Many Greens are veering away from voting SNP on the constituency vote towards voting Labour. This is for the best of radical reasons, including blaming SNP for cuts which they are passing on from Westminster, blaming the SNP for freezing and continuing the council tax, and for not raising the higher rate of tax.
So the question many of my Green friends are asking the night before the Scottish election is whether to vote SNP or Labour in constituencies where there is no Green candidate.
They didn’t have this problem at the 2015 UK General Election. They voted SNP and, by doing so, unexpectedly helped radicalise and renew the Labour Party in England.
They knew full well they would vote SNP because they were still part of a movement that stretched way beyond parties and into a positive future.
So the trick now, as it was then, is to remember that it’s not up to ‘them’ (the politicians) it’s up to ‘us’ (the people who care). Don’t accept the frame the politicians give us, don’t be divided and ruled.
We Greens can ally with the SNP grassroots to radicalise their leadership as we did over land reform, as we can do over council tax, and as we don’t need to do over Trident or immigration or refugees.
At the SNP party conference, Andy Wightman (our 2nd Green candidate here in Lothians) and Lesley Riddoch (a 2nd vote Green supporter) supported the SNP grassroots to reject a weak land reform offering from the SNP leadership.
The SNP grassroots stood strong, and as a result the land reform legislation is much stronger. The point is we (Greens) can ally with the SNP grassroots – as we did in the referendum – and the causes that matter now can win, and therefore the cause of independence and justice can win.
Voting Labour at the Holyrood level is to buy into a few good soundbites without us having the purchase to keep them to what they say. It means lapsing back into more of the same.
The SNP, on the other hand, have a reason to make a radical positive future possible, however reluctantly.
The SNP need to to fulfil their aim, and to do that they need to demonstrate they can help enable a better world. Otherwise why would we bother going for independence? And their grassroots – even if not their leadership – knows it.
So take the power into your own hands.
Don’t vote Labour in Scotland or they’ll think they can win you with sound bites, but don’t vote SNP twice or they’ll keep getting complacent, keep drifting right.
Vote SNP for the constituency so we have a party in power that can open the door.
Vote Green on the regional list so that we can ally with the SNP grassroots and continue living in the early days of a better world.
Open the door (1st vote SNP), and let’s walk through (2nd vote Green).