On the Issue of Scottish Independence

My heritage is Scottish, but I am Canadian.  And although my say is irrelevant on the issue of Scottish independence, I do have some thoughts on the subject.

Deep down the Scotswoman in me is shouting at the top of her lungs “FREEDOM!!!”  I find this an interesting and somewhat unexpected phenomenon from within.  However, despite this cry for independence, my more sensible side is asking “but can you make it work?”Thistle_Blog

As a Canadian, I note that there is a strong propensity to equate the vote for Scottish Independence to Quebec Separatism.  I don’t believe you can equate the two and this is why: Quebec is province, Scotland is a country.

Were Quebec to leave Canada, it would break up a country.  Scotland voting for independence wouldn’t destroy a country, but rather solidify the fact that it is its own country with the right to determine its own future.  Maybe that’s splitting hairs, but it’s how I view it.

Frankly, I think it’s better equated to Canada asking for independence (even though Scotland is not a colony).

But can it be made to work?  That’s the important question.

I note that the current UK government is talking about granting broader powers to Scotland if they vote “no” on independence…so why did they wait so long?  Only when Scotland is threatening to leave – and take their oil revenues with them – does the UK think it’s time to give them greater say over their own lives?  That says to me “you’re only as important as we tell you.”  It also says to me that you’re probably right to ask for your independence if your right to self-determination has been actively withheld until now – when it’s no longer convenient.

Now, I do believe that if independence is achieved, Scotland forfeits its right to use the British pound.  Frankly, why would you want to tie your independence to the economy of the nation you’re trying to gain some distance from?  It’s not a reasonable expectation.  If you want to be your own country, you don’t get to have your cake and eat it, too.

If you choose to be independent, you must go it alone with no turning back.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I don’t think it right for me or anyone else to tell you how to vote because there are no easy answers.  All you can do is your research and – ultimately – follow your heart.

So with that I say, go forward bravely, proudly, and confident in your choice.  It is your future…may you make the most of it.

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One thought on “On the Issue of Scottish Independence

  1. Agree it’s difficult to compare the current situation in Scotland with that in Quebec. But one similarity jumps out at me. Both Scotland and Quebec had at their historical roots different founding peoples. Quebec has its French majority. Scotland is what it is because of the influences of early invasions from northern Europe and Scandinavia while the south had more to do with the Normans, France and Spain. I believe the result was different cultural roots in both cases.

    Looking at a timeline of Scottish history,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Scottish_history

    it seems that England and Scotland have been at war more or less continuously between 84 AD and 1707. Hadrian’s wall, Robert the Bruce, and the Jacobites jumped out at me as I was looking at the timeline. Then we have Mary Queen of Scots. Nasty business. Things are more peaceful now than they were then, but the divisions of culture, opinion and national ambitions remain.

    Whichever way the vote goes, there will be a tearing of national fabric. In some sense, things will not be the same as they were before. It’s to be hoped that civilized debate and acceptance of the outcome will prevail.

    Like

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