There’s an election this Thursday. Why vote? Here’s my take:
Your vote can definitely make the difference! At the last General Election (2017), the winning party’s majority represented less than 10% of the vote in 46 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats; in 4 of them the difference was less than 100 votes, with 1 being determined by a margin of 2 votes!
In 2017 I wrote on why I was voting SNP here – and looking at the main topics, the requirement to Vote SNP is even clearer now:
- Brexit, protecting Scotland’s economy & independence: The SNP have contributed massively to preventing a disastrous Brexit being passed – not only through their votes but also by helping drive court action that concluded that it is possible to stop Brexit. Analysis has estimated that a No Deal Brexit would result in ~100,000 jobs being lost in Scotland. The SNP are looking to ensure that doesn’t happen for any of the UK but also looking to ensure that Scotland can avoid this scenario by another Scottish Independence referendum.
- Progressive policies for the UK – vote SNP in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon has been clear that she will not in any way back another Conservative Government – the SNP will work to form a progressive alliance to make Jeremy Corbyn PM. In Scotland we have an SNP government that is delivering on a range of policies (184 examples here), and this election is essentially to elect the equivalent government for England (a flaw of the UK political system – the 4 nations are represented in very different ways).
- Austerity and killing all things on Earth:To follow on from the last point, the CBI estimate the cost of re-nationalising the Royal Mail, rail-operating companies and energy supply networks as £196bn – that’s £9bn less than the cost of new nuclear weapons! Yet on page 101 of 107 in the Labour manifesto they glibly state ‘Labour supports the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent.’ The cost for the next generation Trident was last presented at £205bn (which for some perspective, is more than 6 times the annual Scottish Government budget) – the SNP are committed to scrapping Trident (this is an excellent article from Nicola Sturgeon on this topic). During a hustings in my constituency I asked the candidates: “Given the austerity being pushed on society and also the global environmental crisis, how can any of you stand for a party that is committed to spending £205bn on new nuclear weapons?” The Labour candidate responded by saying she didn’t consider it to be an important issue as only 1 person had asked her about it during this campaign. Quite how their most capital exhaustive project that could potentially kill all things on the planet doesn’t count as an important issue is beyond me.
- The independence movement:No matter who gets into power in Westminster, it seems inevitable that the 2016 Brexit vote from England and Wales will be used to pull Scotland out of the EU. There are many examples of where the UK’s political course is at odds with what the Scottish electorate want (67% of my life (39 years) have had Conservative UK governments, despite Scotland rejecting their prospectus on every occasion), and Brexit is a long term scenario that requires Scotland to have the chance to choose a different path. The strongest possible way to ensure we can have another independence referendum is to Vote SNP on December 12th.
The best way to look at what party is suited to you is to read the manifestos which are hyperlinked here: SNP, Green, Labour, Lib Dem. There’s a decent website that lays out different policy options in a multi choice that allows you to assess the manifestos in an objective way: https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ (reassuringly this showed that my vote for the SNP’s policies match what I’d like to see represented in parliament).