Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Green party member who wants people to vote tactically in a non-tactical sort of way

I was more than a little dismayed to see a link on Facebook to a blogpost by Green party member Morag Hannah, which can be roughly summarised as follows : "You should vote for whoever you want on the list.  That's what the voting system was designed for.  No-one should vote tactically on the list.  I don't believe in tactical voting.  However, you should probably vote Green on the list because SNP list votes will be wasted and will only help the unionist parties.  But whatever you do, don't vote tactically.  I don't believe in tactical voting."

I was even more dismayed to see people on Facebook say they had been confused until they read Morag's post, but suddenly everything was clear!

Without wanting to go over the whole issue all over again, I just want to draw attention to three specific inaccurate claims in Morag's post -

1)  She graciously concedes that it's not a "dead cert" that the SNP will win almost every constituency seat in May, but claims that polling evidence means it's "very likely indeed" that they will (thus ensuring they won't need any list seats to retain their majority).  The reality, of course, is that recent polls from Panelbase and YouGov have put the SNP on 50% of the constituency vote - exactly where they were in the UK general election when they fell short in three constituencies, and only won very narrowly in another four (and that was out of 59 constituencies, rather than the 73 constituencies that will be up for grabs in the Holyrood election).  If the polls are overestimating the SNP slightly, or if there is any sort of slippage at all over the next three months, it is eminently possible that the SNP could fail to win a significant number of constituency seats.  It's true that TNS are still giving the SNP well over 50% of the vote, but from the way Morag is talking you'd be forgiven for thinking TNS are the only polling firm.

2) Morag claims there has been a "massive increase in support for smaller leftwing parties" since 2011, and prays in aid a "900% increase" in Green party membership.  It's difficult to know whether to laugh or cry at this point, because it really shouldn't be necessary to point out that increases in support and increases in membership are not the same thing.  In 2011, the Greens received 87,060 list votes - from what I can gather, that's roughly nine times as many people as are currently Green party members.  Yes, it's possible that an increase in membership is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of wider support, but where is the evidence for that?  The Greens are currently getting approximately the same polling numbers as they got immediately before the 2011 election.  Their share of the vote in the 2015 general election only increased from 0.7% to 1.3% - and that's in spite of the fact that they stood in twelve more constituencies than in 2010.  (And yes, we know that some people probably think that the SNP's landslide last year was only won as a result of a "mass tactical vote" by "green left liberals", but let's get real, shall we?)

3) Morag claims that the SNP only want people to vote for them on the list so they can boast they got so many votes that they "literally broke the system", and not because they think it will affect their number of MSPs by "a single jot".  Unfortunately she's contradicting herself there, because she's already asserted that the SNP can "only" hope to win one list seat per region.  As it happens, the Greens' realistic ambitions on the list are remarkably similar to that - except perhaps in Lothian, they're unlikely to win two seats in any region.  So it doesn't seem unfair to point out that the SNP are asking for list votes for much the same reason as the Greens - they're actually trying to win list seats.  Vile, isn't it?

68 comments:

  1. Sorry to come in with an off topic on the first post James, but just to let you know Ipsos/Mori are doing a new poll - voter intentions, party leader rating etc.
    From some of the questions and remarks the interviewer made, I think it was commissioned by STV.
    Now, on topic - SNP x 2!!

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    1. Yes, that would make sense - the STV poll is quarterly, and I think the last one was in November.

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  2. I've voted Green as 2nd choice up to 2007 then changed to giving my 2nd vote to the SNP and will do until we are independent end of.

    The Green Party need to be taken to task over this as this perpetual lie is showing that they are no better than Labour in their lack of integrity especially over this issue.

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  3. The Green Party like to present themselves as morally superior to everyone else but they do lie repeatedly

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  4. This is a true statement: Under the D'Hondt method, it's possible tactical voting for list seats could work in SP16 in one or more of the 8 regions.

    It's a mistake not to think of each of the 8 regions as a separate vote. For example Borders SNP/SNP but Lothian SNP/Green is a solid arguable position to take.

    As a Lothian voter, and this is the only region I’m willing to advocate this tactic for, I will vote SNP/Green. I've conducted my own analysis and it stacks up. If I were in most other constituencies I would go SNP/SNP.

    Remember 2011 no SNP list MSPs in Lothian despite a massive and ultimately wasted 110,953 list votes but we got a single Green MSP through tactical voting with a mere 21,505 votes.

