Saturday, 22 April 2017

A single transferable Pro UK preference


Over the years I have had minimal interest in council elections. I simply want whoever runs the council to do their job as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Ideally I would like as little party politics as possible involved in how local services are run. I would much prefer it, for instance, if I put all my rubbish in one bin and that bin went out once a week. I don’t want my council to try to change the world. In fact I want them to do as little as possible, do that little well and charge me the smallest amount the can.

However, in Scotland all elections are different. Every election is an expression of public opinion about the only political issue that matters to all of us. That is their importance and the reason why I intend to first write about the local election and then at a later date turn to the General Election.

So long as public support for the SNP remains high the issue of Scottish independence will always be on the agenda. The key task for Pro UK people is to gradually whittle away at that support. The goal is first to create a strong opposition and then to take power away from the SNP.


At present Theresa May has said that there will be no indyref2 any time soon (always use indyref2, the SNP don’t like it as it reminds them that they lost). The SNP will have to wait at least until Brexit is finished and we all have had a chance to see how it works in practice. This gives us some time. The ideal situation is to make the SNP go into the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2021 having to campaign explicitly for indyref2. Let all pro-independence parties make a clear, unambiguous manifesto commitment to indyref2 and see how the electorate responds. For too long the SNP have been pretending that a particular vote, in a General Election, or for the Scottish Parliament, is not about independence. They then later decide that it in fact was about independence. In fact all votes in Scotland are always only about independence.

Theresa May can only maintain her “Not yet” strategy so long as Scottish public opinion allows her. It is crucial therefore that we take every chance to demonstrate that we agree with her. This is where council elections become important. They are not about bins, they are about the future of our country.

The council elections in Scotland will take place on May 4th. The method of voting is by the Single Transferable Vote. This means that you can put a “1” in the box next to your first choice, “2” in the box next to your second choice etc. It is possible to have only one preference. Alternatively you can vote for as many or as few parties as you like.

I don’t believe in negative campaigning, nor do I believe anymore in voting tactically in a First Past the Post General Election. I think voters should always vote for the party they support. I think campaigns to vote tactically against the SNP perversely help the SNP. The reason for this is that such campaigns are inherently negative and they get SNP supporters backs up. This encourages a “we will show them” mentality. At the last General Election I supported tactical voting. I was wrong. I think it contributed to the SNP winning nearly all the seats. 

I know that some people I like and respect will disagree with me about tactical voting. To an extent it depends on where you live. If a constituency is a marginal where only one of the Pro UK parties can challenge the SNP, then voters will naturally vote tactically. But elsewhere the vast majority of voters will not vote for a party they disagree with and rightly so. There is something dismal about it. Better by far to vote for a party you believe in. At least your choice is positive.  

However in a Single Transferable Vote context it is perfectly reasonable for me to express a preference. This is, after all, what this sort of voting is designed to show. Well I will be campaigning for the Conservatives, both locally and nationally. They will be my number one choice. I hope that they will gain the maximum number of council seats in Scotland. But I will use my 2nd and 3rd preference votes. The reason for this is that I want to maximise the Pro UK vote. These two preferences will go to the Lib Dems and Labour. I would far rather see Lib Dem and Labour councillors than those who support the break-up of the UK. Obviously if you support the Lib Dems or Labour, you might consider doing something similar with your party in first place and the other Pro UK parties in second and third.

If there are any minor Pro UK mainstream parties left on my ballot paper I might put them as my 4th or 5th choice. This would depend on them being moderate and sensible. Also if I know for certain that an independent councillor is Pro UK such a person might be worthy of my vote.

But above all it is vital that Pro UK people don’t vote for independence supporting parties at all. Better by far to leave a blank rather than add the SNP, the Scottish Greens or one of the far left independence supporting socialist parties.

The Scottish Greens I think gain a certain degree of support from the fact that many voters are concerned about environmental issues. Because of this they think it won’t matter if I vote for the Greens. They won’t win power, but at least I have shown that I care about the environment. We have just seen how foolish this sort of thinking has turned out.

The Scottish Greens won six seats at the last Scottish Parliament Election. They used those seats to support the SNP demand for indyref2. I strongly suspect that many Pro UK people voted for the Scottish Greens, perhaps not even being aware that they would support independence. The Scottish Greens themselves were vague in their manifesto about indyref2. They said that indyref2 should only happen if it was clearly the “will of the people”. 

