Monday, June 29, 2020

Want to know how to maximise pro-indy representation at Holyrood? The dull (but correct) answer is "vote for a party large enough to have a chance of winning seats"

It was brought to my attention the other night that a few people have been falsely claiming that my position on "tactical voting on the list" has changed, and that for some unspecified reason I now regard the idea as workable.  That is categorically untrue.  My jaw dropped to the floor when I heard about the misrepresentation, because I've banged on so much about the subject that it's very hard to see how anyone who reads this blog or follows me on Twitter could sincerely have got the wrong end of the stick about my stance.

My guess is that Stuart Campbell's self-interested propagandising may have something to do with this, because a few months ago he theatrically pretended to think I had driven a coach and horses through my opposition to "gaming the system" by reiterating a point I've actually been making for a long time - namely that Alex Salmond is pretty much the only person who could make the idea work, because he's the one politician who has an extremely large personal following that could be confidently expected to vote for any party he decided to front.  But that exception to the rule is not particularly important unless you actually think Mr Salmond is going to lead a list-only party in opposition to the SNP.  At the moment I'm not aware of any indication that he is minded to do so.  RevStu's implicit claim was that "James is saying that you only need a well-known person on board and it'll work fine", but that's absolutely not what I'm saying.  The more I've thought about this, I've come to the conclusion that I literally cannot think of a single other person apart from Alex Salmond who has a big enough following to make a success of a pop-up list party.  Jim Sillars could maybe have pulled it off if it was 1990, but it's not 1990 anymore.

I'm not sure how much time it's worth devoting over the next year to warning people about the risks of so-called "tactical voting on the list", because it's increasingly like a dialogue with a brick wall.  People become so infatuated with the tantalising prospect of a "voting system hack" that can supposedly get rid of Murdo Fraser and his ilk that they refuse to engage with the inconvenient reasons why it won't actually work in the real world.  Indeed, as we've seen, they'll sometimes convince themselves that you're telling them that it will work.  It's like a sort of deep trance.  What I would compare it to is a gambler who spends all his time fantasising about how he's going to spend his vast winnings on a 100-1 bet, and refuses to face the fact that there's a 99% chance (or higher) that he's actually going to lose money.

What makes it even more bewildering is that a lot of the people currently caught in the trance were utterly scathing about "gaming the system" in 2016 when it was the Greens and RISE pushing the idea.  It's as if they think it was only unworkable in 2016 because of the "wokeness" of its proponents.  And the reverse is true as well - people on the radical left who were adamant in 2016 that gaming the system was feasible have now changed their view, but only because of their horror at the possibility of "TERFs" picking up a few list votes.  Speaking as the rarity of someone who has remained totally consistent on this, and who has pointed out that the laws of mathematics and the nature of the voting system aren't affected by the wokeness of the candidates, it would be rather nice to at least gain some credit for my consistency rather than having people make up fairy-tales about my position.  But it seems that's too much to ask.

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I see that Ruth Wishart has a piece in The National today about how to "maximise pro-indy seats".  It's not online yet, but I know from what she's said on Twitter that she's going to come out in favour of the "gaming the system" wheeze.  Let me yet again set out the real way in which it's possible to maximise pro-indy representation, even though it won't be what people want to hear -

Vote for pro-indy parties that are large enough to have a hope in hell of winning seats.  That means voting for the SNP on the constituency ballot, and either the SNP or the Greens on the list.  The important caveat on the latter point is that you should always vote for your first-choice party on the list - if you're an SNP supporter, switching "tactically" to the Greens on the list is pointless and possibly counterproductive, because there's no reason whatever to think that the Greens have a better chance of winning list seats than the SNP.  Some people did chase shadows in that way in 2016, and all they succeeded in doing was contributing to the loss of the SNP overall majority, with all the negative consequences of that in terms of squandered momentum for the independence movement.  To put it in perspective, in 2016 the SNP won four list seats and the Greens won six.  In 2011 the SNP won sixteen list seats and the Greens won only two.  The SNP are absolutely capable of winning list seats even when they poll strongly on the constituency ballot.

