An RBS £1 Note – Scottish Parliament Commemorative Issue
It’s fairly widely acknowledged that one of the weaker aspects of the 2014 Scottish Independence debate was that surrounding currency. I still hold to my long-standing view that all options open to us were and are equally viable. All come with unique benefits, all carry characteristic risks. All that was required was the will to manage those risks. Scottish Independence should never have even been about the question “Which currency should we use?”. I believe that instead, the real question was “Should we, in Scotland, have the right to ask that question?”
Recently though, the catastrophic circumstances facing Greece have focused minds back to this first question and many are now convinced that before we go into another debate on independence we must be able to answer the questions we failed to answer last year. So let us take a scenario where Scotland is faced with setting up its own currency. Just what would that involve?
Note: This article assumes that readers are fully familiar with the AMS voting system used in Scotland. If you are not or would like a refresher please read this article first:- How Scotland Votes: A Guide to the Scottish Elections
Greening Your Vote in the Scottish Elections
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that we in the Greens general regard the First Past the Post voting system as an unfair and unrepresentative system. It punishes all of those parties which poll less than about 35% of the electorate with fewer seats than they deserve whilst rewarding those parties which can achieve just slightly more than that with almost all of the power. For a smaller party like the Greens this means that looking for seats within the constituency vote is a particularly difficult enterprise and, in all likelyhood, would result in a waste of resources more effectively spent elsewhere.
For this reason it is very likely that you, as a voter, will not see a Green candidate on your constituency ballot paper next year (although exceptions like party co-convenor Patrick Harvie’s campaign in Kelvin will be one to seriously watch).
The great advantage within Scottish politics, however, lies in the Regional ballot. I’ve detailed in my How Scotland Votes article how this ballot is used to ensure proportionality within the parliament as a whole but this article intends to deal with another of its great strengths. The regional ballot allows voters who may describe themselves as “traditional” voters of one party to compliment or nuance their voting intentions by voting for another party as well.
I will here argue that in the Holyrood elections next year there is great scope for many voters to consider seeing a regional vote for the Greens not as a “splitting” of their vote but as a strengthening of it. Even when your “traditional” Constituency affiliation has been with the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats or with the SNP there is much that you may also find appealing within Green politics and much which may lead to you to giving us your Regional vote.