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Location: California, United States

Monday, January 09, 2012

Scottish independence

In the news ... Renewed Sparring Over Scottish Independence Movement ...

The smoldering issue of Scottish independence has ignited again, this time in a political context that appears to give Scottish nationalists at least an outside chance of gaining popular support for the end of Scotland’s constitutional ties with Britain in a referendum among Scottish voters within the next two or three years. The political alignment in Scotland in the wake of the outright victory in last year’s election by the Scottish National Party, a group that has campaigned for independence since the 1930s, has created an unmatched opportunity to press the case for an end to the union ....

Though some of my ancestors came from Scotland via Ireland, I'm not all that knowledgeable about Scotland. Thanks to medieval history classes, I can tell you about William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots, but not much else (unless we count Highlander :), so I looked the subject up, and this is what I understand of it ...

Though there are Scottish members of the UK parliament, Scotland only got its own Scottish Parliament in 1998 as part of the Scotland Act, - the British Queen picks its First Minister, and the parliament can only make decisions about non-reserved matters. But the Scottish National Party, the party that wants Scottish independence, won the 2011 Scottish General Election and so wants to hold a referendum on independence, hoping to become a Commonwealth realm like Canada,. But the UK maintains that the Scottish parliament's referendum for independence wouldn't be binding on the UK under the Scotland Act.

I know there could be reasons for Scotland wishing to remain part of the UK, but I think the decision of whether to be independent or not should be Scotland's alone. I guess we'll see what happens.


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