Greens Are Voting SNP. Will SNP Voters Return the Favour?

P_green_LBy Justin Kenrick

As we’ve all noticed, there was no Yes Alliance for this election.
 
Many of us (in the Greens, SSP, RIC, Women For Indy, non-aligned) argued for such an alliance. Many say it would have muddied the water – “Who are you really voting for?” – and anyway clearly, in the short term of this particular election, the SNP didn’t need us.
 
Or so it would seem. 
 
But the overwhelming majority of fellow Green Party members I have asked are planning to vote SNP this election. Greens may poll 5 to 15% at the 2016 Holyrood election – time will tell – but it appears that the vast majority of these are going to be voting SNP on Thursday. 
 
So the SNP do need us after all, if they are going to achieve a wipe-out of unionist parties.
 
Greens are adding 5 to 15% to SNP candidates’ tallies. Greens are lending the SNP their votes en masse, (and not only this, I’ve just been canvassed for the SNP by an SNP party member accompanied by a local Green party member!) – and that’s a really intelligent response to the Westminster election system, and to this phenomenal historical moment. 
 
The opinion polls signal an overwhelming victory for the SNP in Scotland.
 
Is that situation going to change in the next week?
 
Yes, the SNP’s vote will get more and more solid.
 
Why? Because, as Murray McCallum has said elsewhere on Bella, the way the powerful (such as the Westminster parties and the corporates of the City of London and its media) dominate us is by “creating the conditions, and then criticising the actuality”. They create poverty, insecurity and division – nationally and globally – and then claim it’s the peoples’ fault, and that only they, the powerful, can impose the solutions needed.
 
Meanwhile their solutions – whether ‘war on terror ‘ or austerity – just make matters worse. Austerity accelerating the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich; the  ‘war on terror destabilising and demonising entire countries or regions, ensuring that their resources are dirt cheap and controlled by us, or that their reaction justifies our elites’ power.
 
But whenever we collectively realise what they are up to (as here and now in Scotland), then every move they make in this game – every lie the ‘Scottish Labour’ or the ‘Conservative and Unionists’ tell – digs them deeper into oblivion.
 
And they can’t understand – not one bit – why it isn’t working. It’s worked before (the big lies under Thatcher, the big deceits under Blair), so why isn’t it working now?
 
Let’s not tell them.
 
Let’s just enjoy the fact that if they could put themselves in our shoes and see why it isn’t working, then the act of doing so would involve them seeing the world as it actually is, and switching sides.
 
at this election, reverse rules apply:
the louder they lie, the harder they fall.
the more they scaremonger
the fewer scared mongers remain
 
But not in England, where there is not yet a credible movement against the elite (the Greens alone being too weak) and so there the lies still work a treat: scaring voters back into the Tory fold, and scaring Labour into being as Tory as they dare.
 
As we all know, behind the ‘reasonable’ face of the independence movement, behind the SNP, there is a far more radical movement. If Nicola Sturgeon and Stewart Hosie’s focus on abandoning austerity, Trident and other status, poverty and fear-generating games seems radical to the Westminster/ Corporate elite, it emerges from and is energised by a far broader and deeper movement (many of whom have joined the SNP). A movement focused on independence, not only for Scotland from the UK, but also for all of us from a system that is cannibalising the social and ecological fabric in the pursuit of unhinged profits.
 
Preparing the way for the best possible 2016 Holyrood election result:
 
What matters just as much (or more?) than who goes to Westminster, is what kind of Government and what kind of Opposition we want to vote into Holyrood in May 2016.
 
Many SNP members locally speak of wanting the Greens to lead the opposition to the SNP Government that looks certain to be elected in May 2016.
 
If, as looks inevitable, the SNP goes from strength to strength under a leader who is in touch with what people need, then the SNP will clear up on the constituency vote in 2016.
 
So in 2016, just as most Green voters will almost certainly continue to vote SNP on the constituency vote, will SNP voters waste their list vote on the SNP (when their having won so many constituency seats will mean a vote for SNP on the list will for the most part let Labour, LibDems or the Tories in), or will they instead vote Green on the list?
 
Will SNP voters in 2016 return the favour to Green voters in 2015?
 
Time will tell, but doing that would mean that our constituency vote will decide the Government, and our list vote will decide who heads the Opposition. 
 
