Friday, December 4, 2015

The RISE case for "tactical voting" becomes ever clearer...

Jim Sillars has today backed the claims of RISE that it is somehow possible to vote "tactically" on the Scottish Parliament list ballot, which I think should comprehensively settle the matter for all of us, given that he was the man who thought thwarting devolution in 1997 was the best tactic for achieving independence.  In the wake of this intervention, I've had a long and illuminating exchange on Twitter with Craig Paterson of RISE, who has been one of the primary proponents of the "tactical voting" wheeze.  This is what I've learned about the RISE position -

1)  We can say with confidence that the SNP will win almost every single constituency seat (and therefore won't need any list votes), because there are only five months to go, and nothing much can possibly change in such a short period.

2)  It is absolutely LUDICROUS to point to opinion polls showing RISE with zero support, and suggest that this means they are unlikely to win any seats.  Don't you know there are still five months to go?  Anything could happen!  Anything!

3)  Voting RISE on the list cannot possibly put the SNP's overall majority at risk.  It's a completely risk-free thing to do.

4)  The only reason SNP supporters don't like RISE's "tactical votes" pitch is because it might put the SNP's overall majority at risk.  It's narrow-minded to care about that.

5)  People who prefer the SNP should vote for the SNP.  RISE have made absolutely clear - and always will make absolutely clear - that they are not seeking "tactical" votes from SNP supporters, but only from independence supporters. 

6)  Don't bother asking for any evidence that they've ever made that clear, because they haven't, and it's a totally natural thing that they haven't, because it's not their responsibility to make that clear and nobody in their right mind would expect them to.

7)  There is no such thing as an SNP supporter.  There are only independence supporters.  People who prefer the SNP because they support independence should vote for RISE instead.  This does not mean RISE are seeking the votes of people who prefer the SNP, because no such people exist.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to think they've got a point.  I just don't know what it is.

73 comments:

  1. Some people are just lunatics. Beyond hope. No point trying to persuade them of anything. Shame they still get a vote though.

    Good examples of these cretins all over the Forth Bridge story. Sneering about how the SNP will want to blame Westminster. Snark Snark. ScottP is one such over on stormfront lite. I wonder what the P stands for?

    Given that it was the Westminster government who built the bridge and left it to rot for a mere 40 years without being properly inspected or maintained then they might just have to shoulder some blame for the thing falling to bits.

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  2. Both votes SNP. Anything else is madness.

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    1. There is a case for an alternative second vote in limited circumstances.
      SNP approaching 60% of the constituency vote in the final weeks, and a single issue Independence party or 'YES' party on the list that all independence supporters can unite around.

      Some independence supporters might even prefer that as a way to keep the SNP focused on its main goal.

      The current choices are just a recipe to split the vote with none of them having mainstream support. The easiest way to look at is this:
      SNP/SNP worked last time.

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    2. You are correct about the particular circumstances in which an argument for tactical voting would be valid. This is the reason - the ONLY reason - I don't dismiss the idea absolutely.

      The issue I have with RISE, and their advocates such as Bella Caledonia, is that they dishonestly pretend those circumstances exist or are not necessary. They make out that tactical voting is a simple, risk-free strategy. And they can get extremely abusive if you point out the fallacy in this.

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  3. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 4, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    Vote Labour get rid of the Two Tory parties. Tax the rich. End foodbanks. Nationalise the Buses and Trains with no compensation. I thought a fortune had been paid to repair the Bridge. Maybe poor workmanship. Lets wait until we know the truth. Suggest two four lane tunnels.

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  4. SNP two votes. Watch out for the "divide and rule" tactics so beloved of the Imperial British who have arguably caused more trouble around the world than anyone with just that tactic. AND ignore the troll!!!

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 4, 2015 at 7:04 PM

      Poor Bill calls it British and forgets the Scots were at the forefront of Empire building, bayonets and aw. Och Ay Ra Noo Jock of the North.

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    2. Eat your cereal.

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    3. I have said on social media more than once that I am suspicious of these groups that want the SNP vote because they know that the SNP will win all the consistency seats,really and if the SNP don't win them all,because the unionist parties also voted tactically are they going to ask for a re-run? say sorry but now your done for! I will vote SNP first second and always,cant see me ever voting for any of the unionist parties and I want independence,so it must be SNP.

