Difficult choices

Today’s election day in Scotland could be the closest we’ve seen since, well, the last.

The bookies are backing the SNP to retain power at Holyrood, and, to be honest I think they’re probably right.

For me, today’s constituency vote was one of the hardest electoral decisions I’ve ever made. Traditionally my constituency has been Labour and recent boundary changes may help Labour retain this seat.

Of the four parties contesting the seat, three have declared themselves against the proposed Leith Docks Biomass plant (I can’t find out what the Tory candidate’s views are on this).

I’m not a supporter of independence for Scotland – particularly when the SNP’s calls for fiscal autonomy come with a demand for a £200m rebate of the fossil fuel levy – ironic when fossil fuels are nearing exhaustion that the SNP are basing their calls for independence on the money raised from an unsustainable and polluting power source. An independent Scotland faced by the financial crisis which nearly destroyed its two biggest banks would have required bailing out by the EU like Iceland, Ireland and Portugal. And the costs of pushing for independence are ridiculous when this money could be spent elsewhere.

The Lib Dems are likely to get a severe kicking in Scotland for entering into coalition with the Tories at Westminster, and the Conservatives are unelectable in Scotland and have been for 30 years now.

And Labour will still be suffering for the mess they made of the UK economy over the last 5 years they held power in the UK, the ramifications of which we’ll still be feeling in 5 years’ time.

So who to vote for? I found it a very difficult decision this morning, but I’d echo the words of Josh in The West Wing: Whoever you vote for, make sure you vote.

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1 Response to Difficult choices

  1. Steven Craig says:

    Nice blog, Mike.

    I agree with most of your points: I too found it really difficult this time round to decide where to place my X’s (all three of them!). But the most important thing was to make sure that I did vote. Hopefully others will make the effort too, not just here in Scotland but up and down the UK.

    I did disagree with a couple of your points, however! Firstly, your comments regarding the SNP: I was one of their biggest critics last time round and saw them as nothing other than a single issue party; the ‘single issue’ in question being their desire (obsession?!) to see Scotland separate from the UK. But the last four years have, I think, seen them mature into a party that can see beyond this and can actually get on with the job of running a devolved Scotland. I know independence remains their aim but the point I’m making is that they’ve actually been able to govern without allowing independence to become the ‘be all and end all’. And yes, their have been broken promises along the way (show me a government which hasn’t failed to live up to a manifesto pledge) but equally there have been a lot of positives too.

    The second issue which I disagree (only slightly) with is the voters views on the Labour Party and the reasons why many might choose not to vote for them this time round. Aside from the possible perception that they mishandled the (UK) economy I think their campaign strategy in Scotland has been absolutely diabolical. Negative, stale, scaremongering in tone and almost completely lacking in original ideas, it has been a shocking effort from a party that seems to have taken its core voters for granted. If they are not careful, they run the risk of heading the way the Tories have gone in Scotland: an irrelevance and almost completely unelectable.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now!!

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