You can't exactly escape the name SNP right now. Even my readers below the border will be very familiar with Nicola Sturgeon and her crazies who want to break up the UK. You might remember that last September I was one of these crazies who voted yes in the referendum and cried when I realised it became apparent it wasn't going to happen (it was when Inverclyde said no, then I knew).
But I'm not an SNP voter. I'm a member of the Scottish Greens. I have oohed and ahhed and toyed with the idea of 'lending' my vote to the SNP because of this lovely system we know of as First Past the Post not taking kindly to smaller parties. I'll be voting in a constituency which will be close between SNP and Labour, even though the SNP will probably get it (just). And yes that concerns me, and I know there's very little chance of the Scottish Greens gaining an MP. But guys, I'm sticking with my party and here are my reasons why.
1. Caroline Lucas is already proof we can do this
Look, I'd much rather see the SNP in power than quite a lot of other parties. However, once upon a time I'd have said that about Labour (Well, not me personally because they sold out before I reached voting age!). What happened? Labour became the horrible party they are today due to political monopoly because power goes to people's heads (a similar drama happened with the Lib Dems). If SNP get too much power they may easily head in the same direction. By not 'lending' them my vote I'm reminding them that there are other viable left-wing parties in Scotland.
3. I joined the the Greens (and not SNP) for a reason
I know it's still a complicated concept for some no voters to grasp, but not everyone who voted yes in the referendum votes SNP. I've actually never voted SNP in my life (former Lib Dem) and I'm not eagerly keen to start (though they 'll likely get my constituency vote in the Scottish Elections). I didn't even vote yes in principle, I voted yes because I believe the UK is in the shitter and Scotland with its generally more progressive outlook would be better sailing alone. If the UK got out the shitter I might drop the issue. So yeah, not going to lend the SNP my vote because Tommy Sheriden told me to.
(If you take anything Tommy Sheriden says seriously, have a word with yourself. Putting it out there)
4. If UKIP were a serious contender I might tactically vote
Some of you might be reading this in a constituency where a UKIP MP is a likely possibility. In that case 1) my condolences and 2) I understand why you would consider tactical voting. The polls are suggesting that the SNP will grab my Glasgow constituency away from Labour, albeit not by much. If I was to wake up tomorrow to a Lord Ashcroft poll that said weegies were being swayed by the Farage I'd change my mind and use an SNP vote in order to block a UKIP vote.
5. If we don't try, we'll never do it
Look, I know the Scottish Greens are very unlikely to send a MP down to Westminster. At least not at this election. But I'm only 24 and in that lifespan I've already witnessed the political landscape change drastically. I've seen Labour and Tories morph into the same thing. I've seen the downfall of the Liberal Democrats. I've seen the SNP go from a joke to a political force which will likely hold the balance at Westminster. I've also seen some right-winged lunatics with views which belong in the 1950's come out the ranks too. I've witnessed the downfall of two party politics. A lot can change when the public stand up and demand change and the change I want comes in form of the Scottish Greens, not the SNP.
I'm voting for the Scottish Greens because I'm standing by what I believe in.