An Independence Party isn't 'cheating' and could help the SNP's cause – Kenny MacAskill

If the SNP wins lots of constituency seats, it makes it hard to win seats on the regional list, writes Kenny MacAskill.

Creating an Independence Party to stand in the regional list part of next year's Scottish Parliament's election could boost the number of nationalist MSPs
Creating an Independence Party to stand in the regional list part of next year's Scottish Parliament's election could boost the number of nationalist MSPs

‘You can’t do that, it’s cheating,” say some at the idea of an Independence Party, running instead of the SNP, on the Holyrood list. Yet this is a system that was itself designed to stop an SNP majority.

That may have failed spectacularly but it was the cunning plan of its Westminster designers. That’s gross hypocrisy, nevermind that it was also considered by some in Labour, who floated the idea of running Co-operative Party candidates on the list.

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So, when Boris Johnson and his cohorts deny Scotland the right to hold a referendum, despite electoral mandates aplenty, why play by the rules of a rigged system?

With success on the constituency basis resulting in limited progress on the list, “Both Votes SNP” just doesn’t work.

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The focus of the election is almost certainly going to be on the constitution. What better way of allowing Scottish voters a choice than a specific “Independence” option on the list.

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Opponents will be running largely on the Union, given the stall they’ve set out, and the Greens remain for some.

But if a referendum is denied by Westminster intransigence, then this is a way to achieve it. People can vote for their preferred candidate for Government on the constituency ballot, but for their constitutional choice on the list.

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This election is critical given where Boris Johnson is taking us all. It’s time the SNP discussed all options, not just the one that fails to deliver either seats or a referendum.

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Editorial Director

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