Searching for US Opposition to Scotland Independence

Tonight, I was scheduled to be on BBC Radio 5 to discuss Scottish independence and how Scots in the US view the ongoing debate raging across the United Kingdom.

At the last minute they canceled.

I was the “supporting independence” panelist. They couldn’t find a Scot in the US opposed. I am still more than willing to go on and discuss whenever one is found, but its not tonight.

So, since I wasn’t able to share my thoughts with my kinsmen back across the Pond, I thought I would blog them instead.

I support Scottish independence as long as we remain under the crown, as the Queen is as much Scotland’s Queen as she is England’s. I am also fully supportive of the ongoing dialogue taking place in the UK.

I commend Prime Minister Cameron for his passion on keeping the Union together, and I commend First Minister Salmon for his passion for Scottish independence. I would expect nothing less from either of them. And this dialogue is essential. Every aspect and impact of Scottish independence should be analyzed and studied. Solutions for the multi-faceted complexities involved should be planned for in detail.

I’m ok with not being able to vote. I was born there, and my heritage is fully Scottish, but I don’t live there and even though I promote Scotland as often as possible, both culturally and in business circles, I don’t live there. I would disagree with the Scottish National Party in that I believe any person registered to vote in Scotland, including expats who can vote in other UK and EU elections, should not have their rights denied in the most important referendum in 300 years. I see it as wrong to change the rules of the Scottish election rules–which currently don’t allow expats to vote–to include 16 and 17 year olds, but to not change them to include those Scots working overseas, or across the River Tweed, temporarily.

Mark Sutherland, a Scottish native who runs a publishing company in the US, is one of many expats who supports this idea. “I have been in the US for more than 15 years, so I still wouldn’t get to vote, but those that can vote in other elections should not be denied their rights in the most important referendum for Scotland in 300 years,” he said.  – Source: The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

I read the entire Consultation Document this evening, and I viewed all the speeches today. The SNP wants to wait until 2014 to hold the referendum, but PM Cameron is pushing for an earlier vote. On this issue, I disagree with the Prime Minister. This referendum is not something you want to rush into without a plan. And the dialogue that is taking place is healthy and necessary.

What I hope to see from the SNP prior to the referendum, and I don’t see it yet, is a very detailed plan on how transition will take place should the referendum result in a vote for independence–answering such questions as plans within the EU, economic growth, health care, military defense, etc. The calls for a vote as soon as possible by English and British politicians is unreasonable, and unwise. The conversation should continue, and there should be no unanswered questions by the time the referendum comes around.

And finally, there are many comments being made that Scotland is just too small to be independent. That’s ridiculous posturing. Tell Liechtenstein or Malta that. Or simply remind the UK government that they support self-determination for the Falkland Islands.

All people should have the right to self determination. Scotland’s people should have the right to self determination.

Because, a man’s a man for all that.

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