The Big Question: Scottish Independence

Partly as an indulgence on my part (I'm Scottish) and partly because it's topical and you sort of can't escape it, I thought I'd use 'The Big Question' to discuss one of the biggest questions that will ever be asked in Scotland: should Scotland be an independent country?

As a Scottish person living in Australia, I don't actually get to vote — which I think is fair — but if I could vote? I'd definitely vote yes. Not because of any broad feeling of nationalism (I sorta hate nationalism in all its forms) but mainly because culturally and historically Scottish people are different. They have different ideas about how a country should be run. Currently, under a Conservative government increasingly moving towards the right, I can't help but feel as though an independent Scotland makes sense for the Scottish people.

But I'm curious to see what you guys and girls think. The vote is happening this week — have any of you been following the news? What have been some of your thoughts? And does it inspire any of you to start thinking about the Australian republic that was shut down all those decades ago? Let me know in the comments below.


    What? No mention of Groundskeeper Willie?

    I'm not Scottish, so I don't feel i have the right to voice an opinion on the matter.

    having said that though, I do hope the people of Scotland think it through & make an informed decision to do what's best for them.

    best of luck to Scotland, no matter the outcome.

      You should be a diplomat

        fence sitting isn't my strong point. I'm an extremely opinionated & passionate person. but in this case, I'm going out of my way to show restraint coz I know a few Scots, some I met through this site even, who I just don't presume to speak for.

        for what its worth, if there was a referendum on Australia becoming a republic, I'd be 70,000,000,000% vocally behind the YES vote. but, like I said.... I'm not Scottish, so Im not gonna insult Scotland by thinking my opinion on the matter is in any way relevant.

          You're not fence sitting though, you're simply stating you don't know enough to make an informed decision, but wishing them the best in making an informed decision.

          It's a compliment.

          Last edited 17/09/14 1:13 pm

            I took it as a compliment, so thanks :)

            but I'm just saying, 99 times out of 100, id' make a rubbish diplomat :p

            I've been keeping a close eye on this referendum debate, so I've got a pretty good understanding of whats happening & what the pros & cons of each side are, but I'm just not comfortable voicing an opinion either way, coz I'm not gonna be affected by this & I know a fair few people who are.

      I feel the same way.

      The outcome of the referendum doesn't affect me in the slightest, so I don't really care one way or another. As long as they make the correct decision for their country.

    I think that in 2014 that they should have the right to self-determinate. It'll be tough for a while, but yes.

    A friend of mine is from Britain and he is adamant that if Scotland achieves independence then it would cause a cascade around the world with various regions and territories agitating for their own independence and destabilise a lot of areas around the world. Personally I feel that is a load of crock because it's taken quite a long time for Scotland to try and even attempt this independence vote. Sure the No camp is trying to argue that there was a Scottish monarch on the throne of England at one point so Scotland should remain part of the UK. However, by that same logic parts of Germany and France should technically be part of the UK due to various English royal families originally coming from France and Germany. The sheer amount of money and influence that is being thrown at opposing the independence vote is absurd.

      So if we divide up the world equally we get five acres each. I declare mine its own nation.

    From my experience travelling in Scotland I very much felt it would never be an entirely happy place until independent. But that was casual and brief observation from a tourist … so not worth a whole lot (and it's none of my business).

    As an Australian republican, I’m embarrassed to still have someone else’s (not democratically elected) Queen as my head of state… but I know other Australians who wouldn’t have it any other way, so go figure ..

    John Oliver did a pretty rad bit about Scottish independence. Clearly he has his own biases but probably the point that stuck out the most to me is that Scotland and England simply aren't on the same wavelength for a lot of important political issues. If you've got a predominantly left-leaning country being run by a predominantly right-leaning country, there are going to be a lot of people who are not being fairly represented.

    Scotland seems capable of supporting itself. My only argument against Scottish independence would be if Scotland could not support itself (like Wales).

      +1 for the John Oliver bit. It was fantastic (as always)

      Came to post this, you've already done it. Good lad.

    I think it should happen... but I really doubt it will.

    There's too much between them, & separation will create a raft of problems.

    An interesting question is what happens to the royal family?
    Technically Scotland has its own royal family, does power revert back to them?

      The Queen of England is also technically the Queen of Scotland so she'd remain queen of both countries. In fact she's more right to be the Queen of Scotland than the Queen of England since it was James VI who united the 2 countries originally in 1603 when he took the throne of England.

        Except that the Stuarts are no longer the line on the throne.

      Oh and if Scotland reversed the law preventing Catholic monarchs then the Stuart line could be restored which would put Duke of Bavaria on the throne

      The Queen would still be Queen. We would just have our own Prime Minister.

        Yeah, I misunderstood the question... I didn't realise that I'd remain in the commonwealth. I thought it was full independence.

    Im of the "If it aint broke dont fix it" crowd. im not a monachy fan but im not a republican either. For us here the only difference would be that the queen is nolonger our head of state, it would be the governer general which would be renamed president.