 It’s not who wins a debate, its what we debate, that matters
 
If we continue the stale debates determined by the media’s masters who want to focus only on how fast the deficit is cut, how many missiles we need, and how we are ‘swamped by immigrants’. If we continue these sterile debates then we’ve lost, however many seats we’ve won. (The exception to the rule has been the UK-wide leaders debates, because those running the system were focused on manipulating the UK level, on destabilising Milliband, and so didn’t see the space they’d open up for Nicola Sturgeon to shine).
 
Moving on from SNP vs Unionist, to (social democratic) SNP vs Greens (focused on social and ecological justice), means moving on to dealing with the real hard issues; where none of us can simply point and say you’re wrong, but all of us have to work out how best to reconcile conflicting truths. Is that not a politics worth (SNP and Green) voting for?
 
Of course, whether the Greens manage to powerfully articulate the need for a radical transformation of our system or, whether if they cannot, they are replaced by an ecologically conscious SSP or Radical Left party next year, we’ve yet to see.
 
The debate we need is between those, such as the SNP, who advocate making the system we live in fairer and greener, and those who argue that – although such steps are welcome – they are not enough, not for those living in poverty now, nor for the way this system is driving a stake through the heart of all our futures.
 
There is no easy answer in that debate.
 
One side is not wrong and another right. But the dynamic of that debate can rapidly drive positive solutions, in the way that the social democratic independence movement having to argue with the deadness of an austerity mass-destruction addicted unionism can never do.
 
Here are a few key Green propositions that are practical and transformative and contentious: free public transport, a basic income for all, green reindustrialisation.
 
Such a green reindustrialisation would include no to fracking and yes to a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables, partly driven by a scheme such as cap and share (where huge tariffs are levied on companies bringing in fossil fuels, and the money raised is redistributed to all the population, thus rapidly increasing the wealth of the poorest while driving renewable energy and helping underpin a huge expansion in green infrastructure).
 
Such proposals, like the Green case for shifting taxation from taxing the producing of social value (work) to taxing processes that stop social value from being produced (for example, the proposed land value tax), are ones which will help the SNP Government to think freshly and consider how its actions can ensure a future for all, while considering: how can this be done in a way which can work in the realities of the world we are living in now?
 
So, Greens are voting SNP on Thursday to, but will SNP voters return the favour next May?
 
This Thursday matters, but the outcome looks pretty certain: whether the Tories ‘win’ by demonising Scotland, or Labour ‘win’ by denying Scotland, their actions have broken the Union.
 
We need to vote on Thursday, but we also need to keep it in proportion. Whatever happens in Westminster, what ultimately matters is what happens here.
 
If Westminster wants to bury itself that is its choice. Let’s continue to birth the new politics.


Categories: Commentary

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83 replies

  1. Confident that when once again a state, Scotland will have a Left, Right and Centre. The inevitable re-alignment will take place. Greens will experience a surge in support.

    • Is that in ‘the next generation’? Or is short-termism to be the rule?

    • So did you not understand the thrust of the article? Rewording the “I’m SNP till independence” mantra is an inadequate response to the realities of the Scottish Parliamentary election system. Mixed Member Parliaments mean the more constituencies you win the more your opponents are compensated on the list.

      The question for 2016 is do you, and by extension the SNP, want Labour, Tory or LibDems populating the non-government seats or independence supporting parties like the Greens and the SSP?

      I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, Geel.

  2. Most certainly yes.
    I would like to see Scottish greens follow their counterparts south of the border and adopt their policy to implement positive money’s proposals…
    http://www.positivemoney.org/2013/09/green-party-passed-a-motion-to-place-money-creation-into-public-hands-and-end-fractional-reserve-banking/

    • The positive money group’s description of our current system is right in some respects – over 90% of money in circulation is created by private banks as debt/credit – but wrong in others. We don’t have a fractional reserve system as per the classic description; what we have would be better called available reserve banking since the BoE* always makes reserves available when banks need them.

      Removing the private sector’s licence to ‘print money’ is a fine goal, but positive money’s solution of a central committee of wise men – it’s almost always men – determining how much money the entire economy will need for some set period of time is just nutty. They will have no clue about the conditions in any particular location, of what businesses are capable of expansion and are sound borrowers, of the scale of transactions that can be sustained.

