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Scottish independence?


Zombie

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Next year Scottish residents will get to vote in a referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country. For this process to work you have to have an appropriate question. One that is simple to understand and neutrally worded.

 

Responsibility for coming up with a suitable wording was delegated to an independent body, the Electoral Commission, and has been accepted by the UK and Scottish governments. The question the Scottish National Party wanted was “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country”. Language is a complex thing and the subtlest choice of words can influence behaviours. After extensive testing it was decided that "Do you agree" has innate bias because it tends to incline neutral voters to a positive view i.e. to support whatever is being proposed. So the question that Scottish voters will be asked next year will be:

“Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes / No.”

The commission has also proposed arrangements for campaign funding so that both "sides" have equal spending power.

Scotland has always had its own distinct identity, including a distinct legal system, but joined with England in 1707, under the Acts of Union, to create a new nation Great Britain. Under these acts Scotland retained its identity and legal system but the new nation combined national functions like treasury, defence and foreign policy.

Interestingly it was assumed that "England" included Wales - a Principality - but legally this was not watertight. So 40 years later a further Act was passed to confirm this. Even more curious, it specifically included the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. This town had swapped backwards and forwards between England and Scotland so many times that no-one was quite sure where it belonged! So, just to be on the safe side, they bunged it into this Act as well - the Wales and Berwick Act 1746  :D

In Britain we don't have referendums on laws, only on constitutional matters. That's because under our Parliamentary system of government we elect a representative - a Member of Parliament [called an "MP"] - to act on behalf of constituency voters and use his / her judgment when voting in the legislative chamber [the "House of Commons"]. But where there is an issue concerning the nation state at the highest level convention has developed that these matters are put to the nation.

That's what happened in 1975 when Britain was negotiating to join the European Common Market [which is what it was then - an international free trade area on agreed terms], and we may get another referendum on whether we want to leave [recently promised by the Prime Minister - yeah, right, government promises heheheh].

And that's what's going to happen next year - because for some time more and more people in Scotland have been seeking separation. At some point a tipping point is reached where politicians have to decide how to respond. In some countries this can lead to fighting and insurrection. But the UK is a mature democracy and the referendum process is obviously a more democratic and humane response :D

So now it's up to the Scottish voters. Personally I hope they vote to retain the Union because I think Great Britain is a more viable entity than two separated nation states, and disentanglement will be a complicated and expensive business.

 

As the song says "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" but if the Scottish people decide to part company then so be it.

Edited by Zombie
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Interesting post.  However, wouldn't separation increase defence, treasury and foreign policy costs for both entities and at the same time decrease the effectiveness of those functions?  If there is already a Scottish parliament and a separate legal system, why would Scots who are notoriously thrifty want to increase the costs of defence etc? 

 

While the multi-national corporate conglomerates become bigger and bigger are smaller states really able to deal with them?  Apple already has a larger amount of cash on hand than most governments in the world.   

 

Somehow I see the push for devolution as a yearning for a simpler time, but is that really an effective way to deal with reality?

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Yeah, lots and lots of questions. Costs will certainly be a big part of the campaigning because for a lot of people it will come down to money. Well, money or Braveheart :D

 

Your point about the power of corporations v nation states is relevant, but also a much wider issue of growing significance. 

 

As I understand it the SNP have based their "case" on Europe, specifically the benefits for smaller nations within the EU. But it now seems an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership as a new state and, presumably, accept whatever terms the EU laid out. Will be interesting if England then leaves the EU ...

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Ah, politics... The messiest of messes.

 

Not Scottish (and neither do I really care about the outcome), but I've seen this discussion several times over, in a few places across the Net. They mostly asked "Should it?", which, as you've shown, should be answered with "if they want". Nonetheless...

 

I think secessionists are silly. Like, most of the time, there is literally no reason at all to pull out. As you two have stated, it's even counter-productive--upping costs across the board. Yet, there's always those nationalistic men and woman that bark and bark...

 

Anyway; unfortunately, I can't think of much to support my "I don't see a need for it" position. That's my few cents on it, though.

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This is fact. Educational if you like. This is essentially a US site and a lot of Americans have Scottish ancestry. Most likely they will be aware of what is happening but coverage in the US - from my experience of US TV news and current affairs - is unlikely to cover this kind of thing in great depth. But if you prefer a diet of Beiber and Birthdays then I won't bother posting here again :P

 

Edit to add - oh, and One Direction too of course. Gotta have a daily diet of that ... :D

Edited by Zombie
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This is fact. Educational if you like. This is essentially a US site and a lot of Americans have Scottish ancestry. Most likely they will be aware of what is happening but coverage in the US - from my experience of US TV news and current affairs - is unlikely to cover this kind of thing in great depth. But if you prefer a diet of Beiber and Birthdays then I won't bother posting here again :P

 

Its political in nature, and I've seen things far less political get taken down. Believe me, I'm all for bringing back the Soapbox and I miss it dearly. It was my favorite and often only visited forum. This topic is interesting and I want it to stay. All I'm saying is beware and tread lightly. :P

Edited by TetRefine
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  • Site Administrator

While it is certainly of interest to a number of members, this is a political topic as succession from the UK will have to be a political process. As such, the moderation team asks that this discussion take place in the blogs, not the forums.

This topic can now be discussed at Zombie's Blog

Edited by Graeme
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