    SNP will romp the FPP constituencies, in 2011 they got 8 from 9, Chisholm scraped his for SLAB but will be ousted this time so 9/9 this time.

    So SNP will be one up in Lothian on the constituencies alone and we could get one more for a pro-indie party at the expense of the Tories. It would be a shame to let a Tory get that list seat. So we wee a difference in Lothian of:
    SNP +1
    Green +1
    SLAB -1
    Tory -1

    I reiterate that this is advice for Lothian only, which has the strongest argument for tactical voting of the 8 regions.

    I know you don’t want voter confusion James and don’t want to put at risk another SNP majority but this is not complex and the Lothian demographic along with polling data would have to change drastically for this not to be a good idea for indie fans.

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    1. The result in Lothian was affected last time by the presence of Margo. Have you taken that into account?

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    2. It's far to early to make decisions presuming SNP will win most constituencies. See how the polls look in the final week.

      Personally, if it came down to an SNP or Green candidate winning just one list seat in each region, I would prefer the SNP guy due to the Greens attitude on road building/improvements. And the potential for them to use as a bargaining chip if their votes are needed.
      It's not as if Scotland has the greatest road network anyway - with many major roads remaining un-dualled.
      If the Greens had their way, we wouldn't be getting a new Forth bridge.

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    3. "Under the D'Hondt method, it's possible tactical voting for list seats could work in SP16 in one or more of the 8 regions."

      Here are two more true statements :

      1) Under the d'Hondt method, it's possible that an attempt at 'tactical voting' could backfire in any region.

      2) 'Tactical voting' has very little meaning if there's a reasonable prospect at the moment you cast your vote that it will have a counter-productive effect. It's 'gambling voting'.

      It's wildly premature to say that the SNP will "romp" the constituencies in Lothian of all regions. They're vulnerable (ironically to tactical voting, which does work in constituencies) in several seats. As Anon has said, you also have to factor in the list votes for Margo MacDonald - if those are votes that for the most part would otherwise have gone to the SNP, it affects one of your basic assumptions.

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    4. Thanks for the reply James. I agree with your true statement also that tactical voting can backfire.

      I already mentioned 'Lothian demographic along with polling data would have to change drastically for this not to be a good idea' so of course if things did change and there was a reasonable risk in Lothian that this would backfire I would go SNP/SNP.

      Until this indication exists though, I will plan my vote as SNP/Green. So there will be nothing 'wildly premature' in this tactic. It will be logical and be based on the best available data right up to the time of voting. I want my second vote to stand the best chance of being meaningful.

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  5. "I [saw] people on Facebook say they had been confused until they read Morag's post, but suddenly everything was clear!"

    Good to know, thanks - with folk misrepresenting the Holyrood system all over the place it's heartening to know I've been able to help clarify things :-)

    Less heartening (I won't say 'dismayed' as you have twice in your own article as I cannot pretend to such sensitivity over the topic!) was your misrepresentation of my own stance, but it's understandable as your characterisation of my article tells me you perhaps missed a few key areas in the second half. I appreciate that it was perhaps a little long - like many bloggy types I'm quite fond of spouting off. I'll highlight a couple of key quotes here that will perhaps clarify just exactly how many shits I could give about (a) the SNP being safe in their parliamentary majority and (b) how people who don't believe in Green policies vote.

    "I don’t care how big the SNP’s majority is. I don’t even care if they get one. I don’t want Scottish independence to come at the cost of political diversity. I need to be honest about that. I don’t care about the SNP losing seats from people voting Green, and to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous."

    "I am arguing for [one vote each way] if and only if that is the world they’d prefer to see. If they don’t care who’s in opposition (or if they’d prefer it was Labour than the Greens), then fine."

    Argue against the electoral arithmetic speculations in my article all you like - the experts and pollsters are backing and forthing on it, no reason we shouldn't. But it's a partial reading indeed that takes my article as in any way dishonest about my own preferences, or as a call for non-green-supporters to lend out their vote. I am explicit that it is not. I don't think the Greens deserve a single vote from anyone who doesn't believe in their policies any more than anyone else does.

    So if you want to chuck both votes at the SNP? Go ahead; good luck to you. I am doing nothing in that article beyond first presenting my perception of the facts as I understand them, second laying out my own biases and desires, and third entreating folk to vote for who they like.

