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Scotland Independence Vote

The ultimate three-card monty game EVERYONE is playing

Scotland’s independence referendum vote has resonated deeply with the people of a country where roughly 4.4 million people are eligible to vote and… an astonishing 4.3 million of them have registered to vote in this election. If everyone shows up, that would be a modern election record 97.8% turnout (exceptions being middle East dictators with 100% turnout and EVERYONE voting for them!).

By comparison, the UK General election struggles to get more than 67% and the best modern day US election turnout (2008) only had 57.1% of voters bother to turn up. These are the truly astonishing fact sets of this election.

Last week we watched as both sides promised the world to their constituents in exchange for their vote. But they underestimate the power of the voter. Not since William Wallace has there been such a strong nationalistic passion and fight on both sides.

While the ‘Yes’ on secession camp are promising a land of milk, honey and freedom, they have been accused of rigging oil and gas reserve figures.

While the ‘Yes’ on secession camp are promising a land of milk, honey and freedom, they have been accused of rigging oil and gas reserve figures. Normally that would not matter but these numbers are used to project the future financial viability of an independent Scotland. If the estimates of reserves are 10-200% higher than actual, we have a problem. Indeed banks have shifted huge amounts of cash to Scotland to handle any fear-based bank ‘run’ situations caused by a ‘Yes’ vote.

And Cameron (Conservative/Tory), Clegg (LibDem) and Miliand (Labour) will not let Scotland go without a fight (albeit a late-to-the-game one). Last week’s ‘Westminster invasion’ was lame and disingenuous putting new broader powers on the table to sweeten the deal that were not there when it looked like the ‘No’ vote was cruising to victory. Now the PM crossed Scotland prompting the best quote of the week, “David Cameron is coming to Scotland? Why? He’s less popular here than Windows 8.”

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Indeed, no one could seem to say why their side was better beyond over-used talking points and the signs were the electorate tuned both sides out last week. The only headlines that meant anything were around the decline of sterling against the dollar and other currencies and the insistence that multiple bank corporate headquarters would move from Scotland back to England.

The real problem is no one has answers to many key issues… currency, EU membership and jobs remaining in Scotland being key concerns. The government of David Cameron has been supremely arrogant. The government of SNP First Minister Alex Salmond has ignored and brushed aside all difficult questions, promising a progressive, Norwegian-like socialist utopia overnight.

What is VERY surprising is that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II seems to be missing in action on this important question. The House of Windsor, aside from a tearful opening by Prince Harry last week to London’s Invictus Games, all seem to be staying out of this fight. While polls show the ‘No’ campaign (therefore collision, meaning we keep the current United Kingdom) is winning, a huge turnout unsettles the board and throws ALL card of this game in the air.

My hope is we see as close to 100% turnout of registered voters so no one can question the legitimacy of the election or claim the vote was not fair. The stakes are incredibly high. The legacy of David Cameron is on the line. No one will pay attention to anything his government did while in power if he loses. They will instead remember him as the Prime Minister who lost the Union.

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Somehow that seems rather fitting as crony capitalism and income inequality reached its zenith under him and Bufoon Boris as London mayor. This would be a proper farewell to their failed Orwellian experiment. Watch this space.

Denis Campbell
The UK Progressive