With Soctland’s independence vote just five weeks away it’s become a topic one just can’t avoid. I found out recently that being a EU citizen and resident of Inverness-shire, I am allowed to vote on september 18th. Not being scottish, as in not having lived here my entire life until recently, I found that maybe I should not even get to have a say in the matter.
Even though trying to keep up with the current debate and having studied political science a few years back, I can’t say I’m firm with the whole issue, say when it comes to economic dependencies and so forth. Still, as the outcome of the vote will affect myself and more so our childrens’ future, I will gratfully make up my mind and and cast my vote for the good of the nation.
Stepping back, looking past the superficial controversy, it appears to be much more of an emotional than a rational thing alltogether. Fear plays a big role on the one, the “better together” side, while evocation of pride and optimism underlies the other. Same as fears were puffed up heavily, and this just always seems to do the trick, the optimism might not rest on ever so solid grounds.
By nature the “Yes” campaign has a more positive, almost euphoric drive whereas the “No” side carries a more stern image. Apart from very few appearances, I have seen no visual support for “Better together”, be it in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, or here in the Highlands. Advocates for independence on the other hand are out on the streets with music, leaflets, buttons and folders, slowing down passerbys, asking their opinions, involving them in conversation.
What has been puzzling me a lot is how dead serious each side claims the consequence of failure will be, very grim pictures drawn indeed. It becomes comprehensible once taken into account that the historical build-up to this decision taking will be throwing long shadows in both directions.
Current polls estimate an outcome in slight favour of “No” (the question asked being “Should Scotland be an independent country?”), if polls are accurate and the independence movement cannot gain momentum quickly, september 18th might not go down well in patriotic history commenmoration.
The real challenge will start in the immediate aftermath of the vote , with a population divided in their views and attitudes about how to live, but stuck with one another.