I READ Patrick Harvie’s article in the National (Why we can’t wait for a Yes vote to build a better society, December 27) to get inspiration but alas, nothing of substance there, just pointing the finger of blame at others, while begging us not to do this.

Patrick sets before us a wide range of problems and injustices, but gives no hint of a plan to address or challenge these issues, as if listing the obvious faults of other politicians was all that is required.

I thought Patrick might have had something to tell us about the Greens’ disastrous General Election campaign in which he led his party into an ambush in spite of ample knowledge of the probable outcome. Patrick has nothing to say about that.

However if we are ever going to get to his “better society” in the UK and in Scotland we are going to have to learn how to apply the existing democratic procedures more effectively than we in the Yes movement have been doing, and the Greens in particular have lessons to learn.

Before this election, many of us tried to get the Greens to learn from past mistakes and adapt a different strategy. But they would not take advice from us amateurs, who had nothing to offer them but our votes. It might be time for Patrick and other leaders in the Greens to wonder if another strategy might be worth trying.

Scotland currently has four different types of election (three after we leave the EU). The UK one is not proportional, is not democratic and is destructive of small developing parties. The Conservatives are not going to abandon this system, since it suits them. The SNP oppose this system, but can’t change it. So if this system is to be used long-term the Greens need a better way to address it.

But, wait a minute, the Greens and around half the Scottish population want major change including very likely Scottish Independence, so what does that tell us about the strategy most appropriate to the Greens?

They need a strategy where their relatively small numbers will not be used to crush them out and where they can get political influence at least commensurate with their level of support. They can get that, in the Scottish election, but only if they enter it in an entirely different way. The idea that they will compete against every other political party with equal vigour to demonstrate their “brand” is not suitable and is one they need to dump now.

The reality of the Scottish elections coming up is that the SNP needs the support of one or two small independence-supporting parties, because this is in effect two elections in one. The constituency votes are on a first-past-the post basis and the SNP are likely to do very well here; however to the extent that they do that, it will cost them seats in the regional section.

If we in the Yes campaign just stick our heads in the sand and vote for our preferred party for the seats in the regional section on the same basis, the SNP will lose many thousands of votes for very few regional seats gained, while the benefactors of these lost SNP votes will be the Tories and other Unionist parties.

If, on the other hand, the Greens were to develop an entirely different strategy for the coming Scottish election by getting a loose understanding with the SNP, not standing in the constituency seats, and concentrating on the regional seats, they might attract the votes of people like myself who will vote SNP in the constituency and look for a safe Yes-supporting regional candidate who does not have thousands of constituency votes to overcome before my vote can help him or her.

That of course would require work, risk, and compromise, but it’s got to be better than urging members to vote blindly for a candidate with no chance of winning and paying the UK state £10,000 of members’ money.

Andy Anderson