    I've been a fan of PR many years longer than I've been a member of the Scottish Greens. Indeed fair representation is my main reason for supporting independence. Scotland's system can and will deliver the parliament its people votes for, no more, no less. We should be celebrating that, not squabbling over it.

    -Morag

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    1. "Good to know, thanks - with folk misrepresenting the Holyrood system all over the place it's heartening to know I've been able to help clarify things :-)"

      Apologies, I'll add the "SARCASM ALERT" disclaimer in future to avoid confusion.

      It was always going to be possible for you to cherry-pick parts of your article in an attempt to claim that I had misrepresented you, because your argument is completely contradictory, hence my summary at the top. I can assure you I read the piece in full, and it seemed to me that all of your insistence that you don't approve of tactical voting (and that you're just pitching for votes from people who want the type of opposition to the SNP that the Greens can provide) is thoroughly disingenuous. If that was really the case, you would simply have made your pitch for a Green vote on its own merits - all the bogus claims about the electoral system, about the SNP's objectives in asking for list votes, and about the current polling evidence, are entirely redundant if you are being honest about your intentions.

      I'm not sure I'd dignify your claims about electoral arithmetic as "speculation" - some of them are totally ill-founded, and simply don't stand up to any objective scrutiny. For example, as RevStu has pointed out on Twitter, the jump from one list seat to a second under d'Hondt is much less difficult for a party that has nine or ten constituency seats than it is for a party with zero constituency seats. So your claim that there is an absolute limit of one list seat in any region for the SNP makes no sense whatever.

      As I'm sure you're aware, your pejorative reference to "chucking" both votes "at" the SNP is pure spin. For the vast majority of people, giving both votes to their first-choice party is the norm. If anything, the purpose of having two distinct votes is not to encourage people to give the list vote to their second-choice or third-choice party, but to allow for some discretion on the constituency vote if their preferred candidate for a constituency MSP is not from their favourite party.

      Finally, I must say it's a bit rich for you to accuse me of "sensitivity" and of "squabbling" - it's blindingly obvious from both the tone and content of your piece that you're absolutely hopping mad about people who dare to use the "both votes SNP" slogan.

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    2. Just to amplify the point about electoral arithmetic, here is your direct quote -

      "Basically this means that if the SNP sweep every constituency in a region, their share of the list vote becomes next to irrelevant because unless they get literally 100% of the vote they can physically only get one seat regardless."

      So you're claiming - and there's no ambiguity over this - that unless the SNP get "literally" 100% of the vote, they can only win one list seat in any region. OK, let's test that. How many list seats in a region would the SNP win with 95% of the vote? That's right - all seven. Do you understand that or don't you?

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    3. Oh, please, we're honing in on my use of casual, colloquial language and gentle exaggeration? *yawn*

      My article is _about_ attempts at tactical voting, and I guess at least implicitly _about_ attempts by the SNP to spin the system to imply that if folk don't vote for them on both ballots it will LITERALLY (YES LITERALLY) bring about the end times (cf the Wings article "#bothvotessnp Or A Seven-Headed Beast Will LITERALLY Rise From The Sea").

      I wrote it because I'm a fan of PR and for being able to vote for what you want to see in parliament, because I like AMS, and because I want to convince Scottish Greens supporters (ie: People Who Already Know Our Policies And Like Them) that chucking (oooOOOoooh, 'chucking'!) their list vote at the Greens won't LITERALLY dissolve the prospect of an independent Scotland forever. And because it was a Facebook status update I made to my mates a few weeks ago that I told Andy at geek.scot I'd expand into some click bait for him.

      So yes, the article is about the voting system, and about the results of voting under that system, not about policy. I think I'm pretty explicit that I'd be quite happy if the Greens took seats off the SNP (cf my article: "...if votes sent other ways erode [the SNP's majority]... good") though so I'm not sure what gave you the impression that was a hidden agenda for me! :-)

      I _could_ write about policy instead, I suppose, but it's just not as fun.

      "the purpose of having two distinct votes is not to encourage people to give the list vote to their second-choice or third-choice party, but to allow for some discretion on the constituency vote"

      Lol, hang on, I thought the 'purpose' of the Holyrood system was an evil Labour-led conspiracy to keep the poor SNP from getting a majority? Get on message, man!

      Anyway, again, I'm not trying to win over SNP voters here. As per usual, I would be delighted if just the people who actually support Green policies would think about voting Green with, like, half of their vote. I'm sorry that that's so upsetting for you. (Oh wait: not sorry; that other thing.)