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    4. I was quite confused over this RISE and other Parties that are popping up , having read some of the Posts , I'll stick with SNP / SNP.

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  5. Something I like to do when responding to tactical voting cries from RISE is to respond as though they were tactical voting cries from Solidarity.

    Since, other than their opinion of Tommy Sheridan, their policies seem to be identical, so why not treat them as interchangeable?

    Mostly it's just to wind them up, but it also makes a point about the fractured nature of "the left" in Scotland.

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    1. I don't have any personal preference between RISE and Solidarity, but I must say I find it slightly creepy and Orwellian that RISE insist on talking as if Solidarity don't even exist.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 4, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      Give both a body swerve James. Cultists damage the brain.

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    3. Eat your cereal.

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  6. I had a verbal ding dong with the same fella a few weeks ago after his last Bella article.

    Black is white unfortunately when it comes to Mr Paterson & his comrades over at Rise.

    Also got the distinct impression he cared little for your contributions too James!

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  7. the point is they want your vote. I'm considering voting tactically myself on the list (Green where I am) but only if I think it will work. Green in some regions is the best bet for a tactical vote. I'll look and see the polls closer to the time do the sums and make an assessment. There is plenty of evidence out there to do so. Not all of it is perfect but there are national polls, some with regional breakdowns, trends over time, historical regional and local to national relationships and canvassing data. That will inform my 2nd vote. If I think SNP are definite in the 9 seats (and I currently do) and if I see a list vote trend that is lower (when I extrapolate to my region) that I think they'll get nothing on the list then I'll shift and vote green. And I'm a member of the SNP ansd I couldn't give a phuq about gay membership rules.

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    1. That "sweet spot" you yearn for, where the SNP is certain to ace all the constituencies but equally certain not to achieve any list seats, quite possibly doesn't even exist. If the party is doing well enough to be sure of all the constituencies in a region, it's virtually certain to be doing well enough to be in with a decent shout at a list seat. Wings has explained the arithmetic, and how d'Hondt arithmetic somewhat favours large parties in that respect.

      Even if the sweet spot does exist, the likelihood of anyone being able to spot it before the polls close is microscopic.

      And in the current climate, the further away the Greens stay from power the better pleased I am. Sure, I'd prefer them to a unionist party, but this ploy isn't planning to sacrifice unionist votes for Green seats, it's planning to sacrifice SNP votes for Green seats. Where would we be right now if the Greens had been able to influence the decision to build the Fifth Brodge?

      ("Gay membership rules"?)

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    2. The sweet spot as you call it does exist...it's a direct function of the d'hondt system...the problem is the data to identify it especially when green are not my preferred vote, snp are....hence you err on the side of cautioneand only of you're reasonably confident snp will win the constituencies but get f all on the list do you switch...it's perfectly reasonable and in fact the correct strategy....you can say what you like but you can't explain why it's wrong with proper reasoned analysis...there is a lot of data out there that can be used to assess the likely outcome of the election.....I will wager with anyone that I can predict the outcome of every seat in my region one of the crucial variables in determining the list allocation.....closer to the time I'll wager on the list in my region (mid Scotland and fife) too....let's see who cannae call it if you're so sure....pit yer money whaur yer smooth is

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    3. I've been very clear on the data sources but I'll say them again:

      Polls over time at a Scotland level
      Polls over time at a regional level
      Historical relationships between national and regional and local
      Canvassing data
      Relationships from national data between voting I intentions and likely explanatories including age, sex and socio-economic stuff and their distribution at a local level

      Use that err on the snp side of caution, pit the nummers in the d'hondt calculation and if you think snp will get nuhin on the list switch....THAT is my mid Scotland and fife strategy

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  8. Of course James doesn't see any point in voting for RISE. If you aren't a socialist and think the SNP are perfect already then there's no point in voting for anyone else.

    The reason RISE exists is because the SNP aren't providing what RISE stands for. They're a million miles away from the socialism of Colin Fox. They aren't an environmental party - no party that's wedded to fossil fuels the way the SNP are can be viewed as Green. And we know that barring some massive change in polling or circumstances they won't call another referendum after this election.

    If you want actual radical change then there's an option on the ballot paper - and anyone is welcome to come to the conference tomorrow and take part in what will be a true democratic vote on policy. It's only £2 entrance and nobody will be turned away.

