Scottish Independence

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setzer777
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Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:06 pm UTC

So this is a vote that's happening.

Maybe I just ignore too much news, but I was shocked at how long I never heard anything about this. Have there been many reports about it in the States?
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:14 pm UTC

Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:18 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.


Outside of entities with major financial interests, do most non-Scottish people have strong feelings on the subject?
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:29 pm UTC

It's reported in the us but I don't see the general public caring. It's still important to the us. It weakens a key ally. Not sure what else to say its a bad idea for that reason.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby freezeblade » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:33 pm UTC

I've been hearing little bits of this on the news here (California). I always got the impression that "Scotland splitting off" was akin to how the Pacific northwest wanted to form it's own country (Jeffersonia) or how Texas always threatens to split off into it's own country. Now that there's actually going to be a vote on it, I suspose it's being taken more seriously. Of course, there's also going to be a vote here about splitting California into 7 seperate states, doesn't mean it's going to pass, or even that it's being taken seriously, so there is that.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:38 pm UTC

The problem is the crazy proposal isn't so crazy anymore. Isn't it at a dead heat per the latest polls?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:42 pm UTC

Scotland got its own parliament about 20 years ago which was a big step leading to this referendum. From what I understand its going to be really close.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Lazar » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:43 pm UTC

I've been aware of it for ages, although I regularly read British news sites.

Isn't it at a dead heat per the latest polls?

Yeah, the latest YouGov poll showed Yes (the independentists) with a 1% lead. Almost all polling up to that point had shown a modest lead for No.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:53 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Scotland got its own parliament about 20 years ago which was a big step leading to this referendum. From what I understand its going to be really close.


I wonder if it's true that Braveheart played a major role in that, and by extension the independence referendum. Weird to think of Mel Gibson having that much influence.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:So this is a vote that's happening.

Maybe I just ignore too much news, but I was shocked at how long I never heard anything about this. Have there been many reports about it in the States?


It's around, but it's not really front page news here. Which seems odd, as it's kind of a big deal, and the growing support seems stronger than many thought it'd ever be.

setzer777 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.


Outside of entities with major financial interests, do most non-Scottish people have strong feelings on the subject?


I am very curious and interested, but I do not have a strong opinion as to which way the vote should go. I honestly don't know the Scots well enough to really predict all the potential results. I suspect that even if a split does happen, we'll probably maintain friendly relationships with both, of course, so I wouldn't be overly concerned about that aspect of it.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Chen » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:Yeah, the latest YouGov poll showed Yes (the independentists) with a 1% lead. Almost all polling up to that point had shown a modest lead for No.


I remember the 1995 Quebec referendum. 50.5% No, 49.5% Yes, with 90% turnout or something. That was crazy close, wonder if this will be the same.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby freezeblade » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

If it does go through, I'm quite interested if it will be a push for other areas of countries to split off into their own new countries.

Like, perhaps Jefferson. I would start the line a but further south if it was me though, starting somewhere around the Central Coast of California, and ended up at the Canadan border, and it be a country instead of a state. There's also Cascadia.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:55 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Maybe I just ignore too much news, but I was shocked at how long I never heard anything about this. Have there been many reports about it in the States?


Only on CSpan. But yes, I've heard of it. CSpan hosted the debates... yall debate more interestingly over there.

Or maybe its just the British accents.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.


Outside of entities with major financial interests, do most non-Scottish people have strong feelings on the subject?

The spanish, very strongly. Catalonia has a vocal independence movement, and its credibility has been greatly strengthened by the relative succes of the Scottish independence movement. The Basques are also looking on. In turn, this means that the Spanish goverment will do its utmost to block any friendliness from the EU to an independent Scotland.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:37 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.


Outside of entities with major financial interests, do most non-Scottish people have strong feelings on the subject?

As an Englishman, I'm selfishly hoping they vote to stay with us. I don't know which outcome would be best for Scotland, but I know which outcome would be best for the rest of us, and that would be a no vote. Please Scotland, don't abandon us to the tender mercies of a never-ending Tory government!
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:47 pm UTC

Is it expected that the loss of Scottish voters would radically shift the political landscape?
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:53 pm UTC

What surprises me, from the outside, is how much of the debate seems to be about money. About the pound, about banks, other big companies, oil money, etc. Interviews with Scots-in-the-street always seem to turn that.

It's like people want to vote for independence, but only if it's not too expensive. Doesn't feel to me as much of a basis for independence.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:56 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Is it expected that the loss of Scottish voters would radically shift the political landscape?

Scottish people almost never vote Tory. I believe there is one solitary constituency in Scotland that is held by a Conservative MP. If we lost all those votes that are going to other parties, the Conservatives would be in a much stronger position in future elections. It would become very difficult to vote them out, and we might be stuck with them for decades.

