Greater Glasgow P4Indy Group invited Dave Thompson former MSP and now one of the founders of the Alliance for Independence (AFI) to contribute to a recent virtual meeting. Alan Logue, convenor of the group, stated at the outset that Pensioners for Indy are a non-party political organisation and do not endorse any party. The invitation to Dave is to better inform our members about the AFI initiative, its possible benefits and its possible risks.
Thirty nine people logged into the event. Dave spoke for about 20mins and there followed a lively Q&A sessions with points being made on both the pros and the cons of having List-Only Indy supporting parties.
The questions covered a lot of ground:
- With SNP we know what we getting, they have a manifesto, same with the Greens. You say that AFI will not have a manifesto. That may be OK to get us to independence but those AFI MSPs will still be in Holyrood afterwards and we have no way of knowing what they would vote. Presumably individual MSPs will just vote according to their own views?
- What are electoral Commission saying about accepting AFI
- How likely is it that small parties are going to join in with you?
- What if SNP don’t do as well as polls are saying, are we not in danger of making things worse rather than better?
- If Greens don’t join AFI is it still viable?
- How is it going to be funded? If people vote for you, won’t this be lauded by Unionists as SNP losing their power? And then be used it to make negotiations much more difficult?
- Where SNP are likely to win a list seat, would you stand a candidate or step aside?
- Coalitions are normal in a lot of countries, why on earth don’t you have a manifesto now that you can promote in phase two after independence?
- D’Hondt system works well in producing a parliament which reflects how we vote. If this initiative ends up with a less proportional parliament is that really a good thing? Some people are concerned with the ethics of that. And wouldn’t a less proportional result it be used to argue against the legitimacy of the parliament?
- There is no certainty that SNP will get the majority of the seats. As happened in 2016 when SNP got fewer votes. Why risk that again? Is it not a dangerous thing to do?