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    1. I like Colin Fox and wish his party well in an independent Scotland. I appreciate that the party is going to want to stand even pre-independence and that's fair enough. But trying to hoodwink list votes from unwary SNP supporters on the basis of false, lying claims is simple not on.

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    2. James doesn't see any point in voting tactically for RISE and he's right due to the electoral system. You can't realistically cheat it. At best you'll be as successful as the SNPOUT lot were in May.

      If you removed your first sentence, then you have real reasons for people to vote for RISE, e.g. on the list vote.

      People should vote for parties they want in government / policies they want to see implemented.

      It's tactical voting in a PR system that's silly and what James keeps rightly pointing out to people.

      I'm sure James would once again tell people to vote for RISE if they support RISE. That's up to them.

      Cheers,

      SS

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    3. Given that the SSP nearly collapsed not that long ago, and the Scottish Greens are split on independence, who is going to be the main political party in delivering independence, other than the SNP?

      Nobody argues that the SNP are perfect, far from it in fact. They have their flaws and blind spots. But you cannot pretend that the SSP/RISE and the Scottish Greens are not flawed as well.

      The left in Scotland, and in the UK, are notoriously prone to fighting among themselves, factionism usually develops, and gets out of all control, so much that they usually end up hating each other more than their opponents. The Greens tend to be very PC inclined, object to any motorway being proposed, and their leader in Scotland was near enough visibly reluctant to actually campaign for independence; so much so that Nicola Sturgeon had to almost coax and encourage Harvie along in the Yes campaign, and a few of their activists are Duncan Hothersallesque...

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    4. I agree with this...green are definitely 2nd choice..I suppose I prefer them to a nawbag. Hence I need convinced snp won't get anything on the list to make me shift. The debate is really about that not what's the better party which is clearly snp.Anyway, I'll wait and see...and be tactical...I think it's good if others do too. But snp / snp is also great of course

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  9. SNP/SNP only way to guarantee SNP working majority. RISE are divisive and factional. No real policies to promote so they resort to this misleading nonsense.

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  10. SNP/SNP only way to guarantee SNP working majority. RISE are divisive and factional. No real policies to promote so they resort to this misleading nonsense.

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  11. Jim Sillars voted for his wife for the list vote from 2003 to 2011. If she hadn't stood would the SNP had a list member elected for Lothians. We will never know. Here in the North East we did get an additional list seat despite winning all constituencies. It could happen in the other electoral regions too if the SNP list vote is high enough.

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    1. Very true. Sillars suggested SNP list votes in Lothian were "wasted" because the SNP won so many constituencies, but that's only one-half of the story. The other reason they didn't win a list seat in Lothian is simply that they didn't get enough list votes there.

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  12. Rise--Love their logo---Going round in little circles, how very appropriate

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    1. Hmm. What comes to my mind is the image of a dog going round and round in circles, chasing its own tail...

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  13. SNP/SNP in May 2016

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  14. Let's not put the cart afore the horse, get a referendum delivered first; the assured way of doing this, voe SNP/SNP May 2016.

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  15. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 4, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    Vote Labour, Nat sis and lefties are bad for your health. Dan Jarvis for PM.

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  16. Seriously - any comment that contains no content other than to tell someone to **** off will be deleted from now on.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 4, 2015 at 11:49 PM

      Certainly not my language James inspite of a poster making Rue D Remarks about my parents sometime back.

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    2. Eat your cereal.

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  17. Does Sillars really want Scottish independence? It just seems that he lobs big spanners in the works all the time, whenever indy seems to be getting a bit closer. You know my position so it doesn't bother me - it must infuriate you lot though!

    Well done for keeping the blog an open forum James. You are a guardian of free speech. I shall try to avoid gloating and nastiness as much as possible from now on. Although a certain degree of mischief is only in my nature! :0)

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    1. If Oldham was anything to go by, it should be fairly easy for you to avoid gloating in the near future. It was...

      ***puts on Canadian accent***

      ...another terrrrr-ible night for the Conservatives.

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    2. They'll win the long game. Who now remembers Labour's by election triumph in Glenrothes in 2008? It was sold as a Brown fightback. 18 months later he was out on his ear.

      Nice to see you're now a red tory though!