But who won't win list seats?  Fringe parties.  It takes at least 5% or 6% of the vote in an electoral region to win a seat, and fringe parties almost never reach that level of support.  The only exception was the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party, which won a single seat in 2003 by putting up Celtic legend Billy McNeill as a candidate.  (That was a stunt, because McNeill was far enough down the list to ensure he wouldn't be elected, but it did the trick and the unknown John Swinburne became an MSP instead.)

In almost all circumstances, if you vote for a fringe party you might as well be abstaining, and you simply make it easier for unionist parties to win more seats.

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I'm the guest on the latest edition of the podcast A Broken World, hosted by Grant Parker - you can listen to it HERE.  (Bear in mind it was recorded two-and-a-half weeks ago.)

75 comments:

  1. Brilliant and very persuasive James. That was exactly the clarity i was looking for.

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  2. Thanks James. Understood. Again.

    Aggregate SNP vote is what international agencies will be concentrated upon.

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  3. The constituency/list 73/56 seat split
    agreed by the Lib/Labs in the constitutional convention limits small factions like Rise or a pro-indy party ever gaining a seat.
    I agree James that without a weel-kent face they'll never reach even 5%.
    The best hope of promoting indy is a radical change in tack from the SNP itself.
    Unlike some doom mongers I think a lot can change in the next few months.

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  4. Seems to me that the real issue in the 2021 election is going to be whether or not the SNP leadership seizes the opportunity to move us onto an active road towards independence with or without S30.
    For us in the movement we have to be finding ways, in the present constricted politics, of persuading/pressuring them to go in that direction.
    Managing the pandemic with calm competence has been vitally important for it's own sake and will continue to be so. However, political 'credit' for for that competence has to be grown over into voting, and active, support for indy. That wont happen unless the necessary, deliberate work is done and started pretty soon.

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  5. A couple of points James. The Senior Citizens Party did not just put up Billy McNeill as a candidate, they went for the double whammy by also putting forward Eric Caldow, thus hoping to get both halves of the Old Firm on-board.

    Murdo Fraser will probably be the last Tory we will get rid of. When he first became prominent in the Scottish branch, he was in favour of greater autonomy for the Scottish Tories - they went instead of wee Truthless, since she was more-likely to follow the London line.

    Murdo may now be all about the Queen's XI etc, but, come Independence, I think he will come through to lead the post-independence Scottish Tories.

    They might no longer take orders from London once we are free, but, they will not go away, and Murdo will be in the front rank, and could well be leader by then.

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    1. An Independent Scotland does not want a one party state.The tories or equivalent will have MSP's post Indy and that is healthy and essential in a democracy

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  6. It seems to me that the fantasy also involves the belief that gaming the system to achieve a wildly disproportionate pro-Yes result will have Westminster reluctantly conceding the brilliance of the trick accompanied by a Section 30, whilst the international community will doff its hat at the, erm, democratically expressed will of the people.

    If this was a neat trick to oust every Westminster unionist MP under their own rules, I'd be well up for it. However, I can see no benefit in trashing the proportional nature of our own parliament. That will just weaken any iref mandate while creating our own wee Westminster.

    And I'm not demanding anyone vote for a particular party; I'm ready and waiting to give some sort of new ISP's manifesto a fair hearing. I've made clear that there could be valid reasons for alternative indy parties. Yet I'm told to wheesht and support a pig in a poke; an imagined party with no candidates and no clear policies, but which will deliver whatever it is I dream of indy-wise. That's just a Scottish UKIP.

    And before anyone says 'But UKIP won the EUref!'; yes, but they've ruined the UK in the process. It will now break up (N. Ireland is already remaining in the EU effectively) and decline economically / socially. I want indy for Scotland to be a success, not a failure like brexit.

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    1. Christ Skier - now you are comparing fellow pro Indy supporters to UKIP? Are you angling for a column in the Times or something? lol Think I will start paying unionist Bingo with some of your posts. I know it's unintentional but probably more damaging because of exactly that... Think you should book yourself into a re-framing seminar as soon as lockdown is lifted :)

      braco

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    2. Och Braco, stop being silly.

      My points are completely valid.

      For the moment, this ISP is whatever people want it to be. It has a fantasy candidate list and a imaginary manifesto. Only an idiot votes for that; it's UKIP (not in the racist sense, just the pig in the poke sense).

