Isn’t having multiple Yes parties on the list a recipe for disaster?

COULD one of those presently arguing the toss about how to use our list vote please provide us with some more “facts” to add to Tony Grahame’s letter (October 3)? I realise that introducing the option of independence-supporting parties other than the SNP and Greens sounds as if it could increase the number of independence-supporting list MSPs, but a number of things worry me.

Firstly, if we end up with perhaps three, or even four, of these new parties and the second votes of those who back independence are spread over all of these as well as the two existing parties, will that not mean that NONE of them, including the SNP, have enough list votes to gain ANY list seats? The indy vote could be evenly spread, so that MORE list seats fell to our opponents.

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Secondly, anent the new alliance, likely now to be called Action instead of Alliance, would those under their umbrella put up their choice of candidates, or have a quota of constituencies allocated? If constituency lists were divided up so that each had only one allied party standing, would their party feel adequately represented overall and would that not mean voters simply decided on the basis of that party’s known normal agenda? I can see war on the horizon here.

Thirdly, even those at Westminster who have indicated that an independence majority might need to be respected would not necessarily follow through if the majority was dependent on a range of parties. Note the wording used so far – “if the SNP win a majority of the votes…” Can’t we see the escape route there?

They have chosen their words very carefully, and would then accept only SNP votes being well over 50% of the total votes cast, not seats won. Be wary of Tories apparently bearing gifts.

L McGregorFalkirk

THE letter by Tony Grahame was very informative. He writes: “Those who understand the system know that for a party to gain any seats in a region over 5% of the vote is required.”

What he is referring to is the lower threshold. This is the minimum share of the vote that must be achieved before a regional seat MIGHT be allocated. There are actually two different thresholds for two different groups –

Group 1: parties and individuals who contest both constituency and list, and

Group 2: parties and individuals who only appear on the list.

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In Group 1, due to there being three different sizes of region, the average threshold is 6.21% whereas in Group 2 the threshold is 14.29%. The way in which these thresholds are calculated in each region is as follows –

For Group 1: 100% divided by the sum of the FPTP constituencies in the region plus the number of seats to be allocated in the region,

For Group 2: 100% divided by the number of seats to be allocated in the region.

According to the Electoral Reform Society one of the weaknesses of the Additional Member System is that “those who are under-represented today may not fare any better under AMS.”

Michael Follonvia email

I WAS astounded to see Tony Grahame doing the Tories’ work for them by dismissing all independence-supporting parties and their voters, other than the SNP, as a democratic irrelevance!

His claim that only a majority for the SNP on its own would be a valid mandate for an indyref plays right into the hands of of the enemies of Scotland.

Tony seems to have lost his way on the road to independence but, like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, there is time for him to get back on the right road.

That road is the one which all independence supporters must take next year and it is the one which puts Scotland above party.

So, Tony, we must all campaign for the SNP to get the first constituency vote and for AFI, a united alliance of pro-indy parties, individuals and Yes groups, to get the second regional list vote, to create a supermajority for independence which cannot be ignored.

Let’s put Scotland first.

Dave ThompsonInterim Leader, AFI

MAY I say how much I enjoyed the Long Letter from Jennifer Rodger on Wednesday September 23.

I was part of the same campaigning team as Jennifer in the same area in 2014.There certainly were more than a few “angry, well-off, fairly elderly males at their front doors and ample gardens” in the area we were working in. They will shortly be even more grumpy with political results.

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Two SNP branches plus Yes activists covered Cowal South to Innellan. This area had the largest population. The third, which was our SNP branch in Strachur plus Yes activists, had a very large geographical area to cover indeed. From Cairndow to Toward point, from Loch Goil to the bottom of Loch Eck and all of the south side of Loch Fyne plus Tighnabruaich and Colintraive. A large area of about 1200 square miles, and not a huge amount of us to cover it, but what a tremendous bunch of committed people of all ages. Men and women giving their all, eg very sore feet at times, for the independence of their country.

As the end of the campaign drew near I never saw such a huge surge of support from all ranks and age groups of our population, especially the last two weeks. They literally poured into our wee “YES” HQ hut in Dunoon, I think it was the first Yes HQ in Scotland. They went away with flags, leaflets, badges, and with a burning resolve to campaign to the end for our independence and our self-respect.

It is great to see Jennifer in print, and that the fire still burns. “WE WILL WIN THIS TIME”,

Colin StevensonStrachur, Argyll

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