Scotland goes to the polls in just six days to decide whether it will become an independent or not.
In the last few days, the campaigns have intensified. Leaders from the three main parties travelled to Scotland, in an attempt to save the union, in an election that is likely to be down to the wire.
The visit has been criticised by many in the Yes camp as “too little, too soon”, with First Minister Alex Salmond describing it as a “panicked” last-minute manoeuvre.
At the same time, Salmond conducted a seven towns in one day campaign, in an attempt to spread the Yes message across the whole of Scotland.
As we get ever closer, the campaigns will no doubt intensify, leaving perhaps a bit of #indyref overexposure for some.
News has recently emerged that Nick Clegg, deputy-Prime Minister in Westminster, has backed “radical” English devolution plans. The measures would see more powers being devolved to local councils in England.
This move has been a long time coming. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their respective Assemblies, with limited powers over their own affairs. In this debate, I sympathise with those south of the border, who have not had their own assembly/parliament established yet. Perhaps it is thought that, because the UK parliament is based in London, England was represented anyway.
One question that must be answered if there is a “no” vote on Thursday, is the West Lothian Question. Raised by the MP for West Lothian, Tom Dalyell, in 1977 as discussions were made over Scottish and Welsh devolution. He refers to the fact that MPs outside England can still vote on English matters.
This fact is profoundly problematic, and must be addressed following the 18th September.
It is for this reason, therefore, that devolution in England is a very good idea.
This is also not the first time independence has been discussed lately. Flanders in Belgium and Catalonia in Spain are both looking to hold a referendum on independence. California is also said to be split between Baja California (held by Mexico), and Alta California (held by the USA). Albeit this latter debate is not as prominent an issue, it is still worth considering.
What one may then conclude, is that perhaps independence is a natural state for a society. What happens in 100 years of a “no” vote in Scotland? There will doubtless be another referendum at some point. Many are saying as soon as 10 years time, if the Westminster parties do not deliver the full extent of powers they say they would following Thursday’s vote.
In the end, if Scotland rejects independence, we will see some form of independence movement in the future; be that in 10, 20, 50, maybe even 100 years, it is likely it will come around again.
Independence is an issue that is coming to the fore of politics. There is no reason why countries with the potential to become a successful independent country cannot become so, and work with others to create a better world.
The unionists may argue that together we are better, but why not all work together, and yet not be together. Open borders, communication, free-trade, co-operation, unity, these are all aims of the EU, and ones that can be upheld globally.
We can be a strong independent country, but we can be an even better world where co-operation between all was encouraged, and where power was brought to the people who know how best to employ it in their country.
We speak of “the best of both worlds”. For me, this is the best of both worlds.
The penultimate statement sounds like something verging on potential dictatorships, but I promise it is not intended.