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 12:46 AM

      Aldo, the Labour strategy for Glenrothes was one of their best. It took the Nats by surprise and the Nats took it on board. The Nats now have thousands that can turn out by tweet. Even taking a day aff work! They can spin a hard done tae story and make people believe it. That wurkin class bloke in Newcastle is better aff than me, you know that kind of divisive nonsense. They have become experts at moaning. I would not like tae be locked up in a cell with one of them. Top yerself ye wid.

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    4. If I found myself in a prison cell with a yesser I would probably have him converted to unionism within a few days.

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    5. That's the most disturbing euphemism for suicide I've ever heard.

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    6. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 1:28 AM

      I would prefer Connie Francis records tae a Nat. I could cry maself tae sleep.

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    7. I would prefer the Carpenters. Don't know any Connie Francis - but I know the Carpenters are bloody depressing.

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    8. The ex yesser would emerge from the cell, swearing allegiance to the Queen and extolling the virtues of the Pound Sterling and our military efforts in the middle east. Not suicide - for the first time, he would really be living!

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    9. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 2:03 AM

      The good thing about Scotland is the virgins are spoken for so the Nats hiv tae use peacefull means tae get independence..

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    10. Eat your cereal.

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  18. I have to be convinced that my list vote wont be wasted in H&I. Nor can the SNP be assured of my constituency vote either. I am going to wait until closer the time before making my mind up. But to be brutally honest none of the Indy Parties are doing anywhere enough to get my vote right the now. I wont vote for any Brit Nat Party either. The way things are going and with the less than convincing noises coming out of the SNP right the now then I can see me spoiling my ballot paper.

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  19. RISE / SSP / Solidarity - what the hell is it with the socialists that they can't agree on anything long enough to form a cohesive political force for longer than 5 minutes? As a tory, I say long may it continue. But the tory party has eurosceptics, europhiles, moderates, one nationers, Thatcherites, libertarians, Christians - somehow all these people come together and work together. Why can't socialists compromise on minor issues? Surely they now realise that splintering leads to electoral oblivion?

    Or maybe they don't actually want power, but just enjoy self glorification and getting burds in the sack.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 12:49 AM

      Judean peoples front, splitters.

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    2. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 12:56 AM

      Strange you should mention ra burds. Some of them were howlers. I have walked past better lookers at the Barraland and Dennistoun Palais.

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    3. Eat your cereal.

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    4. You can trace most of the division back to the Tommy Sheridan fiasco, but that's why RISE is necessary. We've seen in the past that the left can work together and be a success in Scottish elections. That's what RISE is supposed to achieve and I'd encourage anyone who wants real socialism to back it.

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    5. Is Alan McCombes involved?

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    6. I reckon that if there is one thing Scottish independence supporters can be 100% cast-iron certain about it is that RISE has not been, is not, and never will be, necessary.

      Hang on...is that three things?

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  20. "I have walked past better lookers at the Barraland and Dennistoun Palais."

    Of course you have, walking past them is the best you can hope for...

    Apologies for troll feeding.

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      Is it compulsory for some Nats and lefties tae be bitter nasty types devoid of a sense of humour!

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    2. Away and eat your cereal ladyboy. You are not welcome here.

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    3. I do have a sense of humour, as I laugh at your posts all the time. You are a natural, attention seeking comedian, like your hero Farage.

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  21. One thing missing from this excellent summary of the RISE arguments for tactical voting is the insulting insistence that anyone who questions their Magic Pick 'n' Mix Parliament Plan is motivated solely by blind allegiance to the SNP.

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    1. I fear that my own vote is being taken for granted by the SNP right the now. I don't much like that feeling.

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    2. If your SNP vote was being taken for granted then people like myself and James Kelly wouldn't be putting so much effort into questioning the claims being made regarding a tactical voting strategy.

      I don't speak for the SNP, but at every meeting I have attended the talk has been of the need to win votes. There is no complacency. Nobody is taking anything for granted. The need to secure an SNP majority is far too important for anybody to be sanguine about it.

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    3. Peter speaks the truth and there's plenty of polling evidence to confirm that the vast majority of SNP voters and supporters certainly don't feel their vote is being taken for granted.