      What the hell? So instead of having our nation run mainly by the prime minister who we sort of get to vote for (well his party anyway) we should get rid of the queen but appoint her puppet as the president? WTF?

        Well, the point is that the governor general would no longer be answerable to the queen.

        I actually liked the republican model that we voted on at the referendum: the GG was to be appointed by a two-thirds majority of parliament, I believe. This would have ensured that the person in question would have to be above party politics to have any chance of being appointed. But it was largely voted down because people felt it was necessary to vote for this position... which would just turn it into another process prone full of campaigning, corruption and public distrust. Oh well.

        /end rant.

        the gg isnt appointed by the queen though, they are appointed by the current serving prime minister. but yes thats how it would work as we would keep our current system of government. thats all it ends up being a name change and that the queen is no longer our leader (also there would a flag change as well and god save the king/queen would not be sung anymore

        The republican model that turns the GG into the president assumes that said president would remain in a mostly symbolic role, similar to the president of Ireland.

      Scotland would still be a monarchy, they have their own royal family. They aren't voting to change to a republic. They just won't be classified as part of the UK anymore.

      Last edited 17/09/14 1:08 pm

    All those decades ago?

    Not that long ago. I was a teenager, but 'decades' is a bit off a stretch.

    As a typically right-leaning voter, and supporter of Australia's position within the Commonwealth of Nations, I have to agree with you that if my perception of Scotland is correct, it does make a lot of sense for them to break away now.

    But then having said that, I'm not sure that modern Scotland is as left wing as I've always assumed.

    Independence. Mainly to align with my previous false understanding that it already was an independent nation. Yes, I'm not smart. It was only in the last couple of years that I found out that Bombay is actually Mumbai now and has been for a while, it's called "Hang Gliding", not "Hand Gliding", and elephants are indeed herbivores, not carnivores.

    Also, I'd note that Scotlands ability to "look after itself" has typically been founded on their percieved abundance of natural resources - or specifically, oil.
    The problem is that North Sea oil rigs are considered very 'old-world' and at the very end of their life cycle by those in the O&G industry. It's simply not realistic to expect Scotland to 'do a Norway' here. They will have to learn to innovate in other sectors.

    And does it inspire any of you to start thinking about the Australian republic that was shut down all those decades ago?
    I was, and still am, a supporter of becoming a republic. But if Scotland were to vote yes, they would become a member of the commonwealth akin to Australia and Canada. It would take a whole separate vote to become a republic, similar to what Ireland already did and we tried to do.

    EDIT: Now with facts!

    Last edited 17/09/14 11:45 am

    Don't know enough about this to make an informed opinion, but I do think we should be a republic in Australia. I can understand Scotland's desire to become one too.

    The commonwealth games must have left one hell of a sour taste in their mouths for them to want to jump ship now! ;)

      The commonwealth games is basically an excuse for England to gather together all the countries that it has lost so it can lose to them again.

    I fought for the stormcloaks in Skyrim and watched braveheart as a kid, so that is a yes from me. Though if they become a full blown republic before Australia I will be so pissed.......

    Didn't WA try to secede from the commonwealth in the 1930s? why doesn't the Commonwealth just ignore/unacknowledged the referendum/vote like they did back than?

      WA tried to secede from Australia but the Imperial Parliament in London was having none of it.

      Because WA is a state within a federation, whereas Scotland is a country and nation within a sovereign state. (confusing terms I know).
      A state within a federation usually and especially in Australian context cannot legally secede without the full approval of all parties. WA signed to that.
      Scotland however is not bound by such laws.

    Surely every country has the right to be independent. Whether they can or can't is another matter, but I'm sure Scotland will do fine on their own.

    I'm only going to post for the purpose of stating that I am not informed enough to form an opinion. I know that the current British PM is a bit shit and this is part of the reason for the current referendum, but I really don't know why.

    Scotland seems to be in favour of it, so... why not. Interesting times.

      Imagine over 90% of Australia voted for someone who wasn't Tony Abbot. Then Tony Abbot became your PM. Then Imagine Tony Abbot was actually shitter. Then you have why Scotland aren't a big fan of David Cameron.

        So calling him a bit shit is kind of underselling it then.

    As a descendant of Scottish ancestry I'm more than happy for Independence. Its not without a downside.... to quote Richard Dawkins tweet on the matter:
    "Of 59 Scottish MPs at Westminster, only 1 is Tory. Am I unduly pessimistic to fear that, if Scotland leaves, UK will go permanently Tory?"

    When Scotland becomes independant, will the UK change the Union Jack? If so, will that affect the Australian Flag?

      its an interesting question. bit too early to pre-empt anything yet, but yeah....

      this article looks at a few possibilities.

        Changing the flag would be very costly, especially in regards to merchandise etc. And it's a flag many hold dear. At least, in England... I doubt it'll change.

        But hey, if Australia get to remove the UJ from their flag, it's a win/win, right?

    To hell with global state that requires the consent of every citizen.

    I hope the Scotland realizes that it is time to think about it`s people, not the effects the independence will have on others. When will this "care more about your neighbor then yourself" will end?

    Go for Independence...

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now