      I'm sure you have your own ideas about what it would look like, which is why you support the concept. However, what you think it looks like may not be what it does look like if it came into being.

      I have said time and again there are some sensible reasons for other indy parties, but I won't for vote a UKIP pig in a poke. I need to know who I'm voting for and how they'll be voting in Holyrood both pre- and (hopefully) post-indy. Or will, for example, they step down immediately if folks vote Yes?

      I also believe that our representatives should reflect how Scots voted. That is why I've always wanted indy; to get a government we voted for.

      What exactly is wrong with my beliefs?

      Come back to me with the ISP manifesto / candidate list ahead of Holyrood 2021 and I'll give it due consideration.

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    3. Och Skier, come on now... you know as well as I do how often and desperately the msm and unionist politicians have tried and tried to draw equivalencies between UKIP and the Yes movement in general and the SNP (and Alec Salmond) in particular. Ridiculous I know... but then, here you are doing exactly the same thing. Adding a few ifs and buts doesn't change that framing one iota.

      braco

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    4. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 12:02 PM

      Scottish Skier - "our own Parliament" - I listed some points previously why a Britnat devolved parliament is not our own Parliament. Here is one I have not mentioned before: the so called Scottish civil service that carries out Scotgov functions is part of the UK civil service and controlled in London. Yet still you persist with saying our parliament. It will only be OUR (as In Scotlands) parliament when we are independent with no British parties in the parliament, no British presiding officer and no British civil service masquerading as a Scottish civil service.

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    5. Hi Scottish Skier
      Using your vote intelligently to get round a system made to ensure a unionist majority i really do not think is gaming the system.What is ,as the present UK gov has set in motion is to redraw electoral boundries to their benefit. Not so long ago myself and i am sure i read you saying that if Indy2 was won with 50% + 1 that would be good enough even though there would be a clearly divided electorate and society. Fortunately the polls are now showing a completely different picture with a broad spectrum of people who are pro indy2; Rangers fans, tories and labour .etc .I do agree with you that we need a healthy and progressive society in an Independent
      Scotland. The polls indicate that we are well on down that road.

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    6. Erm, if Holyrood isn't 'our parliament' and doesn't represent us, we can't use it to legislate for a referendum based on the will of Scots as expressed at the ballot box.

      It's nonsensical to say we need to stuff Holyrood with pro-Yes MSPs to get the voice of the people across, while at the same time saying Holyrood is a brit-nat entity that doesn't represent us.

      The parliament is the people we elect; not the buildings, nor the powers it has etc at any given moment. We elect people to speak for us democratically. If they don't represent us proportionally, they can't speak for us, not democratically. This is why the UK isn't a democracy and scores very poorly on democratic measures.

      The way we elect our MSPs here in Scotland is really pretty fair. A form of PR; PR being used across Europe in the modern democracies that we aspire to. Even with PR, we've had two pro-Yes majorities in a row, and polls suggest the people will readily deliver another.

      The problem of Holyrood is it's limit powers, not the means by which people are elected to it.

      If we have 75% pro-Yes MSPs on 45% of the vote by gaming the list, the parliament cannot speak for the people, whether it met at the Top of Ben Nevis or in the Holyrood chamber.

      And it's not like Westminster is going to grant a Section 30 under such circumstances. 'Only 45% voted for pro-indy parties' is a perfect excuse to say no.

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    7. Braco, if this mythical ISP party doesn't develop into an internally democratic, structured party (which I can join and get a vote on candidates etc) with a candidate list and clear manifesto, it will be a UKIP type entity.

      Folk are being asked to vote for what they dream it to be, not what it actually is, for it isn't anything. Certainly not at present.

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    8. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 4:53 PM

      Scottish Skier - proportional representation is obviously everything to you. The voting mechanism is everything to you it must be a pure mechanism with no dirty gaming of the system. Meanwhile, Westminster proceeds to do what it wants in Scotland eg taking us out of the EU against our will , while purists like you bang on about being fair and not gaming the mechanism. The system has been gamed in Englands favour since 1707.

      Are you really a Lib dem?

