with the Tories to shoot down SNP amendments. I will not forget or forgive.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Greens are getting slated here for taking the issue seriously while the SNP were intent on merely playing to the gallery - shouting loudly for full fiscal autonomy for the sole reason that they knew it would get voted down regardless. It was another case of the Greens getting it right and refusing to sell their principles down the river even when it risked making them unpopular with a section of the electorate. That's exactly why we need them in power in 2016 in a coalition.

    The fundamental difference between the two parties is that the Greens want to change society for the better and think independence is a means to an end, while the SNP think independence is an end in itself and simply adapt their platform accordingly. Everyone who can read a bar chart can see that FFA doesn't make any sense under the current circumstances: we'd be left with a shortfall of several billion in comparison to the status quo but without any of the levers required to make radical changes to our economy. Instead of tarring and feathering the Greens for stating the obvious it might be a better idea to take their views on board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Everyone who can read a bar chart can see that FFA doesn't make any sense under the current circumstances"

      Well, I can read a bar chart, so that rather disproves your point.

      "Instead of tarring and feathering the Greens for stating the obvious it might be a better idea to take their views on board."

      Wouldn't it be more honest to say 'our' rather than 'their'?

      Delete