      Characterise me as angry if you like - I know my aggressive manner can be a little terrifying to those of an easily-dismayed disposition - but I'm about as far from my high horse as it gets right now. Hobby-horse at best. Hobby-troll, really. ;-)

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    4. OK, I'll try and wade through all of that and see if I can find some actual content in there somewhere.

      First of all, you seem to be saying that your claim that the SNP would "literally" need 100% of the vote to take more than one list seat in any region was not meant to be taken seriously, and that you knew when you wrote it that it wasn't true. Is that correct? If so, perhaps you should tell us how many of the other bogus claims in your article are subject to being redefined as hilarious postmodern irony, because I'm not sure the distinction will be obvious to the average reader. Most people will have taken you at your word when you told them that you were going to explain to them how the voting system works, and will have assumed that the claims you made are true to the best of your knowledge, and are not the opposite of the truth.

      Your suggestion that it's SNP supporters who are trying to misrepresent the voting system to persuade supporters of other parties to vote SNP is so Orwellian that it's difficult to know where to start. But to use the word you began your own article with, it's bollocks, and we both know that. The idea that the voting system can be "hacked" if only people will abandon their first-choice party on the list has been entirely put about by Green, RISE and Solidarity supporters, with SNP supporters as their target. Your article goes through the full repertoire of false claims and misdirections that we've come to know and love, but tries to do it in a deniable way by saying : "Seriously, SNP list voters, you'll be wasting your vote if you don't switch to the Greens, but hey, that's a good thing! Wasting your vote is cool! Go right ahead!" Come off it, Morag. People aren't quite as stupid as you take them for.

      "Lol, hang on, I thought the 'purpose' of the Holyrood system was an evil Labour-led conspiracy to keep the poor SNP from getting a majority? Get on message, man!"

      Clearly this is going to shock you (lol, lol, lol, etc), but I've never been on-message on that point. It always seemed obvious to me that Labour watered down AMS to give themselves an outside chance of an overall majority. The legend about them trying to thwart an SNP majority seems to derive from a single throwaway response that Jack McConnell gave to Brian Taylor at a press conference, back in the mists of time.

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    5. Okay I am literally bored to death now so I'm literally going to stop answering after this, but I wasn't implying that I didn't believe my own speculation about plausible voting outcomes, only that my use of 'literally' was colloquial, and that discussions of '100%' of anything are a bit daft - I thought obviously so.

      As to the rest of this it's all getting a bit meta-ironic for me so I think I'll leave you to it. As I wasn't looking for the votes of SNP supporters anyway (did I mention?), it's neither my obligation nor my inclination to talk you round, because actually? Lots of people are (literally) _exactly_ as stupid as I take them for, and no amount of my persuasion would have the slightest effect on them, so I won't be bothering. :-)

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    6. Farewell, Morag. I do feel that I'm going to be a bit lost without another helping of your riveting blend of sneering and passive-aggressiveness, but I dare say I'll find a way of passing the time somehow.

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    7. Sorry, I'll try to be more aggressive-aggressive next time :-)

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    8. You could just try being more accurate, and then we'll all be happy.

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  6. I recall Labour and the Lib Dems fighting over list votes when they were in coalition government. Worked out well for them didn't it?

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    1. In 2003, the Lib Dems made much the same pitch to Labour voters that the Greens , RISE and Solidarity are currently making to SNP voters, and I can't see that it had any effect at all. Ironically, their constituency vote rose and their list vote fell!

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  7. For a Green and presumably scientifically minded Party the Greens need to apply some basic scientific testing to back up their suppositions. A few scenario runs of voting intentions would lead her to a lucky bag of mixed results, not all or which would be to her Party's liking; like the Tories getting in and the Green's being disadvantaged by that in the long term.

    The Greens, the Party who let the Tories in to replace sLabour.

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    1. I don't think you can pin that on the Greens - at least not solely. The Labour party in Scotland has been all but destroyed by a nationalist hate campaign since the referendum. If the tories overtake them it's largely due to this.

      Aldo

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    2. Rather than a nationalist hate campaign, I'd suspect Labour have been destroyed in Scotland due to common platforming with the Tories (hence if you want a Tory, you might as well vote for a real one), their habit of courageously abstaining for austerity, and teir duplicity over the Smith Commission

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    3. They shared a platform on one issue. Both parties - Labour and Conservative - are openly pro UK and have always been so. It made sense that they cooperated to keep the United Kingdom together. If the Scottish people cannot stomach someone agreeing with a conservative even occasionally then I put it to you that they are politically immature and therefore unfit for self government.

