May 6th, 2016
By Megan Bentall
Well, that was a turn-up for the books. After a pretty uneventful Scottish election campaign, the results have turned out to be, well, a bit unexpected. Some 38 Degrees members will be happy with the results, some will be sad. Many will be wondering what’s going to happen next.
It’s easy at times like this to get swept away in thinking about the future – and there’s plenty of that to come. But right now, let’s pause for a second, take a breath and look at all that we’ve done together during this election campaign – and phew – we’ve done a lot!
Here are some of the brilliant things we did:
- More than 15,000 of us first set out and agreed on a plan for how to campaign in the election. Can you imagine 15,000 people agreeing on anything these days, and actually doing it?! Well, we all did. Because we mean it when we say we’re a people-powered movement
- We encouraged our friends and family to register to vote, using email and social media as well as good old-fashioned conversations
- Thousands of us then contacted candidates across Scotland to ask them where they stood on NHS services, TTIP, tax-dodging and more. And they felt the effect – because we were the only ones doing it
- We helped raise the bar of the debate by sharing guides on what questions to ask candidates as they fronted up to public meetings or knocked on doors
- Instead of passively waiting for candidates to come to us, we helped promote hustings where we put all candidates on the spot
- We asked a panel of independent experts to analyse the main parties’ manifestos and give their verdict
- We commissioned a people-powered opinion poll that got the Scottish media suddenly talking about TTIP like never before
- Bonus: our poll got great coverage about what we, the people, expect from our MSPs
- Thousands of us used our opinion-tracking ‘worm’ to give our verdict live on the leaders during TV debates.
One thing’s for certain, as 38 Degrees members, we changed the face of this election. The National described us as “the new opposition at Holyrood”. That’s because of all of us: everyday Scots from all walks of life with the audacity to believe our politicians ought to work for us. So let’s pat ourselves on the back and take the day to enjoy it.
And then we can come back together and make sure we start using the power we have in the new political landscape. Together, we’ll make sure that our voices echo round the chamber at Holyrood. And make sure that the new Scottish Government – whatever form it takes – delivers on the issues we care about.