It’s time that we taught the Scottish Greens a lesson. If their Scottish Parliament seats were spread between the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems, there would be a Pro UK majority in the Scottish Parliament. Pro UK people must never vote for independence supporting parties. If you do, they will use your vote to push for independence.

It baffles me frankly why the Greens should support Scottish independence. What has it to do with the environment? German Greens don’t support independence for Saxony. If the Scottish Greens could be shown that supporting independence is costing them votes, then they might change this policy. Environmentally concerned Pro UK Scots should show the Greens that supporting independence costs them votes.

Long term I think the best chance of getting rid of the SNP as the party that governs Scotland is to vote for the Conservatives. I believe the Conservatives are the strongest Pro UK party in Scotland and the most committed to maintaining the UK. It would be better in the end if there were only one Pro UK party in Scotland. We could all then unite behind it. That party has to be the Conservatives. They have the best leader, both in Scotland and in the UK. They have shown strength in opposing the SNP and not giving into SNP demands. They deserve our thanks rather than our opposition. It is for this reason above all that I do not favour artificially maintaining the Lib Dem or Labour vote in Scotland by means of tactical voting in a First Past the Post General Election. It prevents us from reaching the goal of a Pro UK party eventually supplanting the SNP. 

If the same party ruled Scotland as the UK there would no longer be the argument that Scotland votes one way while the other parts of the UK vote another. The SNP are above all else the Tory hating party and use that hate to gain support. Pro UK people must show that this hate belongs in the 1980s and with a dead prime minister who hasn’t ruled for decades. If Scottish politics could once more be about a choice between centre left and centre right, as it was some decades ago, then we would have defeated the SNP. 

Long term I want Scotland to get back to normal party politics. My goal is that independence becomes a dead issue.  But to do this we have to criticise each other. This is necessary in order to avoid being entirely negative only about the SNP. We should criticise what we disagree with across the board and be positive about the party we most support. Personally, I don’t believe that Labour can be resurrected in Scotland perhaps not in the UK either. Kezia Dugdale can't quite seem to quite make up her mind whether she really supports the UK and I've heard other Labour people claim that they would prefer independence to a "hard Brexit". Labour are too concerned with winning back their voters who defected to the SNP. Their default position is to make concessions to Scottish nationalism. It is this mindset going back 30 or 40 years that has left us vulnerable to the SNP. 

The Lib Dems have become the Remain Party. Sorry folks this is a bit like being the Communist Party in East Germany after the Wall came down.  In the end the little band waving red flags, longing for rule from the USSR, looked a little pathetic. Better by far to move on. It might in the short term bring some votes from disappointed Remain voters, but long term it is a blind alley. Campaigning to rejoin the EU, which would mean accepting Schengen, the Euro and national humiliation (Oh, please let us back, we can't manage on our own), is untenable. I also think that campaigning for a second EU referendum crucially undermines our position in Scotland. But then I have come across far too many Lib Dems who appear to prefer the EU to the UK and far too many who would like to weaken the UK's bonds still further and call it federalism. 

I think it would be far better if all Pro UK people voted Conservative. That is why they will be my number one choice. But I am willing to work with other Pro UK parties. We must agree to differ. We disagree on some issues, but for the most part still agree on the crucial issue of maintaining UK unity. I support the Conservatives, but will be pleased to see Labour or Lib Dem candidates win seats from Scottish nationalists whether of the green or yellow variety.  For this reason I hope all Pro UK people use their Single Transferable vote to vote for other Pro UK parties as 2nd, or 3rd choices. But if there is one message that we should all communicate as widely as possible, it is this. Don’t express any preference for independence supporting parties. 

45 comments:

  1. Wonderful article and sums up my views exactly. I do believe labour are putting everything at risk trying to our scottish the nationalists to win back support from there. It is just another form of identity politics and will fail. I hope they win back seats where possible but the land of adam smith will never be comfortable with itself until it returns to the spirit of the wealth of nations.

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    1. The Union is dying. Slowly but surely. Hahahahahahaha

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    2. So are we all. In a hundred years you'll be in a state of eternal oblivion and it wont matter to you if Scotland and the entire planet are vapourised in some cosmic cataclysm :0)

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    3. And there you have it! Selfish yoons blindly voting for their own agenda and absolutely no consideration of future generations. The "I'm alright jack" mentality.