      Aldo

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    4. You sound like the British government in the 60s telling black people in Rhodesia that they're not ready for majority rule.

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    5. Not quite sure how you reach that conclusion. Healthy democracies require a left-right balance. America has it. Spain, France, Germany etc - all have a 'left' and 'right' force in their political set up. Scotland doesn't. Scotland demonises the right. It would therefore tend toward profligacy and statism with no one to hold it back because anyone who dares disagree is vilified. So, on that basis, Scotland is not yet politically mature enough to become independent.

      There are some encouraging signs however - the recent YouGov poll puts tories + UKIP on 23% of the votes. If we can get that to about 40%, then we'll be a normal democracy - not before.

      Aldo

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    6. You're a comedian, Aldo. America does not have a left/right balance. It has a right/extreme right balance.

      If that's immaturity, maybe we should recolonise them.

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    7. I don't think Obama could be construed as particularly right wing - and certainly not Bernie Sanders, currently very much in the running to become the next President.

      I like how in America you can be anything - say anything - and it's seen as a positive engagement. Their right to free speech is enshrined in the constitution - not like over here where every debate is loaded with tripwires that you daren't activate for fear of landing yourself out of a job or in a police cell. I expect we would see much more of this Orwellian stuff in an independent Scotland, not less of it.

      Aldo

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  8. Yup for "tactical voting" read "gambling".
    Picture paints a thousand words and all that - this chaps graph gives you a qualitative feel for what happens as green vote increases. Its very risky for SNP majority.

    http://www.arcofprosperity.org/green-list-voting/

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    1. Why risk giving succour to the unionists?

      SNP x 2 for me.

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    2. SNP x 2 is a gamble in itself - the greater the number of constituencies won, the less useful a list vote for the same party becomes.

      Or, if you split the vote, it might not have the desired effect and the unionists come through the middle - but they might do that with SNP x 2 anyway.

      It's a double edged sword.

      For those of us who appreciate the realpolitik of the situation, our eyes are on the likely June referendum for in / out of the EU. This will have a far more profound effect on Scotland's political landscape than anything that may happen on May 5th. An SNP victory followed by a 'remain' vote means another 5 years of stalemate and unionists can relax a bit.

      Aldo

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  9. No thanks to any unionist keeping their seats. I used to like te Greens, they now seem to be on par with labour, particularly their disdain for the SNP, they should be working with and supporting the SNP. Do the greens think that a unionist party, will ever do anything to improve land rights for the people ofScotland and end the feudal system. We need independence in order to take things forward for Scotland, the unionists are intent on not just staying still, but taking things backwards! Come on Greens, ditch your hatred of the SNP, help us get Indy, then you will be on a firmer footing, with your integrity intact. SNPx2 is a must.

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    1. So that'll be why so many greens voted for the SNP in the GE and intend to do so again at constituency level? Oooh a tactical vote. My word! Some people need to engage brain before, well just engage your brain why don't you.

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    2. "So that'll be why so many greens voted for the SNP in the GE and intend to do so again at constituency level?"

      We're going to need some evidence for the first part of that claim. The second part is a bit of a nonsense, because the Greens for the most part aren't standing at constituency level this year.

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    3. I voted Green in 2015 because I had a Green candidate. I don't think I know a single Green _without_ a candidate who didn't vote SNP (and I know a fair few!) - even some who are opposed to independence. I ALSO know some Greens who voted SNP in SPITE of having a Green candidate available, because they were in a seat where they were worried they were in a marginal and chose to vote tactically to keep unionist parties out.

      Personally I won't be completing my constituency ballot this year, but if I thought I was in an SNP marginal I probably would.

      And yes, that's anecdata, but then, I'm not sure if any real data exists for this particular question. A look at the Scottish Greens Facebook page over the time of the GE would've made it abundantly clear to any casual observer that most unmoored Greens were very likely to vote SNP - even though many Greens are actually former Lib Dems. The other evidence would be the fact that policy for policy the SNP are the closest party to the SGP, even if the SGP are rather further to the left.