      The answer is to nationalise one or more large banks and remove government support from the others. I think decisions on money creation should be publicly accountable, yes, but they should also be distributed. From numerous local (public) bank managers through regional offices right up to the national government’s spending. The information needed for decision making is distributed, so distribute the decision making as well.

      Even if positive money’s approach was workable, for some definition of ‘workable’, it goes against one of the greens’ core approaches, ie. decentralisation. I have no idea why they’ve adopted it.

      * This doesn’t just apply to the UK, it’s true for most countries. Bretton Woods is dead.

      • For the record, positive money acknowledge that the fractional reserve system is no longer used if you have a look at their website. It’s just that the term (although incorrect) is still widely used. Yes the tail wags the dog in that reserves have to be provided on demand to banks to stop a liquidity crisis.

        Not sure if you’re confusing bank lending with the sovereign money system. Bank lending will still happen, it’s just that the money will already exist – I.e what people think banks actually do. So businesses will still be able to borrow. I say still, but lending to business at the moment only constitutes around 10% of bank lending. Most of the money created is used for speculation on housing or financial markets.

        There’s quite an irony in your statement “it’s almost always men – determining how much money the entire economy will need for some set period of time is just nutty.”

        It’s ironic because this is EXACTLY what we have just now, except that these men (about 80 banking directors in the city of London) do it solely for profit. They are in charge of creating 97pc of our money supply. WE RENT our money supply from these men.

        In the 10 years leading up to the financial crisis, the govt borrowed about £2.1 Trillion. At the same time these men CREATED £2.9 Trillion and decided where that money went in the economy.

        There are a group of men in our central bank who set interest rates, the monetary policy committee. Positive money suggest this or a similar committee vary money being created and granted to governement for a similar purpose – to keep a reasonable, stable rate of inflation.

        • “For the record, positive money acknowledge that the fractional reserve system is no longer used if you have a look at their website.”

          I’ve not looked at their site for a while, but if they recognise that the description is inaccurate they shouldn’t be using the term. Solving the problems with our current system isn’t made any easier by continuing to use flawed terminology.

          “Bank lending will still happen, it’s just that the money will already exist – I.e what people think banks actually do.”

          But the amount that exists will be determined by that central committee, unless PM have changed their mind on that since I last looked at them.

          There are two possibilities here: either the committee attempts to continuously match what they think the economy needs, or they err on the side of caution and deliberately create more than they think is needed.

          The information available to the committee will be too little and old to enable accurate estimates of what will be needed, and so, with the first possibility, it is inevitable that there will be periods where not enough money is available, leading to declining spending and output. Recession in other words.

          With the second possibility, if there really is excess money available to the banks then the situation is barely distinguishable from what we already have. Private banks will be able to make loans at will, for whatever they think will make them money, including unproductive speculation. As they do now.

          If the central committee sticks with its ‘excess funds’ policy then the speculative lending can continue, and if it reverts to only providing what it thinks is necessary then we’re back in the situation of periodic, guaranteed, recessions.

          This can all be avoided by nationalising (some of) the banks, leaving widely distributed decision making but with public accountability, and with no government guaranteed profits/bailouts for private banks.

          Speculative activity can be outright banned, and probably should be in any case, but do it within the PM structure and you still have private banks being backstopped by government guarantees. Without the guarantees you have the problem of bad loans causing bank runs.

          If banks are going to have these guarantees they should at a minimum be regulated as public utilities. Or just plain nationalised.

          “It’s ironic because this is EXACTLY what we have just now…”

          It’s not ironic. Yes, men do already dominate, and that was my point with that little aside.

          • To be fair, I think the reference to fractional reserve was by a guest author.
            Have a look at the positive money website again about their proposals…

            “With the second possibility, if there really is excess money available to the banks then the situation is barely distinguishable from what we already have. Private banks will be able to make loans at will”

            Just to be clear the positive money proposals do not allocate money to the banks. The money the banks have available to lend out will be the money we invest via transparent investment accounts. We get a return but share in the risk.

            The money created is assigned directly to government to inject into the economy and it is debt free. The decision on how much to create is separate from the decision on where it is allocated.