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    4. Not at all. I am mindful of the 15 billion deficit and associated austerity you would impose on the people of Scotland, if you got your way.

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  2. Excellent stuff. One thought though, the next Scottish election may be in 2020, rather than 2021. Scottish elections were moved to prevent a clash with Westminster elections held every 5 years. This is no longer the case so should now be back to 4 year terms.

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    1. Excellent stuff? Really? Hmmm. I think Effie helps you pro uk types sleep at night when she writes her absolute bile. Your fear is excellent stuff. Why fear a referendum if you're so sure Scotland would vote no?

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    2. Yeah and your point is? Are we not still part of the UK or did I miss something?

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    3. Yes but typically when a decision of that nature is made, the other side of the argument exhibit a dignified silence, at least for a while. We had Salmond on the telly the day after the vote saying that 'other routes' to independence could be followed i.e. non democratic ones. Ever since we've had constant whingeing, protest votes from the yessers and attempts to ignore and overturn the result. Democracy only works if the loser shuts the fuck up once in a while, goes away, and considers why they lost.

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    4. Dignified silence....Back in yir Box Jock....

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    5. If you were truly in a 'box', you never would have been asked the question.

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    6. Sorry are you clowns not advocating walking out of Holyrood ? Thats quite clearly telling people who didn't vote Tory your votes don't count.

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    7. If it was up to you lot we wouldn't even have our own "most powerful devolved government in the whole wide world EVER"

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    8. Who devolved the extra powers Kat? The British Conservative and Unionist Party. Who set up the Scottish Parliament to begin with? The British Labour Party - another pro union party. They didn't even have to do it. They were enormously popular at the time and the SNP weren't. Yet they arguably sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

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  3. You have a fundamental flaw in your argument. SNP already have a mandate to hold an independence referendum. The Scottish Government have voted to call a referendum. No early GE or results from council elections can change that. Labour will be annihilated in Scotland and the Tories are still very much poison. The Tories vote decreased at the last Scottish election and that's even with scooping up some Labour votes. Face it folks, we will have a referendum. Will yes win? Who knows! All I know is that the yes side are not pooping their pants at the thought of one ;)

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    1. Wow the usual uncouthness and inability of a nationalist to argue economics or indeed to achieve anything in their personal lives. I feel sorry for u. It must be bad having your only route to betterment to vote to take someone elses wealth. Know what u would do for a currency yet? Facts now no bile please.

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    2. HA! And you've argued against my points how?

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    3. >The Scottish Government have voted to call a referendum. <

      There's no such body, it's the Scottish Executive which has zero authority on an matters concerning the UK constitution.

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    4. Kat, if you lose a second one, it's curtains for you. Only one nation in the world has had more than two independence referenda - a small island in the Pacific Ocean. So it's a high stakes game for both sides. But as the reigning champions - and the people who actually run Britain - we'll decide on the timing of any rerun ��

      Aldo

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    5. Come on Kat, the Yoons are stamping their feet and saying 'its no fair'.....surely that trumps any democratic vote in Holyrood.

      I'm surprised they are not howling at Mrs May usurping the UK parliament with an early election despite the Tories legislating against it previously. More U turns than a learner driver.


      You just need to look at the rampant nonsense form Mr Anonymous there to see how deranged they are. The cringe is somehow embedded in their very bones.

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    6. They are just oozing panic. My original point stands. If they are so sure that Scots don't want a referendum and so sure we would vote No then why the blind panic?

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    7. Who's panicking exactly? I'm certainly not - indy is well and truly in the long grass now. From a unionist point of view, its best to keep it there. That's not panic or cowardice, but a logical decision aimed at protecting our interests.

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  4. There is no mandate for a second referendum. The Green and SNP manifestos don't match up - and neither one outright guaranteed a referendum. What there is a mandate for is for all UK politicians to work together for the benefit of the entire nation. This mandate derives from the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 and has been ignored by the SNP and co.

    Aldo

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    1. Vote in parliament is the mandate , why do you hate democracy so much Aldo ?

      How can you swallow the Tory bullshit when so few Scots support their reactionary view.

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    2. The mandate comes from the people, RM - not the parliament.

