IT was gratifying to see The National has finally picked up on the Max the Yes initiative being organised by Aye Alliance/People’s Alliance (Bid launched for new grassroots pro-indy party, February 18) to ensure a huge majority of pro-indy MSPs can be elected at next year’s Holyrood elections. However, you also chose to highlight a few comments on social media which don’t represent the views of the Alliance, or the majority of groups attending our opening conference a couple of weeks ago.

The basic idea is to vote SNP in the constituencies and for an Aye/Yes/People’s Alliance, representing the whole Yes movement, to stand on the regional lists. Because of the way the Additional Member System works, many hundreds of thousands of mainly indy-supporting voters voted SNP in 2016, only to see their vote not count towards any additional pro-indy MSPs. Because the SNP were so successful in the constituencies, the “Both Votes SNP” strategy saw only a tiny handful of SNP MSPs elected on the list, despite the size of the pro-indy vote.

READ MORE: Yes group The People's Alliance hopes to form 'main opposition'

Our proposal has the potential to change the face of Scottish politics. If Max the Yes is successful, our lists would no longer be full of Unionist voices. What a triumph that would be for the Yes movement, and what a weapon it would be to fight for the cause of independence!

Whether we have our indyref this year or not, we need to ensure that a big majority of pro-indy MSPs, representative of the whole YES movement, are elected to the Scottish Parliament at the next Holyrood elections.

We aim to build a single Alliance of the smaller Yes parties, Yes groups and independent Yes activists to stand on the list across the regions of Scotland – preferably unopposed by the SNP – to maximise the number of pro-independence MSPs, and minimise the number of Unionists, elected on the list.

READ MORE: Keep an open mind about the idea of a Yes alliance for 2021

We want to ensure the SNP stands unopposed in every constituency, backed by the whole of the Yes movement, and ensure that even potential indy voters who wouldn’t normally vote SNP are encouraged to vote for them in every Scottish constituency at the 2021 election.

A Yes or Aye Alliance, standing on the lists but NOT in the constituencies, and supported by the whole of the Yes family, could win many more seats for the independence movement, increase the diversity and talents of the Yes movement in the Scottish Parliament, and do so to achieve three fundamental objectives:

1. To secure indyref2, if it still has not been held by that time,

2. To secure independence itself, and

3. To support Scotland and the Scottish Government through the subsequent independence negotiation process.

To Max the Yes, we need you, your energy, enthusiasm, ideas and support to build the Alliance from the grassroots up. We can achieve our shared objective of independence, but only if we work together.

Liz Walker, teacher, artist, Highlands socialist and Yes activist
Dave Thompson, Yes Activist, former MSP for Highlands & Islands, then Sky Lochaber & Badenoch
Diane Mathieson, accountant, indy activist, rural Aberdeenshire
Jim Manclark, chair, Ayrshire Independence Movement, founder,
Derek Stewart Macpherson, musician, indy blogger, former trade union official (CPSU, Australia)
Pat Lee, trade union official (Unison), former South Lanarkshire Councillor and indy activist
Jackie Flynn, nurse, indy activist
Mike Fenwick, Yes activist
Evelyn Dempsey, Yes2 Kirkcaldy Hub
Craig Dempsey, YES2 Kirkcaldy Hub
Steve Arnott, editorial co-ordinator, The Point online platform