The starting pistol has been fired and the fight for Scotland is on. Both the not-so-imaginatively named ‘Yes Scotland’ and oh-so-soppy ‘Better Together’ campaigns launched their New Year’s messages a couple of days ahead of time this morning. Predictably the ‘Yes Scotland’ movement calls for independence and the ‘Better Together’ group suggests remaining as part of the United Kingdom (which consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
For possibly the first and last time both campaigns are in agreement in their message. Each side believes everyone who is eligible to vote should do so, and both have pleaded this case ahead of the referendum on September 18. ‘Yes Scotland’ called the decision “too big to leave to the politicians”, while ‘Better Together’ advocate, politician, and former chancellor under the last Labour government Alistair Darling wants the numbers high so the decision will be seen as “decisive.”Â Clearly those on the no side don’t want independence rearing up again and again.
Voting rules are relatively easy to explain. If you are registered to vote in Scotland you can vote in the referendum, regardless of whether you are Scottish or not. As long as you are a resident you can be from the
British Empire Commonwealth or the EU and still vote. Any Scots residing in other parts of the UK cannot. All the Scots I know live in England. Many would like to vote, but unless they move back up north they get no say. Also the voting age has been lowered to 16, which is an interesting twist. It’ll certainly give the social media section of the campaign extra importance.
Other interesting side-notes include the campaign budgets which are set at just over $2 million each, and will be used in a three month period leading up to the vote. Scotland’s independence day would be on
September 18Â March 24 (because why not?). When you put “Yes Scotland’ into a search engine the campaign is all you see. ‘Better Together’ takes you to the world of musician Jack Johnson. Also in the white paper produced to outline what an independent Scotland would look like Scots the world over will be relieved to know that a new nation would be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest. The white paper also includesÂ some very important changes to government institutions.
As far the outcome goes the Yes campaign, at least in media, appears to be the more confident of the two. A majority decision in favor of independence would only be the start of the process, however, with many issues such as North Sea oil and gas, the BBC, and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon title yet to be carved up. Which ever way the vote goes this is the beginning of the end for both campaigns, one way or the other.