I am voting Yes on Thursday. Here’s why:
- Scotland’s voters have precious little influence over what party is in government at Westminster. In 2010, we returned one lone Tory MP yet have been subjected to a Tory government. In 1979, 1983, and 1987, we returned a Labour majority in Scotland but got a Conservative government. For anybody who experienced the poll-tax or has been subject to an ESA assessment, well, you get where I’m headed with this point.
- Scotland’s general political ideology is divergent from much of rUK. Neither is correct or better than the other but there are distinct differences. rUK does however have almost ten times the population, so if we stay in the union we will continue to have to go with what they decide.
- More influence domestically. With a population of over 60m and first-past-the-post elections, an individual has little influence over politics at Westminster. The Scottish government represents only 5.3m people and has a mixed electoral system. In short, your voice will be louder in an independent Scotland.
- More influence in the EU. Due to the UK being our representation in the EU, the population per head of EU seat is really quite bad for Scots at the moment.
- No nuclear weapons. Of all the post-independence issues, Trident is the one that has pretty much unanimous agreement. In terms of weapons of mass destruction, the UK is a rouge state: we are set to spend an amount comparable to Scotland’s entire GDP on weapons that have a sole purpose of killing millions of people.
- A chance to shape the birth of a nation and create a written constitution. In Britain, our constitution is a combination of common law, Monarchy, custom, and what Parliament makes law. You have no ultimate protections. If we did, the Commons wouldn’t have been able to enact punitive retrospective legislation last year. Most countries have a written constitution that guarantees basic rights, Scotland should too.
- At the moment, Holyrood is only there by virtue of Westminster. Remember, the law the Commons makes is constitutional, the Scotland Act could be revoked at any time.
- Holyrood has delivered. In every term, the incumbent party has in general held to its manifesto promises and the Parliament has operated efficiently. So we can do this.
There are many scare stories in the media but I will not address them other than to say that the UK has hardly been immune from problems, very serious problems at that. Every country has problems; an independent Scotland will have problems too. We are not safe either in the UK or independent, no country is. The critical aspect is having the opportunity to solve our problems in a manner that is best suited to national sentiment and interests.
If I can make one final argument in favour of a Yes vote. Imagine the UK were presented an offer from President Obama: we are their biggest ally, so he wants Britain to become an American state. In return for this, we get protection from their military, access to the American electoral system, and all the trappings that the US has to offer. We would however have to cede power to Washington, naturally. Does it sound appealing? Do you think your voice would be heard amongst the drone in Capitol Hill? Now consider that a no vote maintains an even weaker and unbalanced relationship with rUK.
So, vote Yes. Vote yes, yes, yes!