North East and the List

It won’t be long until we are at the point of thinking about and taking part in the Scottish Parliament Elections 2021. I am assuming they will still go ahead and hopefully Covid-19 will be well under control by then and maybe we will even be seeing the end of our current horrible plight. So I have been having a wee think about how I will vote in May. The constituency vote is pretty easy (although a wee nose holding will still be required), as I am passionate about the restoration of all sovereignty to Scotland my vote will go to Joe Fitzpatrick of the SNP, where it gets some debate going is where do we place our second vote, our list vote. This has proven to be a bit controversial the last few years with debate raging between Scot Goes Pop and Wings Over Scotland. I think it is fair to say that James Kelly (Scot Goes Pop) thinks it is a waste of time to vote for a smaller party on the list and Stuart Campbell (Wings Over Scotland) who I think it is fair to say goes with the tactical voting opinion to maximise pro independence seats.

Previously I have voted Green on the list, mainly because I have always viewed a list vote for the SNP a waste of time, no matter what James Kelly says. In 1999 the SNP got 4 list seats when Scottish Labour were still a thing, 2003 they got 1, 2007 they got 2, 2011 they got 1, and 2016 they got none of the seven list seats due to the voting system even though the SNP took the vast majority of list votes. This year I cannot vote for the Greens, mainly because I just do not agree with them around the Gender Reform Act, it will be hard enough to vote SNP for the same reason. This year I have decided to vote for the Independence for Scotland Party on the list, but before the James Kelly fans out there accuse me of trying to game the system I am not. Firstly I want to try to maximise independence supporting parties at Holyrood as is my right with my vote, and secondly I agree with a lot of their policies, and thirdly I feel we need a party to hold the SNP to account on the constitutional issue facing us right now. The following from ISP also appeal to me though:

Independence – Once elected, the first action taken by the ISP in the Scottish parliament will be to call a vote on proceeding with an independence referendum. Our instruction to the Scottish government will be to hold a referendum on the question ‘Should Scotland be an Independent Country?’ at the earliest date possible and within the life of the new Parliament.

Education – The ISP believes there needs to be an in depth re-assessment of the Scottish education system. As such, we will begin a consultation with teachers on the way forward. We will also look at ways to improve/reform secondary and further education for ASN/sensory impaired school leavers.

GRA And Self-ID – The ISP believes that trans people, like all other groups in society should be free to dress, live and love how they please. However, we oppose self ID on the grounds that it does not add anything to the rights that trans people currently enjoy and the legislation, as it stands will severely affect sex based women’s rights. We will oppose Self ID on that principle.

Land – In rural areas, we will look to instigate reform that will allow better, sustainable use of the land. We will also endeavour to support farmers to adjust and adapt in the wake of Brexit and coronavirus, with a view to building food supply chains that favour local available produce.

National Conference

National Conference of the Party shall be the supreme policy making body of the Party.

All party members are eligible to participate – provision shall be made for members to fully participate (including proposing and seconding motions) and vote remotely for those members that cannot attend in person. All members will be able to actively participate in the decision- making process, including, but not limited to, any policy propositions and the dissolution of the party.

a) All members shall have an equal vote.

b) Decision shall be by majority vote of the membership.

c) Any member or branch can submit a resolution to conference; it will be considered for inclusion by the standing orders and agenda committee and will be included subject to a vote of party members.

d) National Conference shall meet at least once a year. The Executive Committee shall decide the dates of a National Conference.

e) The conduct of National Conference shall be governed by National Conference standing orders.

f) National Conference will elect office bearers and functional sub -committee members as defined by the Executive Committee.

ISP have a video explaining North East list and how votes for the SNP in recent years have been wasted votes in many ways and it is worth a look. Everyone’s vote is theirs to place where and for whom they want. I appreciate that not everyone will agree with my list choice and I also accept that ISP are little known outside the politically interested like myself and many of you who read the various political blogs available to us. However, we need to maximise the pro YES vote in Holyrood, we need to get unionist seat warmers out of the parliament if that is the majority of voters choice, and we need to hold the SNP to account, on independence and other policy areas. I think ISP, if we give them a chance, could be the party to help with that. Check them out and see what you think, if anything you will be more informed.

8 Responses to North East and the List

  1. Stan Wilson says:

    Totally agree with all you have stated above

    • Stan

      There needs to be some movement and soon, I know James Kelly keeps going on about not voting for smaller parties but I am more in the Wigs camp and that is not going to change. It also comes down to the fact that I just do not trust the SNP to deliver end of, I suspect that they will do nothing other than make the same platitudes time after time when the English Parliament continue to ignore democracy and we may have to seriously consider which party we support full stop if or when the SNP fail to deliver.

      Thanks for commenting and please stay safe. Bruce


  2. Alan D says:

    I would consider supporting ISP if they could produce a few polls showing >5% for them on the list. This likely requires an endorsement from Alex Salmond(who also should stand for ISP). You can vote for whoever you like. The reality is that any party which does not exceed 5% will not get a seat, anywhere.

    ISP just hasn’t done it. Sure, a pandemic interrupted them, but they clearly don’t have the leadership or resources to make the splash they need to. As things stand now, they will be outperformed by the continuity UKIP/Brexit group(who themselves won’t get anywhere near a seat).

    A petition? Gies us peace. What a dreadful lack of imagination.

    • Alan

      You may well be correct to be hones but in the North East it doesn’t matter who I vote for the unionists will take them all unless someone comes along who can get that 5% as you correctly point out. I do also agree with their policies and they do appeal to me in that area as well. I hope they get some traction as I think they could be a force for good, they are mainly former office bearers in the SNP and some of the more active in the YS movement so fingers crossed they can make an impact but I really do take your point.

      Thanks for commenting and please take care now that we are about to take several staps back. Bruce ________________________________

      • Alan D says:

        In 2016, the last NE seat went to the Tories with effectively 17169.6 votes after the AMS dividing. Second last went to the Lib Dems with 6% of the vote there. 18,444 votes. The greens had 4.9% with 15,123. This is the challenge for ISP; they need seventeen and a half thousand votes just to become competitive for the last list seat in the region.

        The SNP did not win all constituencies – one went Tory. If it flips back to the SNP, that just makes it even harder for both ISP and the Greens, because the Tory list vote is divided by one fewer. The threshold for that last seat is now twenty-two thousand votes.

        If ISP manages to touch the threshold with just fifteen thousand votes, they’ll have done very well… and it would have been for nothing anyway.

        • Alan

          Even if a quarter of those that give their list vote to the SNP went ISP on the list would take them to near 30,000 votes. Do you not think that is doable if the message can get out there to yes supporting voters, I think it is possible, not easy as you point out but surely a possibility if enough people just think strategically about their vote as you can bet the unionists will again as they always do now, it is time we started thinking of the overall picture in some areas, not the areas where the SNP will win on the list but the areas where they just won’t as history has shown us.

          Thanks for commenting and please stay safe. Bruce


          • Alan D says:

            On paper, in theory, it’s doable. Even a great idea.

            The trouble with it is, it relies on hundreds of thousands of voters doing what they’re told to. By who? Colette Walker? Most have never heard of her and ISP doesn’t seem to have a candidate list yet.

            Galloway’s Alliance for Unity will be about four times more successful than the ISP. They’ll be more helpful to the independence cause by poaching Tory/Labour list votes. They still won’t breach the minimum threshold either.

            • Alan

              It will be interesting as I think some people are starting to think a little more strategically now and that might help, esp in Aberdeen where many are sick of the Tories at all levels, but it will take a shift as you say.

              Thanks for commenting. Bruce


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