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  • Writer's pictureJim Manclark

Scottish Politics - Looking ahead

With the 2021 Holyrood election and all it's ramifications now past, what next for Scotland and the Independence movement.

With another SNP minority government, albeit by only 1 this time. The future of Scotland seems no more certain nor clearer now than it was before the elections. Many in the independence movement want another referendum now, while others follow the SNP government line of waiting till the worst effects of Covid-19 are over.

The current plan now seems to be that we wait until 2023 before either holding another referendum or starting the campaign for one around that time. With Indyref2 then being held prior to the next Scottish Holyrood elections in 2026. For many this is far too long, citing that the 2026 elections should be about voting in our first fully Independent Scottish government in over 300 years. For others, it is what they have been advised is best by the SNP government and is what they are willing to go along with. Who is right, who is wrong, history will be the judge.

With that said though, There is an other major election still to come which may not directly affect when we get independence but most certainly can be used as a way to spread the positive message of independence in the run up to the next indyref. A way to get the message to more people across Scotland of how we are being held back and need that independence in order to give more to the people of our country.

Those elections are the 2022 council elections. A chance and possible big push to promote independence and get the message to people locally, instead of having them rely solely on places like the BBC and STV for what is going on around them. A chance to remove those who would use the local biased press to promote their parties while also promoting the union and it's constant cost cutting as a way to put down independence and insisting that we just don't have money in Scotland to do what needs to be done.

As such, what we need to do is fill these councils with people, who have independence at heart and who will take the message to their constituents that Independence is both normal and a good things for all of Scotland. A message of not just hope but also of facts. Imagine if you can, every council in Scotland being run by independence supporting candidates and parties. Imagine how that would look to the people of Scotland and the positivity that would come of this.

So how do we do this? Can we do this? With all the negativity of the most recent Holyrood elections between rival independence parties and even independent INDY candidates. The polling for Independence was seen to drop. The unionist parties didn't even have to do anything because indy supporters were so busy fighting among themselves that they couldn't see just how much damage they were doing to the independence cause. So we have to learn from that and make positive changes in order to bring more people onboard to support independence, sooner, rather than later.

So how can we use these council elections to both help our fellow Scots and to advance the cause of independence?

With that in mind we need to look at how the council elections work. In Scotland we use a system called the Single Transferable Vote for council elections or STV. Another term you may be more familiar with is, Vote till you boak. Simply put. you can vote and place in order every candidate on the ballot paper. You simply place a 1 beside your top preference candidate and continue on numerically until you either stop or put everyone in preference order, be that 5 candidates or 15.

As an example. An SNP voter may likely vote 1,2 and 3 for their local SNP candidates. or however many candidates they have. A Green voter will likely do the same, as will an Alba voter. So no change there then. You might actually prefer an independent INDY candidate for your first vote, who knows, not everyone is a member of a political party. So how do we use this system to our advantage?

Once you have placed your favoured candidates in order of preference, you then move on to the next party or an independent INDY candidate. Once you have assigned your preference order to all Indy parties and independent INDY candidates, all you are left with is the opposition. At this point you can keep going and start boaking or you stop.

For this to work however, you must list ALL indy candidates above opposition candidates, regardless of whether you personally like them or not. Think of it this way, You won't like the opposition but you may well still put them in order of preference and they may well get a seat because of your vote. So voting for ALL indy candidates first is the only way for it to work and to return less opposition councillors.

If we follow this model, then the winners will be the people of Scotland and the independence cause. Don't let prejudice win the day. Go forward with a positive message and come together to work together.

A wildfire recently burned through the independence movement and caused a lot of damage. We need to do something about that. We need to douse those flames and rekindle the light of independence that brought us all together in the first place. We need to remember what we are fighting for and work together as we did in the run up to 2014. Except this time, we can win. These next elections could be the catalyst for that, so lets use them to boost the independence cause.

Think about the bigger picture, think about Scotland and your families. We cannot do this if we fight among ourselves, we must unite and work together for the sake of our children and their children and these next elections could be a massive step towards doing just that.

You can read more here about how STV works.

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