I suppose we should be grateful to Patrick Harvie for putting the issue beyond doubt before serious campaigning for the snap UK election gets started. Once again, he has opted to put the electoral fortunes of his party before the principle of independence.
He acknowledges that the SNP are the ones who must deliver independence. But they must do it without any formal assistance from the Scottish Greens.
He recognises that a pro-independence majority would greatly benefit the independence cause. But will only countenance this if he gets a substantial piece of the electoral action.
You know it’s the old politicking Patrick Harvie when you see the pointless sniping at the SNP; distorting and misrepresenting policy in a manner that wouldn’t be out of place in a quote from Kezia Dugdale.
It’s all rather disappointing, given the hopes that were being raised over the last couple of days. But probably not too surprising. And Patrick is right about one thing. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
I wrote yesterday of how the people of Scotland have grown accustomed to doing impossible things, such as electing a majority SNP administration and taking all but three Westminster seats. I spoke of how any pact between the SNP and the Scottish Greens would have to be enabled by voters. I suggested that it could only happen if the party leaders were emboldened by a massive show of support for the idea. That emboldening evidently hasn’t happened.
It seems to me that there are now two ways pro-independence voters can go. They can effectively discount the Greens altogether and vote en masse for the SNP as the party which is wholly, unequivocally and unconditionally committed to independence. That would work. And it has the advantage of being straightforward.
The alternative is for voters to do what the politicians won’t. As Patrick says, there’s more than one way of doing things. In the absence of a formal electoral pact between the SNP and the Greens, voters can simply act as if there is such an arrangement. They can vote cleverly, with one eye on the local situation. Basically, this would involve only voting for Green candidates where there is absolutely no chance that this will jeopardise an SNP win.
The aim should be to maximise the Green vote, and thereby the pro-independence vote, while also ensuring that the SNP win the maximum number of seats.
This will not be easy. It will require a deal of calculation and a fair bit of compromise on the part of both Green and SNP members. It might even be impossible. But that’s what we do.Views: 3766
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