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    9. 'A form of PR; PR being used across Europe in the modern democracies that we aspire to. Even with PR, we've had two pro-Yes majorities in a row, and polls suggest the people will readily deliver another.'

      - Yes, and only because under our current undemocratic UK system EVERY pro Indy supporter is absolutely compelled to vote for the one party.
      That has got F all to do with 'modern European proportional representation' and everything to do with the Scots electorate using the existing system to make their point. A point that system was specifically designed to ignore. How democratic, in a 'modern European proportional system' is urging half the population to vote for the same party to have there vote count, not once - but with both available votes?

      The Scottish Yes population is not experiencing a modern European proportional system where your vote counts and a range of parties are available. We are actually experiencing the crush of vote SNP for Indy or you will be responsible for damaging the Indy cause! This is the reality of UK 'democracy' in Scotland and the voting system used affects that only in passing!

      All that is being asked for from the SNP by this crushed Yes supporting electorate is a viable way forward to Independence and the sunny uplands and luxury of a genuine democratic choice at Scottish elections. Just a hint of the next logical step. But even that is considered too much to be asking for.
      Instaed we get 'Vote SNP 1&2 again or damage the cause!' That really is the reality of the SNP sales pitch these days. - shut up, eat your serial, trust us with another mandate and stop damaging the Indy cause! Not exactly the Rainbow Parly we all dreamed of back in 97 eh?

      So, I am asking you to stop peddling rose tinted nonesense about democracy in Scotland - view the world as it really is and get on with changing this shit into what you really want it to be. That can't be done if you delude yourself into believing it somehow exists already.

      braco

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    10. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 5:33 PM

      Anonymous - braco - 5.11pm points well made.

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    11. I am not being asked to vote for a Party without a manifesto or a list of candidates.
      I am being given the option to consider a new Party when the election takes place in 2021. My own Party (SNP) refuse to consider members concerns and have pushed and promoted issues without debate or scrutiny. I will remain in the Party to campaign for change. However Scotland is more important than any Political Party. In 2021 I either don't vote or I change my vote. The SNP manifesto and candidate list is also important to scrutinise. Have you seen some of the candidates proposed for the "all women" shortlist....I have

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  7. A. All this depends on whither any List Party can get the coverage needed for wider Yesser support. Well kent faces and political heavyweights could easily achieve that I believe - but will any surface in time to make a difference to this electoral cycle? Hope so, but I doubt it :( 
    B. All this crap from folk about supposedly 'gaming the system' etc. reminds me of the unionist screeching and all the msm headlines about how the SNP had 'broken the system!' - by simply winning a majority of seats in a 'system' that unionists had specifically designed to avoid that outcome ever occurring. (Is that not Unionists 'gaming a system' to suit their own agenda, or does that not count if you get to make the rules)? 
    Of course the system was not 'broken' - it was simply becoming understood, as an electoral system, by the SNP and their electorate and used legally to their best advantage. That is called effective campaigning and fighting to win elections! 
    What about 'Alex Salmond for First Minister' - that was 'cheating!' said the unionists. So much so that even though no rules had actually been broken, new 'unionist' rules had to be created to stop it ever happening again. Proof in itself that, of course, it was NOT cheating, but acknowledgement by unionists that, arguably, it did  play a part in winning the SNP largest party by 1 seat in 2007. Something that laid the foundations for the SNP's current rise to power and  IndyRef1. How many of those now shouting about 'gaming the system' etc. were against that particular SNP electoral innovation? How many would go back and change that tactic now?
    In Scotland, we have been designated a devolved electoral system clearly designed by unionists to make constitutional change in Scotland almost impossible. All advances toward constitutional change made by us from that system have been made by the Scottish electorate and the SNP scrutinising this electoral system, as created, and then honing campaign messages and innovating where we can within it legally to our best advantage. This is how the system was created by our political enemies (to advantage themselves) and that is how it must be continued to be used by Yes if it is to be of any use in our own 'democratic' drive for Independence. 

