Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Will the Scottish "Nation" get to vote on independance or just those who live there ?

Since the SNP seems to still be gearing up for an independence vote I've been doing a little thinking.

With the devolved assemblies its been a fairly logical choice about who votes in their elections, those people who live in the geographical locations to be administered, easy.

But what of a referendum on Scottish Independence ?

An independent Scotland would have direct affect on the nationality of more than the people who live there.

My wife is Scottish, but she lives in Surrey. Should she get a vote ? I would argue yes, she's as Scottish as Alex Salmond is, and has probably spent less time in England than he has.

I've heard various estimates of the number of Scots in England, but somewhere between 2 and 5 million must be about right. They would all be eligible for Scottish nationality and could lose British nationality - so logically they must be allowed a vote.

Even worse - there will be many UK citizens married to Scots, who could also take up Scots nationality and should perhaps also vote. Though Alex I could be persuaded to reduce my tax bill by granting you your "Freedom(TM Mel Gibson)".

My guess is that this approach kills Scots Independence stone dead.

What's odd is that the Unionists parties don't pursue it, or perhaps some of them are not as opposed to breaking up the Union as they claim ?


marksany said...

I think anybody of Scottish background (or married to one)who wants to vote for independance shoud be allowed to do so, provided they commit to live there for 20 years after independence. Problem solved, everybody happy, no?

Man in a Shed said...

@marksany - I think the odds on all this leading to happiness are rather long !

What I find odd here is that there is a clear logical flaw in the SNP's independecne referendum plan, but the Unionist parties don't bark.

Now that's strange, and strange usually means there's more to things than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

I am Scottish, live in England and I would vote for independence for Scotland.

marksany said...

So who would be unhappy with my plan - I can't think of anybody.

Wyrdtimes said...

Scottish independence is a matter for Scots in Scotland!

As far as I'm concerned Scots living in England have decided to be English - for as long as they are living here.

If they want to remain Scottish - feel free to move back to Scotland and vote on Scottish issues.

When will the English get a say on how we're ruled?

Man in a Shed said...

@Wyrdtimes - the view I take is that a nation is more than a geogrpahical location. Its gives citizenship to people, regardless of their location, and most nationas allow people to vote even when abroad.

Since a sovereign Scottish government would be different from a parliament/regional assembly which dervives its authority from Westminster, so the electorate should be different.

The current Holyrood regieme is really the devolved government (or executive) of the UK citizens who live in Scotland. The Scots nation is something else.

@Anon - I'm sure many people would vote for and against, but as anglopobia will be lower amongst Scots living in England I would suggest a greater proportion would vote against than for.

What I'm trying to get at is I have what loooks to me like a sound, democractic and logically consistent argument that isn't finding the light of day - I wonder why not ?

Anonymous said...

scottish people all around the world would demand a vote. this would mean checking all applications to vote which would take years.
Alex Salmond said "the people of scotland" for this reason.
it is well known that the most strident of nationalists ie. Sean Connery live outside their home countries.

Man in a Shed said...

@Anonynous - Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder.

But most of those absent from Scotland live in England.

Personally I think this is an issue of natural justice, which also probably has a very direct dealing on a likely outcome of a referendum. ( Hence natural justice being denied. )