Scottish Independence, Why I’m Excited: The Romantic and the Pragmatic

Scotland voted to day to add to its illustrious history the possibility of becoming independent from the UK by vote. Who isn’t amazed and in wonder that this is happening? And the vote seems close too!

I cannot imagine what it is like to be Scottish at the moment. Regardless of the way you vote, what would it be like to be on the loosing side? Riots in the street? Muted Frustration? A mass exodus… Well not a “mass” exodus, Scotland only has a population of 5.3 million in close to 1/3 of the UK’s land area. So, it wouldn’t quite reach a “mass” exodus scale, we’d have to settle for an exodus. If that even happened.

But I’m not Scottish or British, and I’ve never been to either country. Despite following the popular trend to watch Doctor Who and an number of other BBC shows, I really do not have a dog in the fight beyond the potential and I certainly hope limited global impact of changing the financial system of Scotland.

So, why is this so fascinating to me? Why do I have an opinion?

Two answers to the first question: First, because this has some potential implications that I find amazing and exciting: Succession would become a viable option for states across the globe after centuries. Arguably, this is bad, but it also could lead to the potential for state resistance to overbearing federal governments. Tibet or North Carolina could leave the unions they are part of in protest to the whole. Second, I want to see the follow up regardless of the vote.

To the second question: I’m actually of two minds about the vote. Part of me very deeply wants them to vote yes, and part of me recognizes the futility of voting yes: The romantic and the pragmatic.

The romantic is motivated deeply by watching Braveheart one too many times. That and a deep desire to see succession back on the table for how interesting it would make domestic politics and international politics a little more nuanced. It’s a side of me that wants to see people with greater political liberty.

The pragmatist inside wonders what would happen that would truly change the lives of the 5.3 million people in Scotland. I recognize with the EU that it is possible to be politically independent and economically dependent in some screwy ways, and I really wonder how independent Scotland could truly be from such a close neighbor. Other than the show of being independent, truly how independent can countries be in this day and age?

The real question is how could the vote get so close to even? Looking forward to seeing the results tomorrow or not to long from now. On another rabbit trail: How is England reacting to all of this?

England wants to keep Scotland so bad, Doctor Who is now a Scot… Ok that’s a bit tongue-and-cheek, I really like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor…


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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