Alex Salmond and the Alba Party

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  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    edited March 28
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Mr Salmond says he wants his party to create a supermajority for independence by standing in the regional lists, and advising people to give their regional vote to him and their constituency vote to the SNP.

    Am I right in thinking that this is basically shenanigans to manipulate the mixed-member system?

    That is: the mixed-member system is supposed to guarantee that if a party is over-represented at constituency level, its votes at regional level are (in effect) under-weighted to counteract this, so that you end up with proportional representation. However, there is a way of getting round this if your electorate votes for one party at constituency level and a different but related one at regional level - the over-representation of one won't be counteracted by any under-weighting of the other.

    So if you vote SNP for both constituency and region, and the SNP has too many constituencies due to FPTP, then it will get fewer regional MSPs than its share of the regional vote 'deserves'. But if you vote SNP for constituency and Alba for regional, and Alba has no constituency MSPs, then the SNP will keep hold of its 'excess' constituency MSPs, but Alba's regional MSPs will be awarded proportionally, without any deduction to counteract the SNP excess (because, obviously, they are different parties).

    Thus SNP-Alba gets you more pro-independence MSPs than SNP by itself.

    If I am right, then this is monumentally stupid, because there is no point creating an artificial majority for independence in Holyrood if there is no actual majority for independence among the general public - all you'll end up doing is holding another referendum and losing it.

    (Plus, the proportionality of the Scottish Parliament is supposed to be a model for Why Westminster Is Terrible. If it turns out that it can be manipulated in this way, then it becomes a model for Why Westminster Isn't So Bad After All.)
    That would be a problem if the Alba Party and the SNP were presenting an identical set of policies. I've yet to see anything from Alba to suggest they have any policies other than Independence - but, if they come up with stuff that are backward steps for trans-rights and other social justice issues I wouldn't be surprised given the mob they've gathered together.

    If the only issue you're considering is Independence vs Unionism then that puts the Greens and SNP as identical, which would be absurd, and even more absurd saying there's no difference between Labour, Conservative and LibDem.

    It seems to be the only issue that Mr Salmond is considering, otherwise there would be no point him urging people to vote SNP for the consitutency MSP.

    I take the point that a split SNP-Green vote as per @North East Quine's post could also end up distorting the pro-independence vote, but I wouldn't see that as manipulation because it's not something the Greens are actively encourging people to do.
  • Louise wrote: »
    Craig Murray outed Swedish sexual assault complainers on TV over Assange and is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of contempt of court for trying to do similar online to the complainers in the Salmond case, and we have folk here wondering why he's attacking Nicola?

    I mean I understand misogynists reading his stuff and giving it credence but anyone who opposes misogyny or calls themselves a feminist needs to leave that stuff well alone and ask themselves some questions on how they came to be reading him and missed women warning them about him?

    Is that about my post? I don't know why I've missed warnings about Murray. I miss a lot of things.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    Yes it is.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited March 28
    I can't think of any form of voting which doesn't have some form of tactical voting possible.
    If I understand the proof correctly, it's been proven that the only way to do it is one person, one vote: you pick one person by some arbitrary method and you give that person the vote.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Ricardus, you have pointed to a fundamental weakness in the electoral system for the Scottish Parliament, whereby a party performing very well in the constituency section has an interest in coming to an arrangement with a like-minded party that only contests the regional lists, even standing down itself in respect of the regional lists to help that second party.* Thus, the SNP, having won a lion's share of the single member constituencies could stand-down from the regional lists and instruct their supporters to vote for Alba, thereby ensured the SNP-Alba coalition a large majority for independence overall. Sturgeon could remain First Minister with Salmond as her deputy, or vice versa. What could be more agreeable? It would, of course, make nonsense of the proportional credentials of the system. (In the last parliament the SNP held only 4 of the 56 list seats).

    Germany has a similar system, but with a crucial difference: the final proportion of seats in the Bundestag is proportional to the proportion of the vote received by each of the parties cast for the regional lists totalled across the nation as a whole. There is, however, a proviso that to qualify for seats under the regional lists a party must receive 5 percent of the constituency votes across all constituencies to qualify. Parties who fail to get 5 per cent of the constituency vote nationally but win a plurality in a constituency are permitted to retain those seats. The introduction of such a system to Scotland would be an improvement, and failing that an increase in the number of lists seats would make the creation of bogus clones less attractive. The SNP, for example, would have less interest in an electoral alliance with Alba because it would increase its need for lists seats and its likelihood of winning a significant number of them.

    * The formula for calculating the 1st Regional seats is to take the total list vote for each party and dividing by (constituency) seats won by each party plus 1

    The 2nd Regional seat follows the same formula, but including the 1st allocated regional seat. [Then so on for each additional regional seat}.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Even if a case is 'not proven' there remains the principle of innocent until proved guilty.
    The principle of innocent until proven guilty is a legal principle that applies to the state. (Even then the police arrest people who haven't yet been found guilty of the crime on suspicion of which they're arrested.)
    It has no bearing on the private judgement of individuals. We are it is true supposed to judge with charity: that charity should equally incline us to the view that women who make accusations of rape are innocent of doing so falsely.

