Dong Zhou wrote:So with polls predicting that SNP will win 35-45 seats in Scotland, pretty much killing Labour's stronghold, and pundits saying numbers would only be a little smaller then that, SNP could be the third biggest party in Westminster. This is playing into the election, Labour having to respond while Tories try to torch the union, warning that poor England would soon be controlled by evil Scotland as Salmond would dominate Labour behind the scenes.
So my question is that if SNP is third largest party, what should the big parties do? Seek to reach a deal as that is the democratic will of the people who handed them this? Refuse to work with any non-unionist party? If SNP upheld a government, how would England react to fate being decided by the votes of a few million Scots? If the parties reject the SNP, how would Scotland react? How will Scotland react to the Tories current election tactics?
You could look at what happened in Canada when a very similar situation occurred. Between 1993 and 2011, the Bloc was either the second or third most important political party in Ottawa.
There wasn't a single, unified reaction from the federalist forces, but I think the most effective one was to treat it as a regular party when it came the majority of issues not involving separation. To antagonize them too much, to refuse to see them as a legitimate force would have basically played in the Bloc's hand, especially since they had a clear electoral legitimacy. I would never pretend that it was an easy fit, but then again, it was not especially more complicated than having to share a political system with people having radically different values on all the other issues.