TWO of the three candidates for the SNP deputy leadership have raised the prospect of a pro-Yes alliance fighting next year’s UK election campaign.
Angela Constance and Stewart Hosie have accurately read the mood in Scotland in the wake of a referendum result which is increasingly difficult to regard as anything more than a temporary set-back for the independence campaign. The type of electoral pact that they are talking about normally faces the major obstacle of opposition from the members of the parties involved. But there are strong indications of widespread support among the rank and file of the three main Scottish parties.
It may be interesting to reflect on the reasons for this unusual enthusiasm for inter-party cooperation. Obviously, there is the motivation of advancing the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. But there is some thing more, I think. There is confidence among ordinary party members that electoral cooperation would be a worthy exercise.
Normally, it is party big-wigs who pursue such alliances - invariably against the wishes of party members - for the purposes which have more to do with political expediency than any worthy objective. They seek pacts in order to secure power and status for themselves rather than a desirable outcome for the electorate.
The reason people are confident that a “Yes alliance” would be different is that, as a welcome by-product of the referendum campaign, they have a new-found confidence in their own power. They have good reason to feel that they themselves would be in control. That they would be deciding the nature and purpose of the exercise. They don’t feel threatened by other parties because they have already found ways of working together with those parties.
This is all part of the new politics in Scotland. Something the British parties are still in denial about.
See on scotsman.com
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