Come to think of it, given that Scottish voting preferences are so different from the rest of the country's voting preferences, maybe that's a good reason for them to split off. It'll just suck for the rest of us.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:15 pm UTC

The more likely effect might be that both Labour and the Tories shift to the right, until they are balanced again? That could happen rather fast, perhaps even with Tories jumping ship away from their rightward-moving party, into the rightward moving labour.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby rath358 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:16 pm UTC

Saw this article from the Economist that seems to make a strong argument for a no vote. I am an outsider to the matter, so I can't be a true judge of the points it makes, but it seems to be pretty good. Any thoughts?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Brace » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:31 pm UTC

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Dthen » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:34 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:I wonder if it's true that Braveheart played a major role in that, and by extension the independence referendum. Weird to think of Mel Gibson having that much influence.


You're joking, right?
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby WilliamLehnsherr » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:47 pm UTC

One of my friends of facebook posted about what an awful person JK Rowling is for opposing independence. So it seems even non-scottish people are very passionate about it.

Some people try to compare it to East Timor or West Papua, but unless I'm just ignorant to human rights abuses against Scotland by the rest of the UK I'd have thought it was more like the Quebec separatist movement.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby setzer777 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:54 pm UTC

Dthen wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I wonder if it's true that Braveheart played a major role in that, and by extension the independence referendum. Weird to think of Mel Gibson having that much influence.


You're joking, right?


Around the time the parliament formed I remember articles speculating that Braveheart played a role in generating enough support for it.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Derek » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:14 pm UTC

If this succeeds it will no doubt fuel other independence movements. They'll be new calls for referendums in Quebec, Catalonia, maybe even Wales.

I don't expect it will have any significant effect in the US, there are no serious independence movements in the US, despite what some Texans would like to think. The weakening of NATO's second strongest country is the biggest issue for us.

I'm also curious what effect a "yes" vote might have on the possibility of Brexit. I think an independent Scotland would be unlikely to follow the UK out of the EU, which might make the UK leaving the EU harder to swallow.

Zamfir wrote:The more likely effect might be that both Labour and the Tories shift to the right, until they are balanced again? That could happen rather fast, perhaps even with Tories jumping ship away from their rightward-moving party, into the rightward moving labour.

Likewise, expect a significant leftward-shift in the Scottish parties. The Scottish Conservatives could become more like the now-right-shifted Labour in the UK, or a different party might appear to take the right-wing position in the Scottish parliament.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:47 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Can't speak for the States, but the news has hardly been talking about anything else over here.


Outside of entities with major financial interests, do most non-Scottish people have strong feelings on the subject?


A lot of the non-Scottish Brits don't care that much.

Personally I have a weak preference that they stay because I don't see them being viable as an independent nation. On the other hand, them being independent and joining the EU would mean the end to their illegal fees for UK students (EU law requires that all EU citizens pay the same fees for uni as locals, which in Scotland is none. The Scots charge British students claiming that as they're not foreign EU citizens it's fine).

freezeblade wrote:If it does go through, I'm quite interested if it will be a push for other areas of countries to split off into their own new countries.

Like, perhaps Jefferson. I would start the line a but further south if it was me though, starting somewhere around the Central Coast of California, and ended up at the Canadan border, and it be a country instead of a state. There's also Cascadia.


The historical context's very different though. Scotland was its own independent sovereign state for hundreds of years and, for almost all that time, was a major rival to England (they were allies of France for most of the middle ages, including the hundred years war IIRC) and only got unified because of dynastic shenanigans.

Even after the acts of union, Scotland and Ireland (to a slightly lesser extent Wales) have pretty much constantly been considered separate countries (the situation with Ireland is now complicated because the south is now independent and the north is now considered a separate country within the UK). Living, as I do, near London, if someone talks about the country to me, I'd assume they meant England (or the countryside); if they said the nation on the other hand, I'd assume they meant the UK.

This is different from my understanding of how many USicans see their states where, despite legal precedents for the states being sovereign entities within a federation, people don't perceive as being countries in their own right and "the country" is assumed to refer to the whole US.

Of course, stereotypical texans are the exception to this.

The better analogy is Catalunya and Euskera (the Basque country) in Spain as Zamfir says. Both are largely devolved (Spain has a federal system with Catalunya and Euskera both being two of its autonomous regions), speak different languages (although Madrid would argue that Catalan is a dialect of Spanish despite it being more closely related to the Occitan of southern France) and have strong independence movements (Catalunya's is mostly political whilst Euskera's famously had a terrorist branch).

Madrid is particularly nervous of Catalunya leaving because they are pretty much the most prosperous region of Spain and so their secession could damage the Spanish economy.

Scotland meanwhile would want to join the EU and wants to do so with special privileges like not having to adopt the euro. Spain sees all this going on and wants to make secession seem as unviable an option as possible so will do whatever they can to stall Scotland's progress into the EU and certainly wouldn't help grant them special privileges (I believe the not adopting the euro thing needs unanimous support to pass for instance).

