Luckily, we have a chance to make a change but it is one chance and we have to take it. If we miss this chance I fear Scotland and independence are lost. Our opportunity is the Alba Party. The Alba policy is to treat the election of a large majority of pro-independence MSPs as a mandate to open independence negotiations with Westminster. This is a far stronger position than meekly asking for a Section 30 ‘cap in hand.’ To get a mandate for independence, the Alba position is that this supermajority is a mandate for independence.
That cannot happen by a mantra of ‘BothVotesSNP.’ The more you have on the constituency, the less you have on the list, and vice versa. Common sense, logic and political acumen dictate that the way you manage the system is you vote for a pro-Indy party in the constituencies and for a different pro-Indy party on the list – that way, they are not competing with each other and you max the votes for Yes, for independence. And, whyever not?
The plan is so simple it’s positively brilliant. With the Scottish National Party, with its membership at least screaming for independence, doing so well in the constituencies (with the exception of those in South Scotland and the Highlands and Islands), it is guaranteed to get practically nothing in the regional list. In 2016 independence supporters wasted — yes, wasted — almost a million votes on just four SNP list MSPs. The SNP is still doing exceptionally well in the constituencies and will still be massively penalised in the list...
The conditions that prevailed in 2011 are no more. The 2014 referendum and the ongoing constitutional war of attrition have fundamentally changed the dynamics of how we do politics, of how we think politics. Unionist support is continuing to rally behind the Conservatives, and this, along with the continued success of the SNP in the constituency vote, will now always work against the SNP. Yet, Stewart McDonald is right. The SNP strategy in 2011 has been the only one that has worked, and it has won an SNP majority. It can win that majority again – theoretically, at least.
Conclusion: a single party dominating the Scottish parliament is a mathematical impossibility, it cannot be done. This of course applies, mutatis mutandis, to a single pro-independence party dominating the Scottish parliament so as to stop anything like the 1918 Dáil Éireann election result from happening again; when Sinn Féin took 73 (that is 76.7 percent) of the available 105 Dáil seats. Granted, however, this system was not designed with a view to penalising the SNP in particular.