            “but do it within the PM structure and you still have private banks being backstopped by government guarantees.”
            No their proposals separate out deposits from investments. your bank would not legally own your deposits (as it does now) and would not be able to speculate with them. If the bank folded, your deposits would be shifted to another bank, but your interest bearing investment account would incur some risk. There would be no deposit insurance from govt as there is now. The banks could fail like any other business without wrecking the economy.

            “leaving widely distributed decision making but with public accountability”

            Obviously a money creation committee would be accountable to the public.

            I’m not at all against your proposals but maybe it’s worth a read of their book ‘Modernising Money’ to clear up any misunderstandings.

          • “Obviously a money creation committee would be accountable to the public.”

            And thoroughly centralised, which goes against one of the greens’ core principles.

            From what you say it seems PM’s proposals are even more unnecessarily complicated than when I last looked, so I wouldn’t normally put myself through reading them again. A lot of people seem to be buying into it though, so I might have to. If only there were more hours in the day.

  3. I have voted SNP since ’74. In Holyrood and local elections I have always tried to add SSP or Green. I have always worried about the SNP getting too close to business interests, to the detriment of progressive, transformative policies. As they get closer to the centre of British power, that danger can only get worse. I want a strong Scottish opposition to keep the SNP’s ‘feet to the fire’ and I now feel the Greens are best placed to do this. I loved the togetherness of the Yes Alliance, but it was never going to last. It pains me to say it, but the left seem to be unable to work as one, but constantly bickering, finger pointing, and fragmenting, while theSNP, understandably, having done all the serious anti establishment running for decades, are jealously marshalling and focusing their forces on storming Westminster. All strength to them there, but next year I will continue to give my support to the Greens in Scotland. I am also heartened to see them doing so well down south.

    • a j mills – I agree with your sentiments – to Justin I would say that were it not for the fear of splitting the Pro-Indy party vote and inadvertently allowing Labour to take a constituency seat ,I would vote for a Green Party or SSP candidate who showed more “backbone” than some of the existing SNP MSP crop.

      I sincerely hope that from the new input of SNP members there will be many selection contests prior to next year there can be no place for those silent SNP backbenchers who occupy seats at present! The chamber needs some new pro-active energised SNP blood.

      If the SNP field a weak candidate then I could easily favour a strong Green or SSP candidate first and and SNP for list – Justin this could easily happen in many of Scottish constiuencies.

      The efforts of the Greens and SSP during the ref campaign and the calibre of many of their candidates compared to certain SNP opponents will undoubtably be recognised by next years pro indy voters reaping well deserved rewards for these parties.

      • Concentrate on the goal at hand above all else – a free, fair and economically vibrant Scotland with social equality underpinning our values.

        Once independence is obtained then we can vote as our hearts and conciousness tell us to enable us to live in the country we want to live.

        By all means let us stretch out hands of friendship to greens, socialists and wavering labour, but don’t let this distract us from the goal!

      • The Scottish Greens don’t normally stand in constituency votes for the Scottish Parliament, so you won’t be able to first vote for them. Wherever you are in Scotland, second vote Green will reduce Labour, Tory and LibDem representation in the Scottish Parliament.

        • Drew there’s all to play for next year, priorities may well differ. The Greens need show more ambition they also have a growing and informed membership.

          With a reduced number of list SNP MSP’s which would follow if everybody gave Greens their second vote the SNP may require a Green coalition to retain power! Room for Patrick in the cabinet?

    • To a j mills – wholehearted agreement!

    • I agree with you a j mills. You’ve summed up my thinking very well.

      Re; the left’s tendency to “bicker’. The right wingers have a love of money to unite them, and generally agree on how best to enrich themselves by following a few simple rules.

      It’s probably a more complex job to define the route to “a fairer society” and we all have differences of opinion about how best to get there.

      Add in a tendency to ca’ the feet from under anyone who looks like they are getting too “up themselves” (due perhaps to remnants of our own collective low self esteem?)

  4. I’ll be voting SNP and Green in 2016.

  5. Interesting blog and, certainly, as things stand Greens can expect a very high level of support in 2016 but only if we earn it. However, the writer, as a social scientist, has let himself down in one crucial area: evidence. “People that I know or have asked…” isn’t really a substitute for data. And the absence of any data I’m pretty confident that the writer is wrong on voting intentions in 2015. The vast majority of Green members are voting for the Green candidate, where they have one and coming to their own personal choices where they don’t.

    • Do you have any data to support your confidence about voting intentions in 2015?

