Betrayal or Pragmatism?

It is being reported that the Scottish Greens are planning on fielding as few as 10 candidates for the up and coming General Election on June 8th. This is to try and stem the Tory recovery, of a kind, in Scotland, and to enhance pro independence representation in Westminster, as the debate over a second referendum continues and the Tories continue to feel very confident in the continued support of Scottish Labour and Liberal Democrat voters. This was pointed out to me last night by a Lib Dem friend, who while accepting that they might gain from this policy in some areas of the country, they are however against it.

Tommy Sheppard SNP, the Edinburgh East MP, said the Scottish Greens should be “mindful of not splitting the pro-Yes vote and certainly not splitting the anti-Tory vote”.

The Scottish Greens have said “By targeting resources in key constituencies, such as Glasgow North where Patrick Harvie will be our candidate, we can build on our strong support to win Scotland’s first Green MP, offering a bold alternative to the other parties. “Greens not only reject the damaging hard Brexit, deeply conservative agenda of the current Westminster government, we fight for Scotland’s right to decide our own future and offer a positive alternative for the kind of society we can be.”

Leading YOON Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “This is the Green party reaffirming themselves as a pointless presence in Scottish politics. “The propping up of the SNP is embarrassing and a complete disservice to their voters. “Quite simply, they might as well not exist. “If they are so determined to become the SNP, they should disband and merge with the nationalists. “It’s utterly regrettable that a party previously committed to issues like the environment have become nothing but a support mechanism for the SNP.”

There is a wee problem though for Murdo Fraser, the hypocrite was reported in The Scotsman on 17th April, urging Union supporters to vote tactically, listing any party but the SNP as their second, third and fourth choices in the council elections. Not so different from what the Scottish Greens are doing.

I understand the reasons behind the Green move, if it is in fact the case, but I would also understand if some Green voters feel it to be a betrayal given they will be denied the opportunity to vote for their chosen party and it’s manifesto. However, the Greens have done this before, Rupa Huq, was elected with a 274 majority in Ealing Central and Action in 2015, winning backing from the rival Greens because of her vote against article 50 in parliament, her backing for electoral reform and her opposition to Heathrow expansion.

Do I agree with the move?

Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat and former Government Minister, certainly does and was secretly recorded urging Lib Dem supporters to vote Labour despite his party ruling out any kind of coalition deal. The idea being for voters to vote for candidates that can defeat the Tories.

I am not so sure if I agree or not, there would be a temptation not to vote at all if my preferred party or candidate withdrew leaving only other party candidates, even if they are pro YES candidates. It’s a difficult one it really is, the Tories will destroy this country and strip more of our freedoms away so any opportunity to deny them power has to be a good thing, but is tactical standing and voting democratic? Does it reduce the choice for the voters and thereby denying voters the opportunity to express their true feelings? I must admit that there is a part of me that is against it but there is a part of me that totally understands why many believe it should be done. And will it be successful.

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9 comments

  1. b

    I think the choice is denied due to the fpp system….electoral reform happens this would not happen…the greens also don’t have the funds of the big parties…let’s hope they do though…as in Scotland..make the difference.

    • TheStrach

      Totally agree. Labour had the chance during their 13 year rule to completely change this country by introducing proportional representation. They failed to do what was best for the country. Hopes of reform in England are now dead for at least a generation in my view.

      In an independent Scotland we’ll have a fair voting system, as we do now for the Scottish Parliament. The Greens have done the right thing and my respect for them has increased. We can’t give the Tories any succour and hopefully the action by the Greens will work to the advantage of the SNP, our vehicle for independence at Westminster.

    • grumpyscottishman

      b
      Totally agree about resources, Labour have the Unions, Tories the posh, SNP huge membership so the other parties are at a disadvantage. FPP is also a huge problem in my opinion, hats off to the SNP for supporting PR even though it would really effect their seats in both parliaments. I like Green policies I must admit and once you read them they are actually far more left than most people realise.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Lanark

    In normal circumstances, I am against moves like this but these are not normal circumstances. We are up against a truly grim Tory party and the Yes side must pull together.

    The Greens know that the best chance they have to put their policies forward and perhaps even from a government is in an independent Scotland. The only way to get this is an alliance of some sort with the SNP.

    Don’t forget the splitting of the vote in Mundell’s constituency allowed him to sneak in.

    Another plus point of the Greens for me is they annoy the heck out of clowns like Murdo Fraser and the Ruth Davidson party.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Lanark
      I do sympathise, and I can see both sides of it, and am not so sure where I stand, if it were anyone but the Tories I would probably not be too supportive of the move but I despise the Tories I really do. I do like many of the Green policies, I have always given them my list vote without really bothering to really have a look at their policy, I was surprised looking at it to be fair and liked a lot of what I read. I hope Mundell gets booted out, even if the Tories win in other areas, I would love to see the smile wiped from his puss, saying that though he will just end up in the Lords for services to England and keeping the dirty unwashed jocks in their box.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. bjsalba

    There is also the financial side to consider. It takes a lot of money to put up a full field of candidates, and a lot of volunteerts to deliver leaflets. Better to do a few well than a lot poorly.

    • grumpyscottishman

      bjsalba
      You’re correct and I have heard that more wealthy candidates get through candidate selection at the executive level if they have money, esp in target seats, total joke and just another thing wrong with our politics. Also agree that the smaller parties just can’t put that many candidates up due to cost, there shouldn’t even be a cost, all designed to keep the gadgies out the influential in along with the established order.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. Pingback: The Green Party Manifesto | Grumpy Scottish Man

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