    Unionists and the British public have never been interested in 'proportional democracy'. They are only interested in election RESULTS. Vast majority governments can be won from 40% (or even less) of the vote in the UK. The UK electorate rejected out of hand any move towards a proportional system by referendum.
    'Proportional Democracy' in  the form designated by the UK for use in the devolved nations is of zero interest to the UK political classes and was simply chosen to avoid the possibility of 'Strong Governance', of the kind deemed essential by Westminster. They will only ever acknowledge (grudgingly of course) vast majorities for Independence in Holyrood (through unionist wipeout in Scotland). Election RESULTS are all the UK political classes care about, and it is those election results that they consider 'democracy'. 

    It was only the shock of the 'impossible' SNP 'win' of 2007 that forced their hand on IndyRef1. Another shock is what is now needed if IndyRef2 is to have any chance of a Westminster agreement.  (Why this is needed I don't know, but it is apparently deemed necessary by SNP leadership at the moment.)

    braco

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  8. James

    In Dundee West Joe Fitzpatrick will win and win big if past results are anything to go by meaning that as usual the SNP won't garner enough votes to influence the list seats if the other results go as suspected. Are you saying that if everyone who votes SNP on the list (no matter how unlikely) voted for another party on the list, say Green or ISP, that they still wouldn't get a list seat even though the SNP got 137,086 list votes and no seats in 2016. I know many people who are gong to vote ISP next year on the list, if 50,000 did that would be 12,000 more votes that Jenny Marra got and won a seat.

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    1. "meaning that as usual the SNP won't garner enough votes to influence the list seats"

      Simple question: what do you mean by "as usual"? The SNP won a list seat in your region in 2011. They didn't in 2016 because their list vote fell by a whopping 8%. A party will win seats if enough people vote for them. It's not rocket science.

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  9. To me, the Greens are an illustration of how hard it is to become an established and meaningful political force in Holyrood. They've been around since the reopening of the Scottish Parliament, but have never done better than the seven seats they won in 2003. But actually, a Salmond or Wings party would be more akin to the SSP, whose fortunes rose and and crashed those of its leader, Tommy Sheridan. That whole saga is a cautionary tale for all political movements that centre around a single person.

    Given the existence of the SSP/RISE and Solidarity (even though they don't win any seats), I'm not sure Scotland needs a brand new left-wing pro-indy party. The gap in the market is for a right-wing pro-indy party, which doesn't seem to be the space that a Wings or a Salmond-led party would try to occupy. I realise that the point of these proposed parties would be to force the SNP to hold a second referendum or take concrete steps towards declaring independence, but even supposing they won seats on that basis (and enough seats that the way they vote actually would matter for something), they'd still participate in votes on other issues—even abstaining on them affects what laws would be able to be passed.

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    1. I think a transphobic, sneer-at-the-Wokes, green-hating party *is* a right wing pro independence party :-)

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  10. With talk of e.g. Leicester being locked down, I don't see why this would be an issue.

    https://www.indy100.com/article/scotland-england-travellers-coronavirus-quarantine-14-days-nicola-sturgeon-9590491

    Scotland might make English tourists quarantine for 14 days and some English people are furious

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    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 4:55 PM

      Some Scots are furious it is not for longer than 14 days.

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  11. I don't see an issue with another indy party. It's not like the SNP are going to get us a gold standard S30 approved Referendum any time soon. One may argue that we need an SNP govt in Holyrood to protect us from the London government. With the recent powergrab over devolved matters, I can't see any other option but Holyrood withering away, regardless of who is in charge. After the 2015 GE, a politics chum (Phil, if you're still lurking here?) warned me of the Jim Murphy types joining the party. They're here; the wokerati. Next up, the Salmond enquiry. It's all going pear-shaped.

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  12. The only two things the Nat sis have achieved in Westminster is, 1.The reinstatement of the DWP freephone number which is to their credit. 2. THE CONTINUED PAYMENTS TO THE EU which is disgusting.

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  13. Everybody uses data to claim what they want, I read someone claim the SNP are on course to take 58/59 seats at the next GE. This is using the data in a way that may not be accurate, there is no guarantee this percentage is consistent across Scotland, I find it hard to believe the SNP will take Orkney & Shetland.

