It’s less than two days until Scotland makes a huge decision – to stay as part of the United Kingdom or to become an independent country. The debates among families, friends and politicians are heating up and the uncertainty is palpable.
On the 18th September, all UK, European Union and Commonwealth nationals living in Scotland (aged 16+) will cast their vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country – a big decision for everyone involved! In fact, 97% of Scotland’s adult population is registered to vote on Thursday.
To get a flavour of what people are thinking beyond the reported political polls, debates and ads, I thought it only fair to share three viewpoints (for independence, for staying together and undecided) of my Scottish and British friends who will be voting on Thursday. Over the past two weeks leading up to the vote, I shared a view from each stance (yes and no). Now it’s week three of this blog series and my British friend Emily Ross is sharing why she is still undecided. Thanks Emily!
Emily Ross, a Brit living in Scotland
“This is an exciting time to be in Scotland, and the 18th September represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for its residents. However, having watched the televised debates and read the (many) leaflets posted through my door, I remain undecided. Whilst I think this is a great opportunity for Scotland’s people to finally have their political voices heard, I am worried about the long-term implications.
I have been angered by the cuts to welfare and public services made by the Westminster-based coalition government. Knowing that Scotland’s voters did not want this government makes independence a tempting option, as I am eager to see the views of the Scottish people represented by those in power. This seems especially important today, with the rise in support for parties such as the British National Party (a far right political party) in England. I am also encouraged by the potential for investment in renewable energies and scrapping of Trident nuclear programme should there be a ‘Yes’ vote.
However, I am already very proud of the people-centred policies enacted by the Scottish Government, such as free university education and free personal care for those over 65. I am worried that changes to the current economic and financial systems may pose a threat to these in the long-term. I am also a little frustrated that finer details with regards currency and financial services have not yet been resolved.
Leaving the United Kingdom would be a huge step, and in a way I wish the referendum were taking place two years later. I am interested to see how Scotland’s situation would change with a (hopefully) different government in Westminster following the UK general election in 2015.
So, with only a few more weeks to think about this important decision, I am starting to get a little worried. However, a recent newspaper article suggested that those who are scared of spiders are more likely to vote ‘No’. As I caught one last week I suppose I had better vote ‘Yes’.”
Can you relate to Emily’s undecided stance at the moment? Which view are you leaning towards? Are you dreading or looking forward to Thursday’s referendum?
I wish everyone who will be voting all the best! If you live outside of Scotland, keep an eye on its news this Thursday and Friday. x