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:One of my friends of facebook posted about what an awful person JK Rowling is for opposing independence. So it seems even non-scottish people are very passionate about it.


JK Rowling spent much of her life living in Scotland though so she's hardly typical of non-Scottish people in terms of passion.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Wnderer » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:58 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Dthen wrote:
setzer777 wrote:I wonder if it's true that Braveheart played a major role in that, and by extension the independence referendum. Weird to think of Mel Gibson having that much influence.


You're joking, right?


Around the time the parliament formed I remember articles speculating that Braveheart played a role in generating enough support for it.


It has more to do with European Nationalistic culture. Europe has 1/15th the Earth's land, 1/10th the Earth's population and 1/4 of the nations and it keeps breaking into smaller nations. Most of the culture like the World Cup, Olympics, the Eurovision song contest are all part of promoting nationalism. The Scots were complaining about the Olympic coverage that when UK athletes won they were called English, when they lost they were British.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby WilliamLehnsherr » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:10 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
WilliamLehnsherr wrote:One of my friends of facebook posted about what an awful person JK Rowling is for opposing independence. So it seems even non-scottish people are very passionate about it.


JK Rowling spent much of her life living in Scotland though so she's hardly typical of non-Scottish people in terms of passion.


Nah, I meant my friend who was complaining about it isn't Scottish. Sorry, I should've been clearer.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Vahir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:41 am UTC

50% is too low, IMHO, for a referendum on independence. Tearing apart a nation is a terrible and tragic event that should only happen when no other alternative is at hand, so if you can't get more than 50% on board your project, you shouldn't be able to split off. 60%-75% should be the bar for referendums like this.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Soteria » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:59 am UTC

I don't know if I'd call it terrible and tragic, but I do agree that it's a major decision and shouldn't be decided by a bare majority.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby addams » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:40 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:So this is a vote that's happening.

Maybe I just ignore too much news, but I was shocked at how long I never heard anything about this. Have there been many reports about it in the States?

Not in my part of the states.
This has been going on, off and on, all of my life.
That's a Loonngg Time.

I always agree with Independence.
I also don't want the Island split, politically.

Of course, The People should have a right to decide local issues.
They should also have a Voice in London.

Can't they have Both?

If Scotland wants Scottish money,
Can't the Crown make some Scottish money.

The money could Acknowledge Scotland as a Unique and Wonderful place.
Do the Scots not have full UK Citizenship?

Are they kept out of businesses?
Are they kept in poverty?
Are they imprisoned at a much higher rate than the people from the South?
Are they refused services from the National Health Service?
Did someone try to take their Dresses?

Nope.
In my part of the US, Scotland does not exist.

A few people have heard of it.
There was a movie. BraveHeart.

I didn't see it.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:04 am UTC

sardia wrote:It's reported in the us but I don't see the general public caring. It's still important to the us. It weakens a key ally. Not sure what else to say its a bad idea for that reason.



Americans, in true fashion, honestly, probably won't make a big thing of it until it's already happened.

There'll be a small mention of it... maybe a bit more significant depending on where you go.

The night of, a little more.

Then, after the votes are tallied, if it's no there'll probably be some half-hearted reporting "Scots today rejected a poll on independence. Now onto cat videos..."

If it's yes, we'll probably get into some little frenzy because the UK is somewhat significant to us.

_____________________________________


I agree. A 50% margin is... frankly, too close. Can you imagine being a country where only half the people actually want to be a country?

It's also unstable... early independence things could be unstable enough to cause another referendum in like 5 years... to rejoin. With 75%, that's not such a big worry. With 50%... it's much more possible for it to swing a few percent. And that would just be embarrassing.

I wonder what happens to the ~50% who will want to remain UKish. Do they get to maintain citizenship, or would they be unceremoniously kicked out as part of the whole?

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:56 am UTC

I must say, I was surprised that the cut off is 50% for the Scottish referendum. Nevis needed a 2/3rds majority (and we got 62) which was funny as the parties against division then said that the people had spoken and obviously didn't want it. It was a pretty close call. (Personally, I tend to think that going smaller is a bad idea just on the basis that it makes it harder to weather things when times get tough, but I don't have much of a strong opinion either way).
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:34 am UTC

I don't knwk where I got the idea, but I thought that London was pretty OK with the low hurdle, because they never expected the referendum to have a shot even at 50%. But with a higher cutoff like 66% they would risk that many Scots would vote yes symbolically, knowing that were not actually risking independence.

It would cause lots of unrest of a 66% referendum failed but with a 58% or so yes vote. Better to have a 50% referendum fail with a simple no-majority.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:35 am UTC

Angua wrote: (Personally, I tend to think that going smaller is a bad idea just on the basis that it makes it harder to weather things when times get tough, but I don't have much of a strong opinion either way).