      For that matter the Syria bombing shambles and circus at Westminster has had quite an effect. Not just in demonstrating clearly that Nicola, Alex and the MPs and MSPs are doing precisely what scots who voted for them want them to do by representing them and giving them a voice, but at a local level people who haven't been so active lately are finding their way back to meetings and SNP hubs.

      I'd also point out that the sun hasn't exactly been splitting the trees lately - to say the least, ;-) - yet on the west coast and indeed just about everywhere else in Scotland (which you can check via social media) the door chapping, leafleting, town stalls, canvassing, meetings and the rest not only have not stopped but haven't stopped since MAY.

      We aren't talking about a couple of weeks of intensive by-election (or council etc.) activity but a rolling campaign that has managed to keep going all through the 'summer' (aye right! summer!? :D ) into the autumn and even through the long dark nights of winter. Has all that activity been at the kind of pace and intensity of a Holyrood or GE? Obviously not, but rest assured, it's been there and I know for a fact there are areas that used to struggle to have the kind of activity during an election that they now get even in the most politically 'dry' times like high summer and the winter.

      Make no mistake, the game has changed. If the unionist parties or indeed any other party think they'll get by in Scotland with just a frenetic month or so of activity during an election campaigns anymore then they have lost the plot. If they actually believe that then they must be listening to the same out of touch London media chattering classes and Westminster bubble twits who have made such a fool of themselves this week.

      Incidently, one thing which we've been busy with all over Scotland and which makes a HUGE difference at this time of year is trying to help out at and donating to food banks. I frankly don't care if you are SNP, Green, Rise, Solidarity or whoever but filling a bag or two of food staples and finding the local drop-off point near you really isn't difficult but you can be certain it's going to make a MASSIVE difference at this time of year. Some of Scotland's poorest families and pensioners get hit by big heating and electricity bills and need all the help they can get folks. :)

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    4. "The need to secure an SNP majority is far too important for anybody to be sanguine about it."

      We keep hearing grandiose statements like this as if the SNP are the guardians of independence - and daring to vote for anyone else is risking our chance of achieving it. In all likelihood the SNP are going to get a majority after this election and choose not to hold a referendum. RISE would call another referendum in that position and yet you're telling us that we're the ones risking independence.

      If the SNP put in their manifesto a cast iron guarantee to hold another referendum if they win a majority then I'll happily back them, but we know they're not going to do that. As such the SNP have made this election about policy, not independence, and it's no surprise people who want actual socialism rather than New Labour-lite centrism will turn to socialist parties as a result.

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    5. Explain how we get to independence without an SNP majority government.

      Nobody is saying the SNP are the "guardians" of independence. But it is an undeniable fact that they are the only party in a position to be the political arm of the independence movement. We know they are the only party in a position to be the political arm of the independence movement BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ANOTHER ONE.

      RISE is NOT going to form the next Scottish Government. Therefore, RISE is NOT going to be in a position to call another referendum.

      An SNP administration WILL call another referendum. Nicola Sturgeon has made it abundantly clear that she is only waiting on evidence of demand from the people of Scotland. So, a second referendum isn't up to the SNP. And it certainly isn't up to RISE. It is up to US.

      If you genuinely want a second referendum and independence then the SNP is the only way.

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  22. There is only one certainty attached to the SNP vote-splitting plan of RISE (and Solidarity) and that is, that if it works, it will reduce the chances of the SNP gaining list seats. All else is speculation.....mebbes aye.....mebbes no. In NE Scotland in 2011, if 2000 of the voters who voted SNP in the list had voted for SSP or Solidarity, the seat that the SNP won would have gone to the Tories. Therefore I have as much (or more) justification as any of the RISE or Solidarity supporters to make the wild statement "Vote RISE or Solidarity, and let a Tory in!"

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    1. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 5, 2015 at 6:54 PM

      The Nats have voted not to attack Islamic fascists. How then can they be trusted to defend us if we are directly attacked.
      I reckon if an independent Scotland attempts to negotiate its way into the EU the French will say Merde.

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    2. Is taking the pish out of the Glasgow working class the only thing you do? Or do you still find time to eat your crayons?

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    3. Glasgow Working ClassDecember 8, 2015 at 1:32 AM

      Ting, It is me takin the piss, you are biting ya mug. Never assume you are the the smart arse. Eat yer tattie crisps.

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  23. ..and don`t forget the cereal either!

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  24. Watch out for that tree !

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