    • Gavin, you have misunderstood the nature of non-quantitative, i.e. qualitative, evidence. Narrative data is evidence, just of a different type to statistical evidence. Please don’t dismiss data simply because it is not numeric. EM

  6. Brilliant piece. I am not in a party, partly because I don’t think any of them meet all my apirations and partly because I would describe myself as a “Green-Socialist-Nationalist(Normalist)” and as such all 3 attract me.

    If I had to choose, I would say I was a Green, but I am also voting SNP this election. I have in the past also voted Liebour, but since Bliar I have always voted SNP at Westminster elections.

    I also want to see either Greens or SSP as the official opposition. I read an excellent piece many, many weeks ago now that looked at our PR system and concluded with the current strength of support for the SNP and the 45% that if we all voted SNP on the constituency vote and Green on the list we would have a minority SNP govt with Greens installed as the official opposition and only a hanful of Labour, Tory and Liberal MSP’s.

    How we would achieve it to get a good repre4sentation of SSP MSP’s as well I am unsure, but I think it’s worth pondering.

  7. I’ll be voting SNP & Green @ Holyrood and am really grateful to my Green friends who are voting SNP in GE15

  8. I am a Scottish Nationalist living in London, I will be voting Green.

    My reasons:

    Green is progrssive
    Anti Trident / not war mongers
    Think globally, act locally
    Not part of westminster clique
    They value honsety and people

    In days of old, labour in England may have anticipated my vote, but post referendum, I see them no different to the tories, in policy, behaviour and their anti Scottish rhetoric.

  9. I’d imagine that most SDA members will be voting SNP next Thursday too.

  10. Given the recent evidence of the traditional left infighting and the highly unlikely resolution of those old animosities, the greens look more and more like the probable base for a further left position at Holyrood. There will be huge expectation that they keep the SNP honest and continue the push for social justice.

  11. ‘And they can’t understand – not one bit – why it isn’t working…Let’s just enjoy the fact that if they could put themselves in our shoes and see why it isn’t working, then the act of doing so would involve them seeing the world as it actually is, and switching sides.’

    It occurs to me that, collectively, we have come to our ‘Morpheous moment’…

    ‘Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.’

  12. A very timely article. I have been thinking about this very much of late and am still debating which way round I will vote in 2016; SNP/Green or Green/SNP. Suffice to say either combination is a personal certainty. Like a previous commenter, I am only too aware of the SNP’s business oriented bias (albeit with a much more compassionate face than that of the Unionist crew) and I feel much more inclined toward the Green Party’s approach. This applies most particularly to the Green stance on fracking and oil production and it’s drive toward renewable energy as the best of all available options. I have resisted joining either party to date but am inclined to take up Green membership in the not too distant future. Good luck in England Greens and SNP voters, return the favour in 2016.

    • It’s unlikely the Greens will stand in more than one or two constituencies in 2016, possibly none at all. In other words, you probably won’t have the option to “first vote” Green and second vote SNP for the list. The latter option will almost certainly be counter-productive anyway, because of the Du Hondt system of apportioning votes to balance out representation on the lists.

      This article in Wikipedia helps explain:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-member_proportional_representation

      • Thanks for the link Drew. Living in London I have to admit to not fully understanding how the voting system in Scotland works; this article will help me get my head around it.

  13. That’s a fascinating proposal for an electoral pact, Justin, and very well put. Can I suggest that yourself and Bella put a note in your diaries to repost this in mid April 2016…

  14. Living in Edinburgh, my list vote always went to the obvious choice on the ballot paper ,,, Margo. Now that, sadly, we no longer have that option, my list vote will be transferring to the Green party. I think you’ll find many of Margo’s supporters in previous elecetions will making that change.

  15. I was at a hosted by ENL Common Weal a couple of months ago, talking about this. Robin McAlpine stated need to “game the system” in our favour, and that means voting Green or SSP for our list candidate. Jonathan Shafi said he hoped the opposition in the next Holyrood Parliament would come from the left of the pro-independence movement, and we need to work for that

  16. I’ll certainly be voting SNP for my constituency and Green on the list in 2016.

  17. I certainly in 2016 will be voting SNP for the constituency and Green for the list.
    I would hope the Greens do very well in 2016 and indeed start to replace Labour.