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    3. Tory support is somewhere between 20 and 30% of voters

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    4. In Scotland its 33% now. Throw in UKIP and that's 35% of people in Scotland voting for the political right. A situation that once would have been unthinkable and which has been brought about by the SNP's "win at any cost" push for independence. The totality of the pro union party vote stands at about 54%. It would appear that no voters are finally abandoning the SNP/Greens - and maybe a few brexiteers too.

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    5. Oooh 33% hahaha clinging to an opinion poll. Just the one mind you, the others polls can be twisted and manipulated to suit tho

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    6. An opinion poll comes out on average once per year showing yes 1 point ahead and the nationalists practically cream their jeans.

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    7. Oooh 33% hahaha clinging to an opinion poll. Just the one mind you, the others polls can be twisted and manipulated to suit tho

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  5. This Blog initially opened with local Council elections & concluded as expected with Independence Councils used to be about taking care of its citizens and to provide for Births, Bins & Burials. The SNP have in their obsession with Independence & control taken Council elections & its citizens to another dark place in Scottish Politics. Communities that once socialised together & worked together are now divided by divisive SNP policies. A One Party Authoritarian State governed by SNP is not a Democracy that Scotland wants or needs. No matter how much Rhetoric they spout it will finally be decided by the electorate on how they see the disastrous 10 yrs have been.

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  6. Tories ruling over Scotland with only 1 in 10 voting for them , if the SNP on 50% of the vote is a one party state then how come the Tories with so little support get to rule over us ?

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    1. I don't think I ever personally used the expression 'one party state'. If they were to stay at 50 percent forever then we would effectively be a one party state. The UK is dynamic in that it swings between Tory and Labour. 20 years ago, Labour were riding high. Now its the tories turn. In twenty years Labour will be kicking arse again, of that I have no doubt. Scotland does tend to be static. Vote overwhelmingly for a single party for fifty years, switch party, repeat. Pretty crap really.

      As for why the Tories get to rule over us, why do the SNP get to rule over Orkney and Shetland?

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    2. TNS poll out tonight;

      Yes 37%
      No 55%

      Looks like Scottish independence is as far away as it ever was.

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    3. Scottish independence voting intention

      Yes: 51%
      No: 48%

      (Panelbase/Sunday Times / 30/04/17)

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  7. 49% of respondents chose one of the four pro-referendum options provided by TNS, and 51% chose the sole anti-referendum option

    So a bit of a lie there Aldo...but you knew that...

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  8. Panelbase Poll which was taken after TNS says

    Yes 45.2%, No 54.8%.

    BMG Poll again more recent that TNS data gathering

    Yes 43% (+2)
    No 45% (+1)

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  9. In other words, a no lead in all polls, even after the brexit vote and May's slapdown of Sturgeon. I thought we were all supposed to rise up and battle the English with our claymores?

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    1. And in other words support for Indy is rising. Nice try yoon. Servile till the bitter end.

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    2. You can be loyal / patriotic but you can't be servile to your own country, people and government. That statement makes no sense and turns off the people you need to win over, big time.

      Support for Indy is, at best, static. Several years of propaganda and circumstances that should be favourable to you and you still can't cross the line. Haha! Pathetic!

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    3. Yes: 51%
      No: 48%

      (Panelbase/Sunday Times / 30/04/17)

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    4. Proof?

      And even if it were true, it would be a single poll, carried out over a bank holiday weekend. Polls taken over bank holiday weekends have been known to produce odd results. Secondly, you rely on polling averages - not single polls.

      The desperation among you nats really is reaching fever pitch. I think some of you are now waking up to the reality that the SNP and independence are on the slide and may never again match their previous popularity. You're on a time limit to get this done but the UK government is stonewalling you, hence the increased aggression and trolling on forums like this one.

      The union, the tories, the Queen - better get used to them! They're going to be with us for a LONG time! ;0)

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  10. In De Nile there Aldo......One minute cheering a poll, then proved wrong shouts that polls are notoriously bad...FFS grow a spine

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    1. That's not what I said. I said that polls conducted at bank holiday weekends are often suspect in their results. Anyway, this poll was not yes/no. It was 3 options and asked about preference re EU. It can't be portrayed as a yes lead as that would assume that two mutually exclusive things can happen at the same time (being both in and out of the EU), which is, of course, impossible.

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