      To be fair; that doesn't mean I agree with the characterisation of the anon above - I don't think the SNP _owes_ me anything if I vote for them, and I certainly don't think an SNP constituency vote is necessarily tactical for just the reason you observe - it may be the best option for a given voter. I'm just sayin' that on your first point everything I've seen, certainly, suggests that certainly pro-indy Greens (which is most of them) tend to hold their noses and vote SNP when there's no one else - and if they don't, they are probably spoiling their ballots, not voting for someone else (though to be fair I bet there are a few ex Lib Dems voting LD but who even bothers to count their vote in most places any more, heh). (Exception: I know one Green who is torn this year because there's a very good Labour candidate on her regional list.)

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    4. I think you jumped the gun a bit there James while crying Nonsense! about the second part of my post. I'm perfectly well aware of who is and who is not standing in the constuencies. I was responding to the person who declared (without evidence that you seem to require) that Greens hate SNP. As we can only realistically surmise on issues such as the Green/SNP voters and their behaviour and attitudes towards each other, I'm going to surmise that most Greens do NOT hate "the SNP" as she puts it. Maybe the opposite though.

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    5. I don't think I jumped the gun at all - you described Green supporters voting SNP at constituency level as "tactical voters". The Greens aren't standing in most constituencies.

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    6. Yeah to be fair to James I don't feel like voting for the best candidate available to you (whomever that might be) is necessarily tactical, Anon. Tactical voting is possible, of course, in the constituency vote - a Green voting SNP rather than for their candidate in a Lab/SNP marginal constituency where they DID have a Green candidate for example (which happened a lot in GE2015) would absolutely be tactical. But I wouldn't say that a vote for the best available option could reasonably be counted as 'tactical'.

      That said I think that MOST Greens still vote SNP these days when there's no Green to vote for. It was rife in GE2015, and is slightly less so at this election but not I suspect at constituency level. The main talk from Greens re not doing so is folk on various fora saying they're going to spoil their ballot - certainly not saying they plan to vote Red/Blue/Orange.

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  10. Aye I suspect the Greens as well those "smaller parties" seeking the loan of some votes from us SNP supporters,must think we who are members and supporters of the SNP button up the back,we don't.The votes for any seat is NOT guaranteed no matter how much you turn and twist like a unionist party.

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  11. Oh and no one us suggesting that people should be forced to vote in a certain way, but they need the full facts in order to understand the real consequences of how they do eventually vote. Many are confused, they need clarity. Have shared this on fb.

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  12. Have a soft spot for Greens and their policies. However, they will not get my vote until after Independence and they stop behaving like kids - no one owes them!!

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    1. Yes. Where I in Scotland that would also be my position.
      Our first priority is to cleanse Scotland of unionism; then we can divide on our own ideological principles.

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    2. Yes. Where I in Scotland that would also be my position.
      Our first priority is to cleanse Scotland of unionism; then we can divide on our own ideological principles.

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  13. And - as usual with these flannel merchants, Fiona bravely ran away......

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  14. The Green member's blog post is entitled "On tactical voting: A Message to Scottish Greenies". Hardly an underhand attempt to woo SNP supporters over to the dark side, as she's clearly encouraging Green Party supporters to vote Green.

    Might I also suggest the points made in your post would have been better left as a comment on the Green blogger's own blogging site, where it would have a greater impact as a counterargument to the original post. The target audience of a Green politics website is rather different to that of an SNP-advocating blog.

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    1. Hmmm. Call me old-fashioned, but I was kind of taking into account the contents of the article, and not just the title.

      To be honest, I'm pretty happy with my decision to publish my response as a blogpost, and not leave it at the mercy of someone else's moderation policy. (I'm not saying all Greens are as antithetical to free speech as James Mackenzie, but there's always the risk.) However, if you feel really, really strongly that you want to facilitate debate by re-posting it as a comment below Morag's article, please be my guest.

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    2. Different article - the 'On Tactical Voting' one is from last year. Though I'm making the same broad point (vote Green) in both articles, the nitty gritty is different because WM is stupid and sometimes tactical voting IS called for there. The one Kelly's mischaracterising in this post is this one:

      http://geek.scot/bothvoteswhatever/

      Also Geek.Scot is pro-indy but not a Green website - indeed I'm the only Green who writes for them I believe; their owner and primary posters are all SNP members.

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    3. Which is gloriously irrelevant, because I was taking issue with your own article, not with the website or its editorial stance (although for some reason they seem thoroughly miffed that I didn't drag them into it).

      As you're now calling me "Kelly", I'm sorely tempted to start calling you "Hannah", although unfortunately that's also a female first name so it doesn't actually sound any less friendly than Morag. Ah well.

