Why I am voting SNP

In my earlier post, friend and loyal reader Neil asks to hear why I am going to be voting SNP – not just generally but specifically in the General Election tomorrow.

I’d love to be able to give a detailed, lucid and intelligent answer to this.  However, it has been a long couple of days as I travel to Leicester and back, and I am not long off my eighth train in thirty-six hours.

However, given that it is polling day tomorrow I can’t really do this any later, so here goes.  Apologies, therefore, if this call to arms is a bit rushed and the product of a tired mind.

I am voting SNP because…

  1. I believe in an independent Scotland.  It is natural, normal and constructive for nations to stand alongside each other as equals; friends, allies and partners.  You cannot sum up the idea of independence for Scotland better than when Alex Salmond puts it as changing Scotland from a surly lodger to a good neighbour.  Independence is key to solving the country’s problems and releasing its potential – it is the underpinning issue behind everything else.  That means that I would almost certainly vote SNP in any election, and given that Westminster is where responsibility for constitutional affairs lie, and that the voice for independence needs to be heard at all levels, so it means that I would see my vote tomorrow as a tool for independence as much as in a Holyrood election.
  2. Key SNP policies will be to the fore in the next Westminster Parliament.  It’s there that top-up fees for students in England will be debated (something that will have consequence for Scotland), where Trident renewal will be explored, where electoral reform and other constitutional matters will come up.  There will also inevitably be discussion of the SNP’s proposed independence referendum.  SNP views on these will be vital to boost the radical voices in Westminster on these issues and others, and so it is vital the SNP is as strong as possible.
  3. Many other issues that are reserved to Westminster require significant attention in order to help people through these difficult times: action taxation, social security and so on will either exacerbate or repair the wealth gap and rampant poverty the UK suffers.  Guess which side the SNP are on.
  4. We need a more diverse, reflective parliament, one which takes account of the huge range of views and interests.  With one or two hugely dishonourable exceptions, the UK’s minor parties like the Greens have vital perspectives to bring and deserve to be in Parliament.  The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems are unfairly unrepresented due to the terrible voting system we have; and we cannot be allowed to have an elected dictatorship where the ruling party gets a majority of seats on a minority of votes.  Voting SNP will help make Westminster a truly democratic legislature by keeping the big parties in check.

For these reasons and more, I am voting Scottish National Party tomorrow.  I am not attempting to persuade others through all this; merely to explain myself and present my thoughts.  I’d love you to vote SNP in Scotland, PC in Wales and someone like the Greens or – if you have to – the Lib Dems in England; but more than that, I’d love you to just vote at all.

Here’s to tomorrow’s results, and to the next five years of – hopefully – better government.

4 thoughts on “Why I am voting SNP

  1. In your earlier blog you linked to an article in the Herald which slated the SNP for their disjointed and unorganised election campaign. If SNP cannot plan a campaign effectively then how will they run Scotland effectively?

  2. Nicole – you need to be careful here, as you are suggesting that the razzmatazz of election campaigns naturally and automatically converts itself into co-ordinated government – this is ‘personality politics’, where you try to attract votes through soundbites and gimmicks, rather than sound policies and promises. Personally, I’ve been increasingly concerned about the way Britain has gone the same way as America, where it is all about hype and image, rather than substance. The TV debates have only served to reinforce this, and it is people like Gordon Brown who perhaps suffer, because they are not young, cool and good-looking, but are nonetheless better politicians/ economists/ diplomats, etc.

    The SNP have less money than the ‘main’ parties, and whilst their campaign hasn’t been as ‘slick’, hopefully voters will look at the individual candidates + the SNP manifesto, and decide to vote on the integrity of the individual and party, rather than not vote SNP simply because they didn’t let off as many balloons, and Alex Salmond doesn’t have much hair!

    However, I suspect we’re all being a bit naive here speaking about policies and tactics, as sadly the largest proportion of Brits won’t vote at all, and the second largest group will simply vote the way the Sun newspaper tells them to vote, without really understanding why. But who knows, we may wake up tomorrow morning to find a dawn has broken, that the grass is greener, and the birds are singing a little louder than normal……

  3. They already do – they are the government in Holyrood, and given the parliamentary arithmetic they are probably doing as effective a job as anyone.

    I think they’re capable of running better campaigns – I suspect they’re holding a lot of their resources for next year’s Scottish Parliament elections.

  4. Turnout is expected to be 70% or more.

    People seem to care.

    I’m still very nervous.

    The other night when out in Dundee, someone asked me who I was voting for. I sidestepped and asked them who they were voting for.

    “SNP” came the reply. I said that sadly I did not have that option.

    Still not sure about some things that the SNP have done in Scotland though. I think it comes down to picking the best of a deeply flawed bunch.

    I keep checking here to hear your views though. You are always very articulate, particularly on thorny and messy issues.

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