    Also in any region which the SNP win all the constituency seats it is virtually impossible to win a list seat, Glasgow Region is one of these Regions and I have to put up with James Kelly (MSP) as a result. So rather than say something is impossible I prefer to consider it unlikely, your readers aren't stupid and can see the risks and balance them closer to the vote.

    The risk is, in strong SNP Regions the voters get complacent and believe they don't need to turn out and vote. This is always an issue with the demographic of SNP voters in many areas.

    More important in the next election is the percentage of votes for independence parties and the turnout. Another risk is the union parties will claim the SNP alone need over 50% of the vote (I suspect they will make this even higher if the SNP achieved this level), just as they currently do when the Greens support them.

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  14. "vote for a party large enough to have a chance of winning seats"

    That'll be the SNP and the Greens then, with a working majority of only 9, we could increase that majority to 30 at the next election, Plan A is not dead, yet.

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    1. a) No, you couldn't increase it to 30 by gaming the system.

      b) What difference would it make even if you could? A majority is a majority.

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    2. And to support James' a) point, that hypothetical scenario would need trust

      ISP is a relatively faceless outfit, and I have no knowledge of safeguarding or candidate screening policies that exist

      When it comes to voting for parliamentary representatives these are so important, we don't want our movement to become a laughing stock/source of scandal.

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  15. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    It is always, imo, worth remembering that the list vote is a REGIONAL list vote and not a SCOTLAND NATIONAL list vote.

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  16. you should always vote for your first-choice party on the list - if you're an SNP supporter, switching "tactically" to the Greens on the list is pointless and possibly counterproductive, because there's no reason whatever to think that the Greens have a better chance of winning list seats than the SNP.

    in mid scot and fife, unionists won 6/7 list seats, the greens the last one. if everyone who had voted green on the list voted snp, the unionists would have won all 7.

    you confuse desirability of candidates with arithmatic, eg, many told me in 2016, that yes folk just woulndt vote for thye greens in large numbers. they didnt trust them. that turned out to be true and is probably even truer today.

    but that avoids the question of the arithmatic. IF the yes voters could be convinced to vote for another yes list party rather than snp, then the the unionists would take a hammering and the new list yes party would become the official opposition by a country mile. this is an arithmetic fact

    if you are arguing that unless someone like Alex is leading this new yes party, then the yes voters are unlikely to trust them in sufficient numbers. that is a valid point James and one i'd probably agree with. but that is a different point than the electoral arithmatic.

    to reiterate, in 7/8 regions 850k snp list votes elected one snp list msp, maree tod. fact.

    if you are saying vote snp on the list because a new yes party is unlikely to win enough votes to make a real difference, that is a valid argument. this doesnt change the electoral arithmetic.

    it might do if you were to stand James? id vote for you

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  17. A common thread of those advocating 'ISP' right now are saying that's the way to unseat Tories elected on the list vote.

    As the 2016 actually showed, you can shimmy the pro-indy vote around as much as you hypothetically want, but the way to get less Tories/unionists elected is to reduce the number of people voting Tory/Labour/LibDem altogether

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  18. The dull (but correct) answer is "vote for a party that will use its mandate(5) to achieve indy"

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  19. There'd be no need for another pro-indy party if the SNP were actually doing their job: fighting for Scotland's independence.

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    1. I think that between them, NS and Devi Sridhar are currently doing quite a good job of moving the general understanding around how devolution doesn't work along a bit. All these little bits will add up to a big thing soon enough. Just my view of course, but 'fighting for independence' needs to be something more than a wild dash towards the cannons.

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    2. There are already like 4 other pro-independence parties (Greens, SSP, Solidarity, Rise), so there's not really a need for more. At least not on the centre to left.

      There's room for a centre-right pro-indy party certainly. That would have a good chance of taking unionist votes (Tories, blairites, libs) and boosting Yes. Maybe even pro-brexit too?

      Convincing unionist voters to vote for indy is how we win this; not by pro-indy parties attempting to steal votes off each other. That's what unionists want to see.

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  20. In an independent Scotland the Tory, Labour, the LibDems and any other party will be SCOTTISH parties.

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  21. The SNP should campaign, if you want independence, you must vote 1,2 for SNP canditates.