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    4. Perhaps a link should be inserted in this blog post to enable readers to view the article in its original context.

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    5. If you want to tell me what I should do in such microscopic detail, perhaps you should get the government to appoint you as Ofblog.

      In the meantime, I'm happy with the blogpost as it is.

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    6. It amuses me that you found my comment in any way dictatorial. Proposing that general courtesy be afforded by providing a link to an article being critiqued hardly constitutes "microscopic detail".

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    7. OK, so let's recap. First you tell me that I shouldn't even have posted here at all, but somewhere more to your own taste. Then you tell me that I should have linked to an article that I self-evidently had no interest in recommending or promoting, and that by Morag's own (semi-) admission contains at least one serious factual inaccuracy.

      And you think that's not dictatorial? We'll have to agree to differ. (If that's not against your rules, guv'nor.)

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    8. Your reply suggests a failure on your part to grasp the intricacies of the English language. The phrases "May I suggest" and "Perhaps a link should be inserted" could hardly have been worded more politely, and no reasonable interpretation of them would lead one to conclude that some kind of dictat had been ordered.

      Nobody was "telling" anyone to do anything, and I am aware that you are entitled to do as you like on your own blog. The point I raised was merely to observe that the widespread practice of linking to a material being critiqued "could have" (I apologize if this dogmatic language upsets your sensibilities) been employed to provide some sense of fairness in your article, if, indeed, fairness is a value you sign up to.

      In light of this exchange, your adversorial tone does seem quite mind-boggling.

      Delete
    9. May I respectfully and worshipfully suggest that you pack it in, old chum, because I must reverentially and deferentially inform you that I've had quite enough of your nonsense for one day, thank you.

      You see? Not adversarial at all - it was just your imagination. Your mind can now be safely unboggled.

      Delete
    10. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

      Delete
    11. "Which is gloriously irrelevant, because I was taking issue with your own article, not with the website or its editorial stance (although for some reason they seem thoroughly miffed that I didn't drag them into it)."

      ...Actually James, I was addressing Piermonteis there, not you. They said:

      "Might I also suggest the points made in your post would have been better left as a comment on the Green blogger's own blogging site, where it would have a greater impact as a counterargument to the original post. The target audience of a Green politics website is rather different to that of an SNP-advocating blog."

      I was pointing out to THEM that the website I originally posted on is not Green-aligned. Nothing to do with your own comment at all.

      Delete
    12. Apologies that referencing you as Kelly came across as UNfriendly; I didn't want to come across as overly familiar.

      Delete
    13. And I thank you for doing so, Morag.

      The confusion came about as the tactical voting article of yours which I found was the one from May 2015. Hence my suggestion that a link could have been inserted to make clear which article was being referenced.

      But never mind.

      Delete
    14. Alternatively, people could just look at the date at the top.

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

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  16. The article I found was on Morag's Wordpress blog (which I had to search for using the clues in this blogpost - "Morag Hannah" "Green"), where the date of the article isn't initially made clear, although it does appear down near the comments section.

    The fact the article being alluded to was on Geek Scot, a website I had never come across and which was not mentioned in this blogpost, was not immediately apparent.

    I hope this explains the confusion.

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    Replies
    1. Piemontis : Could I politely suggest that your above comment would have been of more interest to the readers of Iain Dale's Diary, and perhaps could have been more appropriately published there.

      You also appear to have mentioned Ms Hannah's blog without the basic courtesy of providing a link. I'm not sure whether the values of courtesy and fairness are important to you in any way?

      Delete
    2. Ah, fair enough, yes, I do link out from my Wordpress. Certainly I can imagine how confusion could arise from someone not citing their sources. :-)

      Delete
    3. Or, indeed, from someone misrepresenting the voting system as a joke.

      Delete
  17. As one Morag to another, could I respectfully suggest that Hannah get over herself and realise that she was talking pernicious bollocks? It's too easy, when caught out in blatant falsehoods in an article, to respond with verbose flannel about what you "really meant" (as opposed to what you declared was "literally" true) and a load of passive-aggressive deflection tactics.

    Figuring out that you got your sums wrong, or indeed (as in this case) that you just happened to cherry-pick a single scenario from a range of possibilities which suited your agenda and ignore half a dozen more that didn't, would be a lot more constructive.

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  18. Swag Bucks is a very recommended get-paid-to website.

    ReplyDelete