I tend to go the other way, going smaller means the government can spend more time managing fewer people and issues, better management et cetera. Small nations, particularly micro nations tend to do extremely well, and I think a huge part of that is policy specifically suited for those small nations.

Moreover Scotland can choose for itself not to get involved in the USA's conflicts. That's a big bonus right there.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Zamfir » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:41 am UTC

I don't think micronations do particularly well as a rule. It's more that they tend to disappear once they run into problems, so the ones that remain are the ones with an unusually fortunate history.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:44 am UTC

I think a lot of it is them getting "support" from larger nations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/americas/us-alert-as-chinas-cash-buys-inroads-in-caribbean.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2012/0305/Caribbean-nations-get-caught-in-China-Taiwan-tug-of-war
http://www.caribbean360.com/opinion/opinion-bought-by-the-chinese-taiwanese-japanese-and-now-the-russianese

I mean, Scotland is pretty big so they'll probably be ok either way. But I'd definitely be wary of thinking that micro-nations are doing well because they have more control. They just get more UN votes and a lot of debt.
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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:56 am UTC

Re: Small nation vs. Big nation: This is where a lot of multi-layered/federal governments get involved, in creating a hybrid between having many local governments to serve their areas more specifically, and a large nation to tackle the huge stuff.

I guess you could say, theoretically, if Scotland got in the EU, that could, in a sense, be the "bigger" thing. And one of the things the UK is trying to incentivize them with to stay now, with more local power and such, while retaining the security (and money) of the UK.


But yeah... the cutoff rate will be tricky any way you go about it..

Say you go for 66%-75% and you get, say 50-something percent. No independence, but over half the population wants out of the country.

Or then if you go to 50%, and it passes with 51%. Independence, but still almost half the population didn't want it.

So you're in a bit of a bind any way you go.

And incomplete voter turnout rates just make it stickier.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby Adacore » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:26 am UTC

I am highly opposed to Scottish independence, unless it's likely to lead to a fully federal Europe in which Scotland becomes a constituent state. This seems extremely unlikely in the short to medium term.

But then I'm apparently weird in thinking the entire idea of nationalism is idiotic. I would be entirely in favour of a federal world government, abolishing all border controls. But that seems even more unlikely. I strongly agree with the sentiment behind George Bernard Shaw's quote: "patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it". It's a nonsensical belief that results in way more bad than good.

What really depresses me is that so many of my Scottish relatives seem to be planning to vote yes for, what seem to me, exceptionally stupid reasons. For example, one of them said they were 'swung' by an anecdote in which an American remarked "who wouldn't want to live in an independent country?" Which is moronic on several levels. Like, the US is one of the most federated countries in the world, so unless the American was a hard-line secessionist to an extent that he would likely be regarded as either insane or treasonous by most other Americans, his comment made no sense, and all Scots are already part of an independent country - it's called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Re: Scottish Independence

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:44 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:I wonder what happens to the ~50% who will want to remain UKish. Do they get to maintain citizenship, or would they be unceremoniously kicked out as part of the whole?


How citizenship would get worked out is something I've seen almost no coverage about here other than a few people suggesting that, as the Czech/Slovak split went ok we should broadly follow their lead.

Angua wrote:(Personally, I tend to think that going smaller is a bad idea just on the basis that it makes it harder to weather things when times get tough, but I don't have much of a strong opinion either way).


Seeing as Scotland would want to join the EU, I'm not sure how significant that would be, in the case of EU countries subdividing. I think, as BattleMoose says, in this case small governments probably are better.

The thing is, the Scottish parliament already has almost all the powers they want anyway. It's missing the ability to change income tax and have its own defence policy but I think pretty much everything else has already been devolved (and I seem to remember Salmond suggesting using a joint defence policy anyway) so independence wouldn't actually mean much change in the actual powers of the government or its ability to look after its citizens.

Adacore wrote:What really depresses me is that so many of my Scottish relatives seem to be planning to vote yes for, what seem to me, exceptionally stupid reasons. For example, one of them said they were 'swung' by an anecdote in which an American remarked "who wouldn't want to live in an independent country?" Which is moronic on several levels. Like, the US is one of the most federated countries in the world, so unless the American was a hard-line secessionist to an extent that he would likely be regarded as either insane or treasonous by most other Americans, his comment made no sense, and all Scots are already part of an independent country - it's called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


Remember, people in the UK generally interpret "country" to mean one of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. If you ask a British person what country they're from, most of the non-English will tell you Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and many of the English will say England.

It's only really the English who might answer with "the UK" or "Britain". So when a Scot talks about living in an independent country, the UK really doesn't count.
my pronouns are they

Magnanimous wrote:(fuck the macrons)


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