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  22. As a perfect highlight to prove the major flaw in the supposed ISP strategy, a supporter has created this:

    https://listvotescotland.com/

    The flaw? It looks at just one figure in isolation. That's not what a Scottish Parliament election is though, there are many moving parts.

    Constituencies can move in 73 different directions.
    The number of votes parties in the list vote can change dramatically from election to election.

    In 2016, SNP + Green votes went up, but Tory + Lab + LD votes went up by a greater amount than before.

    If you are look to think up your own strategy/scenarios I would say that you are foolish, but there is a more accurate seat calculator here:
    http://www.electionpolling.co.uk/swingometer/scottish-parliament

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  23. Bottom line is if all 530000 wasted snp 2nd votes went to isp.the numbers would read pro independence 64% anti independence 36%..put in as many moving parts as you want.im sure my cat could make a few ups well.64% v 36% is more of a mandate than 53% v 47% in anyone's book.64% at hollyrood and 80% at Westminster is what we should be aiming for..

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    1. Democratic mandates come from vote share. It's only the Brits that think it comes from MPs, hence e.g. the Tories claim they have the people behind them when >56% rejected them at the ballot box.

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    2. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 6:21 PM

      Scottish Skier - there you go again - fussing about democratic mandates in a UK that has made it plain that it does not accept Scottish votes as a mandate for freedom from the so called union.
      We already have multiple democratic mandates for a referendum - how is that working out. We already have a democratic mandate to stay in the EU - how is that working out.

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    3. Well thicko you have mandates for neither. And it is the Union not a so called. This was ratified September 2014.

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  24. Like many I will wait to hear how the SNP shape up before the election if its Pete Wishart style fluff then sorry I will be voting another party on the list, might be Green or ISP depending on how they come across on the rum up. I agree with a comment above if they go out guns blazing either with a plan b or a Scottish gov run ref then I'll give them 1 and 2 but if they are timid then I think it will be time for a boot up the arse

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  25. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 7:03 PM

    OUR Scottish parliament, as Skier would say, voted not once but twice to have an independence referendum. What happened - May said not now and Johnson said fuck off and off they went.

    Our parliament - aye right.

    So we have a majority in the Scottish Parliament who vote for an independence referendum but it is told your votes are meaningless. So what difference will it make in 2021 if we have a bigger majority who vote once again to have an independence referendum. Will Johnson say fuck off in a much more pleasant manner due to the increased number of MSPs for independence and if he does say it in a slightly more respectful way will that be the sum total achieved by multiple, many many multiple mandates voted for in OUR parliament and at other elections.

    The SNP have taken us up a dead end. I don't care if it is called plan b or anything, we need a plan for independence that will deliver.

    ReplyDelete
  26. None of these small parties have enough people in them to run a country. They can then wait untill we take our independence and then stand for election then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You actually do not need an over abundance of politicians to run a country. It is the experienced civil service that do the work. Half the amount of politicians for a term and I will be proven to be right.

      Delete
    2. GWC in one sense you are correct in that we as a UK are in the fast lane towards a dictatorship dressed up as a democracy. Shame on you.
      We need an Independent Scotland ASAP so that we can free ourselves from the fascist mob ruling the country at the moment.t

      Delete
    3. This would be the experienced civil servants who are all resigning because Johnson's brexiters are making a shit-show of things and undermining them?

      Delete
    4. We have a dictatorship, look what happened to your former hero Eck. And minorities are running amock in our streets attempting to destroy our war monuments and the history of our ancestors. And Skier not acknowledging the part the Irish played in supporting Adol Hitler.

      Delete
  27. I think it's about time we started thanking and celebrating our darning heroes, the unsung heroes who darn socks, vests and other items of apparel. I invite you to join me at 8pm on Wednesday to Dedicate our Darners. I will be standing outside my house (No. 26) banging a pan on the ground and shouting whoop whoop. I have contacted local local and radio and hope to see myself clapping on camera. I might start up a charity. Please let me know if any other worthy recipients of my adoration.
    Luv ya!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best way to darn socks is to put a beer bottle in the sock and it widens the hole (not in a sexual way) then you just darn. It is an old WW1 method used by the troops in the trenches. That is why they were called darn fine men (those that returned).