  18. I always vote Green at the local and European elections, but SNP at the UK and Scottish elections.

  19. Once we have established our independence, my vote will be green. Until then it remains, as is my membership, SNP.

    • Please read up and understand how you can use your second vote to best effect in 2016. If the SNP sweep the constituencies, it is almost impossible for the party to win any further seats from the lists.

      In which case your second vote for Greens will reduce representation from Labour, Tories and LibDem.

  20. I am voting SNP this time. I wont take the risk of a scummy Brit Nat getting in the back door. As to Holyrood 2016. I suspect I will be voting SSP for the Regional list seat and not Green. I will weigh up the options at the time. I will be voting SNP for the constituency vote though.

  21. I am going to vote for the SNP until we get independence, or at the very least significantly more powers that we currently have. I was disappointed when the Scottish Greens did not support Devo max in their presentation to the Smith Commission. They have been making fairly negative noises about FFA, which is really Devo max, as well. Until we get a significant amount of taxation, welfare, energy, broadcasting powers at the minimal then I see the SNP as the vehicle to advance our interests. Frankly, I do not trust the Greens on the constitutional issue, and despite many unionists wanting to, and desiring to, downgrade its significance, it remains the most important issue imo Without political power you cannot change or tackle significant social and economic issues.

    The left in Scotland is doing itself no favours whatsoever by continually falling out with itself, and apart from the SSP, I see no coherent party to represent left wing opinion. Colin Fox has done a great job to keep intact his party, when far too many socialists in Scotland seemingly prefer to argue among themselves.

  22. Scotland’s real problem is that the ‘establishment’ which implements policies has its own agenda, no matter whether SNP or Greens or whoever is ‘in power’. It is still largely the same ‘social type’ of civil servants and quangocrats who spend Swinney’s budget for him as existed under the previous Labour/libdem coalition, or even under the pre-Holyrood Scotland Office. They are the real barrier to change, with a predominantly unionist mindset, a right wing tendency, public school background, and usually from so-called ‘elite’ uni’s – they have a strong tendency to recruit each other to top posts so perpetuating their meritocracy. Even the SNP has been unable to make much of a dent in this structural establishment ‘barrier’ over last 8 yrs. To effect real change we need stronger Ministers who can insist on change instead of looking for photo opportunities and continuing to sign off all sorts of poor value deals dressed up as good news by their unionist centurion officials and advisors. So discuss all you want on whither SNP, Green or whatever, Scotland’s real barrier to change is the establishment meritocracy in our midst.

  23. Joined SNP three days after the referendum. Will be voting SNP for constituency in 2016 and Green on the list on the basis that I want a pro-independence government and a pro-independence opposition in our parliament.

  24. Hi Darien – good post , not only do the SNP need “stronger Miinisters” there is a need to re-select certain non-productive silent SNP backbenchers. Of whom there are to many!

    (refer also reply to above reply to a j mills)

    • David, I still see civil servants and quangocrats with same mindset from the Michael Forsyth era never mind Dewar etc. SNP have been unable/unwilling to cut through this meritocratic control so it will need stronger politicians. Appreciate SNP strategy is not to rock the boat too much, but a largely Tory ‘establishment Scotland’ still run Scotland, not the politicians – so enemy remains within, irrespective what happens next week. Some SNP appointments to quango’s are as bad if not worse than Forsyth would have agreed to, but Ministers are usually merely rubber stamping appointments already made by meritocrats. So the faces and language of our politicians may change, but those who really run Scotland and spend Swinney’s budget for him remain the same as before.

  25. Here in East Dunbartonshire there is much positivity for the Greens in the SNP camp . Ross Greer , the Green candidate , deserves more than will be delivered by a first past the post system . He should do well in the Holyrood election if he chooses to stand.

  26. I am not sure why someone would vote for a neo-liberal party if they actually believed in the Green’s policies – the SNP and the Greens are in different universes.

    • So if you lived in England and your only candidates were Conservative, UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour you wouldn’t vote?

    • You say the SNP are neo-liberal. I have heard this a lot. Could you explain why you think they are?

      • Neo-liberalism is the idea that governments have minimal interference with the free market.

        Basically, the Greens propose a lot of government interference with the free market, and the SNP don’t. I think it is fair to describe the SNP of 2015 as neo-liberal – politics in the UK has all moved considerably to the right, to the extent that Edward Heath’s Tories did more nationalisation than anything proposed by the SNP.