    What is it that puts the "individuals" in a better position to determine if the accused is guilty than that of the 12 jurors who heard and determined the case after hearing the evidence, submissions and directions as to law?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    BroJames and Doc Tor - I apologise. I posted the above having read Dafyd's post a moment or so beforehand and without reading through to the end of the thread, including your posts. I can't now delete what I've written.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    For those who were mentioning the regional list, parties are not allowed to set up stooge parties to game the list. The electoral commission oversees this. This is why Labour was not able to stand for the constituencies while having its sister Co-operative party stand on the list and scoop up the list seats. The electoral commission keeps a close eye on this and will be watching the new party.

    There have been lots of bonkers ideas about how to game the list but as Sir John Curtice the eminent psephologist has pointed out these are generally wrong. He seemed to reckon that this new party would be more likely to help parties like the Conservatives and Labour on the list by siphoning off SNP votes in key regions where they or the Greens might otherwise have got a seat.

    Also this party is very definitely not in cahoots with the SNP - they are enemies and any seats they did get would backfire badly on the Yes movement because Salmond and his band of online howler monkeys and dodgy worst-MP-in-show converts are exactly what would scare away the voters who are needed in any referendum - people who would have been soft 'No' voters in the previous one.

    I got into trouble with a zealous English friend living in England because I told him knowing now what I know about Salmond it frightened me to think what could have happened if he'd won in 2014 (my friend refused to hear this because he was convinced a win in the Scottish independence referendum for Yes would have prevented Boris and Brexit) but I don't think I am far off how a lot of folk will feel seeing him now and what he's become. He's a liability.



  • Ricardus wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    Mr Salmond says he wants his party to create a supermajority for independence by standing in the regional lists, and advising people to give their regional vote to him and their constituency vote to the SNP.

    Am I right in thinking that this is basically shenanigans to manipulate the mixed-member system?

    That is: the mixed-member system is supposed to guarantee that if a party is over-represented at constituency level, its votes at regional level are (in effect) under-weighted to counteract this, so that you end up with proportional representation. However, there is a way of getting round this if your electorate votes for one party at constituency level and a different but related one at regional level - the over-representation of one won't be counteracted by any under-weighting of the other.

    So if you vote SNP for both constituency and region, and the SNP has too many constituencies due to FPTP, then it will get fewer regional MSPs than its share of the regional vote 'deserves'. But if you vote SNP for constituency and Alba for regional, and Alba has no constituency MSPs, then the SNP will keep hold of its 'excess' constituency MSPs, but Alba's regional MSPs will be awarded proportionally, without any deduction to counteract the SNP excess (because, obviously, they are different parties).

    Thus SNP-Alba gets you more pro-independence MSPs than SNP by itself.

    If I am right, then this is monumentally stupid, because there is no point creating an artificial majority for independence in Holyrood if there is no actual majority for independence among the general public - all you'll end up doing is holding another referendum and losing it.

    (Plus, the proportionality of the Scottish Parliament is supposed to be a model for Why Westminster Is Terrible. If it turns out that it can be manipulated in this way, then it becomes a model for Why Westminster Isn't So Bad After All.)
    That would be a problem if the Alba Party and the SNP were presenting an identical set of policies. I've yet to see anything from Alba to suggest they have any policies other than Independence - but, if they come up with stuff that are backward steps for trans-rights and other social justice issues I wouldn't be surprised given the mob they've gathered together.

    If the only issue you're considering is Independence vs Unionism then that puts the Greens and SNP as identical, which would be absurd, and even more absurd saying there's no difference between Labour, Conservative and LibDem.

    It seems to be the only issue that Mr Salmond is considering, otherwise there would be no point him urging people to vote SNP for the consitutency MSP.

    I take the point that a split SNP-Green vote as per @North East Quine's post could also end up distorting the pro-independence vote, but I wouldn't see that as manipulation because it's not something the Greens are actively encourging people to do.

    Having been a Green member at the last election it is. The Greens are deliberately not standing in many constituencies and encouraging people to vote SNP for their constituency vote and Green on the list.
  • edited March 29
    There is, of course, no Green-SNP agreement. The Greens don't have the resources to stand in every constituency, and so are only standing in a few where they have the best chance. Green supporters are not being instructed in how to vote in constituencies where they have no candidate (though, it would be natural for those Green members/supporters for whom independence is a significant issue to vote SNP - My practice is to vote SNP where there's no Green candidate, but at the moment I'm reconsidering that and will have to see just who they put up here with the prevalence of trans-phobia within the SNP, and of course will need to see who the other parties put forward). That's a very big difference from Alba where the instruction from the party is to vote SNP in constituencies.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    We’re having a lot of discussion back stage about safe guard rails for this thread. Commandment 7 is in play. The legal issues are contentious and, as Shipmates know, we don’t have the resources to cope with getting sued. So we’re going to suspend the thread, at least for a short period, while we work through the risk assessment.

    Please bear with us while we sort this out.

    Barnabas62
    Purgatory Host
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