If Nicola Sturgeon was doing her job properly there would be no talk of alternative pro-independence parties. But if the ‘People’s Alliance’ or any other alternative party wants my support they will have to convince me of three things – (a) that they really can game the voting system; (b) that they can do so without adversely affecting the SNP vote, and (c) that, if elected, they will have no policy conflicts with the SNP. That’s not going to be an easy task.
The voting system cannot be gamed. It’s impossible. By which I mean that the chances of being able to game the system are so remote as to be unworthy of serious consideration.
Any alternative pro-independence party is bound to impact on the SNP vote. It cannot be avoided when both parties are targetting the same voters. The People’s Alliance can give all the assurances they like. But the parliamentary arithmetic is such that even the slight possibility of even a small negative effect becomes a major gamble.
Assuming that the People’s Alliance is planning on standing human beings as candidates, it’s hard to imagine them having no opinions on anything other than the constitutional issue. It’s hard enough to imagine them agreeing with the SNP as regards the manner and method by which the independence campaign should be progressed. It would be a lot to expect that People’s Alliance MSPs would undertake to vote with the SNP even when in serious disagreement with the latter’s policies. It’s not a great pitch to the voters – “Vote for us and we’ll do whatever the SNP wants!”.
The Yes movement does need to come together and appoint people who can speak to the SNP, the Scottish Government and the country on behalf of the grassroots. The Yes movement needs to give birth to an effective campaigning organisation. Not to fight elections but to fight for independence. Because Nicola Sturgeon isn’t doing the job properly.
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