        • Neil, that is an extraordinarily shallow definition of neo-liberalism. The SNP operate in a system where they are given a block grant to spend. Most of it is taken up by the NHS and education. Given that it is being cut, can you tell me where the SNP are meant to find the funds to nationalise more services, and then find the investment for them? The Greens policies have by and large not been scrutinised by their opponents to any great degree, which is markedly different to the level of scrutiny the SNP policies have had.

          • There isn’t much more to the definition of neo-liberalism. It is a general concept about the government’s attitude to private enterprise and the free market. As such, the SNP is a neo-liberal party, by definition – it is hardly a point of argument – they really aren’t going to reintroduce 1970’s taxation for the reintroduction of 1970’s nationalisation.

  27. I’ll give Patrick Harvie my second vote next year.
    Sadly the Scottish Left seem all over place.

  28. I will be lending my vote to the SNP but will vote Green in Scottish Election

  29. I’m not totally convinced by the Greens enthusiasm for independence, so I’ll continue voting SNP.
    Pretty sure I read a post on Scot goes Pop explaining that it isn’t true that a second SNP vote is a wasted vote.

  30. The Greens (or potential Radical Left Party) can fully count on my vote for the 2016 list. The need to keep up the momentum in our quest for better politics (which we all know is possible despite the protestations of the Daily Mail and friends) whilst also pressuring the SNP to move further towards the left is paramount. We live in possibly the most politically engaged country on this planet and many of us are talking about policies and ideas which could radically change how this world works. If we don’t keep this up we will not only be doing ourselves a disservice, but others who could learn from our example.

  31. Me too, voting SNP in 2015, then green on the list in 2016

  32. “an ecologically conscious SSP”

    Are you suggesting that the anti-fracking, anti-nuclear SSP which alone advocates free public transport as a radical solution to car pollution is not already “ecologically conscious”?

  33. Justin, you have my promise of the second vote for the Greens and my thanks for to all my Green pals for their support.

  34. If you want to oppose fracking, trident and TTIP and really sort out the environment it has to be a Green vote. Vote for your principles. Vote Green in 2015!

  35. Neil at 14.46

    The SNP is not a “neo-liberal” party and its anti-austerity drive and demand for funding being provided to kick start the economy, bring more jobs, bring more industry and more economic activity which produces higher taxation revenues to fund higher social provision and an extension of sensible universalism is quasi Keynsian.
    The SNP and Scotland are however trapped in a neo liberal and largely bankrupt UK economy

  36. We owe a great deal to the Greens. Not only are they voting for the SNP on Thursday, but Natalie Bennett has been very consistent in the media about always standing up for Nicola and the SNP almost as a sister party. Do not forget that the Greens were the ONLY Westminster Party elected from England and Wales to support Scottish independence.

    We also need the Greens to be the opposition to the SNP in the future. They are fine principled people with policies which I largely agree with, sometimes even more so than the SNP (I am probably a bit to the left of the SNP). I joined the SNP because what I care most about is independence and the welfare of Scotland and the Scottish people. Second to that comes the SNP, for me. I believe that if the SNP have coped admirably with the influx of new members, an almost impossible task. But if they start getting too big for their boots or comprising their policies or enjoying WM power a bit too much, I predict the size of the Green Party to overnight increase by around 85,000 new members…

  37. I can tell you that as far as I am concerned, after next Thursday, the dial is reset and a whole new set of considerations comes into play. I have yet to begin the process of deciding who to vote for in 2016, but I am confident the Greens will be right up there.

  38. Well I for one welcome our new Tory/UKIP Masters. I know I’m an SNP member but as but a largely Tory ‘establishment Scotland’ still run Scotland, not the politicians The Enemy remains within, irrespective what happens next week so i’ll be voting Tory just to be on the safe side when they Abolish Devolution and Holyrood and start rounding up us , sorry , you Insurgents..

  39. I have a deal of sympathy for the SNP / Green one:two. I always planned to vote green after a yes vote. Well we didn’t get that but feck it, the referendum has empowered me to vote for who I actually want instead of all this dismal tactical voting. The one thing I won’t do is jeapordise pro-Indy seats in Holyrood, which I know James at Scot goes pop warns against. However that’s an argument for next year which we will be able judge better when we see the polls for Holyrood. 