      Delete
    2. Would you like to join me in a campaign to Boost Our Bottles? We could meet outside the Lodge, smash bottles, shout whoop whoop and blow whistles.
      We could get on telly and grieve in public.
      Fancy starting a charity?
      We could call it Bless British Bottles.

      Delete
  28. Obviously some people get so fixated on constitutional stuff that they forget, completely, that a lot of people vote for parties like the Greens for reasons other than Scottish independence.

    And if some people want to start some Scotindy version of Ukip, that's up to them.

    Meanwhile, you never know, the electorate might be interested in party's policies for stuff like the post-virus apocalypse next year.

    And you never know, in the face of widespread youth unemployment, people may get tempted by things like expelling immigrant workers.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Slow clap for Boris and the Brexiters.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53225056

    UK hardest hit among leading G7 nations

    The UK was the hardest hit of all the G7 major industrialised nations in the weeks leading up to early June, according to BBC analysis of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Analysis also showed that England fared the worst in Europe, just above Spain. The research compared 11-week periods for each nation as the virus hit its peak in each country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you thought about running a funeral parlour Skier. Most of the English dead probably voted leave.

      Delete
  30. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 11:30 PM

    GWC the sites resident Britnat turd who posts a pile of shite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just cannot rise to the intellectual level off you Nat si losers.

      Delete
    2. aye but, the Britnat turd is wellcome here, whereas independentistas
      with differing thoughts are censored.

      Delete
  31. Independence for ScotlandJune 29, 2020 at 11:58 PM

    Compare and Contrast Scotland and Englands Coronavirus strategies.

    Scotland - elimination of the coronavirus across Scotland.

    England - apply whakamole to hot spots.

    Scotland approach is professional and determined by the data in Scotland.

    Englands approach is determined by Tory donors.

    Now try and think about how well either Jackson Carcrash or Richard Leonard as First Minister would have dealt with this crisis without getting nightmares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very professional indeed they emptied the elderly from the hospitals.

      Delete
  32. If we're to indulge ourseves in wishful thinking, maybe we should try something with at least a sporting chance of actually happening (no, not the impossible resurrection of your inexorably-sinking rotting hulk, HMP Brittanic, GWC), and consider what would happen if the SNP won (say) 54% of the votes across the board in both the constituencies and the regional lists...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ScottytheScotinScotlandJune 30, 2020 at 1:22 AM

      So what do you think would happen?

      Delete
    2. The person above is not a thinker but just your typical Nat si moaner. You better be careful the BLM is about to out moan you Nat sis with hard done tae stories. Get a job Nat si.

      Delete
    3. Sez Gratuitous Woeful Cringer, pathetic prince of plaintive passive-aggressive moaners!

      Beyond low blackshirt comedy relief for unhappy sufferers, I dunno what the result would be, but I would genuinely be interested for someone with the expertise to give it a try. I just recall Prof Curtice's one-time remark to the effect that gaming is futile against a party which can command >50% of the votes. In any electoral system.

      Delete
    4. The blackshirt resides in Nat si movements and is not comedy for their recipients.

      Delete
  33. Dolly the Jock SheepJune 30, 2020 at 2:16 AM

    If you clone us we can get past the post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Interesting mention if Sillars.
    The same Jim Sillars who headed the splitter Scottish Labour Party which was very short lived and an abject failure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The split was intended to retain socialist policies in the Labour Party and was well intentioned. However Sillars then getting involved with the Tartan Tories was a real sell out.

      Delete
  35. I will not vote for the Greens. I will vote SNP because I seek an Independent Scotlant. However the SNP are not listening to the members concerns. It is therefore legitimate and logical to vote for a list Party that can send a clear message on Independence AND on not taking votes for granted..
    I have a black and white option. Either don't vote OR vote for a Independence supporting list Party.
    Sad to see the arguement being pushed that a list party cannot be successful. I know many, many SNP members who would not vote for RISE or the Greens willing to get behind the new Party.
    James please admit that you have no idea what level of support they will get.
    For clarity. I am a supporter of Independence who happens to be a member of the SNP. My priority is Scotland not a political Party. You seem to confuse these positions

    ReplyDelete
  36. We should have lots of sex. Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)

    ReplyDelete