Patrick Harvie, Co – convener of The Scottish Green Party, in an interesting interview in the Herald (I saw it online, didn’t buy the paper) said regarding the SNP 1-2 or both votes campaign for Holyrood:
“The SNP would do well to remember how deeply that kind of mind-set rooted itself in the Labour party when they were the dominant party in Scotland, and how much it ended up damaging them.”
It’s interesting that he would say that as I had been having similar thoughts as the election campaign leaflets etc get delivered on the door steps. Now of course the SNP should be pushing for as many votes as they can get, and of course they can campaign in any way they want within the rules, but I must admit I find the both votes for SNP a bit annoying.
Now I’m not sure I would call it arrogance but I think it can be perceived, or at least could come across as a risk of arrogance. I have found it to be too much in your face, all the time on the literature with little explanation why the electorate should lend the SNP both votes. Now I understand why the SNP feel voters should lend them both votes, ensure majority SNP Government, maintain the YES momentum, ensure that on-going Government Policy is continued and followed through, fight the cuts etc. I understand that, but it is an in your face type of campaigning that I suspect many of us are uncomfortable with in Scotland.
One of the many things that have virtually killed off British Labour in Scotland was their sense of entitlement in elections across Scotland for too many years. Are the SNP at risk of that? I think Patrick is correct to raise it. The SNP suffer from a serious lack of opposition in Holyrood, I have mentioned it before. The lack of opposition could make the SNP Government get complacent, or be perceived as arrogant, and the campaign may just be risking that perception with its literature.
Now I believe you should vote for what you want, if that is Conservative, Labour or even UKip, vote for what you want to happen. That’s democracy, if your over-riding belief is Scottish Independence then give both votes to the SNP, but for myself. I want a Government in Holyrood that governs well, in everyone’s best interests as best possible but one that is held to account by good opposition and by the electorate.
Now I know good opposition in Holyrood is hard to find when most of it comes from Rennie, Davidson, Dugdale, and the hateful Baillie – but it is important. However, in light of the fact that there is zero decent opposition in Holyrood right now the SNP would be advised to be careful on how they are perceived as good governance and the big prize of independence are too important to those of us who supported YES.
Don’t get arrogant, don’t get complacent, build the momentum for YES. Build a better Scotland, don’t get used to power and don’t ever take it for granted.