  40. and now a brief update:

    Electoral Calculus predicts that the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard will secure twice as many votes as Labour’s Sheila Gilmore in Edinburgh East, and so now (judging by conversations and Facebook) many Greens are shifting their votes back to the excellent Peter McColl of the Green Party:
    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/cgi-bin/seatdetails.pl?seat=Edinburgh%20East

    Just as my original post may have upset Green party stalwarts who see a vote for the Greens as always being the right vote, this information may upset those in the SNP who think likewise about their party. But most folk I have been talking with in both parties are thinking for themselves, and thinking on their feet.

    As one strong SNP supporter said to me after the hustings in Portobello: “yer man’s performance” [meaning Green party candidate Peter McColl] has won over a lot of my mates to the Greens”. But that wasn’t a complaint, she was genuinely glad that there are two excellent candidates here to vote for.

    Here’s hoping for a strong showing by Peter McColl in this the SGP’s target seat. A strong showing will help keep the SNP heading in the right direction,and help build for the future. And given that Peter is not going to win it, here’s hoping that Tommy Sheppard’s inevitable victory is a thumping one.

    If you’re in Edinburgh East, then it’s your choice which of those aspects of Thursday’s vote you want to emphasise.

  41. There is a great future for the Green Party in Scotland as a refreshingly modern,consensus building voice in the Scottish Parliament.The more they are heard,the more people will recognise the pathetic inadequacies of the antiquated,confrontational system that holds us back just now.I’ll be giving the Green manifesto a long hard look before the Scottish elections next year.I hope to find it full of common sense,ambition and atleast a bit of kite flying.Both my votes in 2016 will go to pro Indy parties.

  42. Personally I want to see a proper Labour Party in Scotland again that it committed to either Home Rule or independence. Labour could do a lot worse than turn to someone like Jeanne Freeman. A Scottish Labour Party aligned with the STUC’s principles would be a welcome opposition to the SNP.. As would a Liberal Party that supports Home Rule in deed rather than just in theory.

    • Labour as a brand has been forever tarnished , a new name fresh honest politics and a new party of the left could prove a big draw . Not Labour with their existing party stalwarts.

  43. What a lot of trot! Disappointing article

  44. I’ll be voting SNP constituency and SSP regional next year, or for whatever the Scottish Left Project come up with. I won’t vote Green because of their arrogance and disdain for the wider left. Far too middle class, far too mealy mouthed.

  45. honestly shocked that members of the scottish green party should be abandoning their own party and voting snp – on any issue you care to think of the scottish green party has a better and more radical policy than the snp. Er dont those scottish greens allegedly planning to vote for the snp know that an snp government would be quite happy to see soldiers from an independent scotland participate in these nato war games http://rt.com/news/255389-nato-lithuania-estonia-exercises/

  46. David , in an Independent Scotland your vote would therefore be for a party endorsing that Scotland should not be a NATO member, your very valid arguement is for another day ! unfortunately this WE election has nothing to do with SNP policy for an Independent Scotland. That issue will re-emerge in the future.

  47. They will. I have.

  48. The way I see it, Holyrood allows you to vote for not only your preferred candidate, but your preferred opposition. I much prefer the sight of someone like Patrick Harvie or Rosie Kane debating with the SNP from an impassioned, genuine position as opposed to the infantile games of some other parties.

    As an SNP voter, member, and activist, I want not only a strong SNP government, but a strong and worthy opposition. The three unionist parties have utterly disgraced themselves, many MSPs unworthy to even have a place in the backbenches. Therefore I would wholeheartedly support the Greens and SSP for Holyrood. Being from Inverclyde, the SSP seem to have the strongest base, and I am closer to them ideologically than the Greens, so I’d most likely vote for their candidate – but I will certainly not dissuade anyone from voting for a Green candidate either.

    We could have an entirely new way of campaigning: instead of the dog-eat-dog winner-takes-all approach of First Past the Post, even the single transferable vote offers the opportunity for a more collaborative style of politics, where you don’t have to treat the other parties as “the enemy,” but as competitors, seeking to outdo each other in making Scotland better rather than just tear your opponents down.

    • Well said , we can surely do better than the dog-eat-dog , first past the post feeding frenzy of Westminster elections .

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