Scotland is very rich indeed in a natural resource. No, this is not about the ‘black gold’, in fact this is about the golden opportunity to deliver a mandate for a second referendum in the Scottish Parliamentary Election on May 5th 2016 by using your dual vote wisely in the Additional Member System (AMS) ballot. The resource the Scottish electorate has at their disposal is a plethora of political parties who will be standing on a pro-indie ticket.
It almost seems slightly odd to write this as an SNP campaigner and member but it is a complete no-brainer. The situation is this, if you vote SNP on your first ballot (constituency vote) and SNP on your second ballot (list vote), your list vote will be completely wasted and have no effect whatsoever. You would have been as well burning it, spoiling your paper with a drawing of Carmichael in the noose or worse marking your X beside Labour as that is inadvertently what you would be doing.
The last Scottish Parliamentary election saw the SNP return the first majority despite the system being weighted against this happening. In fact 45.39% voted SNP in the constituency vote which returned 53 of a possible 73 seats and the 44.04% SNP votes for the regional list only saw a further 16 SNP seats form a possible 56. Compare this to 26.31% for Labour returning 22 seats and 12.36% landing the Tories 12 MSPs from the list. Ultimately, this gave 69 SNP MSPs giving the surprising (at the time) majority across the 129 MSPs.
So let’s look forward to May 2016. In the Constituency vote the SNP are set to win more than the previous 53 in this first past the post ballot, possibly in the high 60’s and breaching 50% of the popular vote. This will then skew the hidden algorithm massively against the SNP for the Regional List vote, so much so that even a 50% vote here would return almost ZERO additional SNP MSPs.
This is due to the number of seats already won in the FPTP local constituencies being taken into account in the calculations for the list seats, meaning a vote for Green, SSP or Solidarity is massively more valuable here. For a fuller explanation, the algorithm used is known as the D’Hondt method.
The wasted vote in such a vital election, is a scary thought indeed and one that I would ask my fellow politically educated Scots to disseminate loudly and widely. Put simply, we need to vote in parties to the list vote who both support independence and agree to another referendum. To vote twice for the SNP in effect ‘maxes out’ the pro-indie vote due to the expected high return in the constituency vote.
Thankfully we will have several excellent choices here in the form of The Greens, Solidarity or the SSP. It should not be forgotten that many who voted SNP in GE15 ‘lent’ their vote from it’s natural home of one of these other parties. This was easy to do, as we are now a ‘movement’ rather than a party. It’s now time for SNP voters to pay back the loan and ensure as many of the parties that are part of this quest for an equitable independent society are voted in. These parties are oozing talent and passion and the Scottish Parliament will be a better place with them. In fact there is hours of footage on independencelive.net that will prove this. It’s also a way to ensure there is a louder voice coming from the socialist left which is representative of the Scottish mindset.
Let’s prove we are the most politically aware nation in the world by realising fully what could possibly be the most important piece of political knowledge of our lifetimes and how to optimise our vote in the AMS system of SE16. SNP for the first vote (constituency) and take your pick from your favourite pro-indie, pro referendum party in the second ballot (regional list). In effect, you are lending your second vote to your own cause, rather than against it and at the same time, ensuring Scotland will have a mandate for another independence referendum.