It’s less than 40 days until Scotland takes to local polling stations to decide whether it wants to keep in with UK, or ditch them, scream FREEEEDDOOOMMM, then head out their ownyo.*
We’re keen to hear your thoughts on what is one of the biggest decisions a nation can ever make. So many questions accompany the vote, none less than ‘who even am I?’ Identity is a complex issue that runs deep in our bones and can be highly emotive – ask Northern Ireland.
There are more questions still. How important do you consider national identity to be? If I’m a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, does it even matter what national label I stick on my lapel? WWJV – who would Jesus vote [for]? Is it just a matter of time until the world is one giant globalised legal entity with a single currency and a few regional dialects? Too Russell Brand?
Let’s get to know the nitty gritty.
Much of the debate so far has been about the uncertainties of independence: would Scotland remain part of the European Union, would it be able to use the pound, would pensions be safe? All of which are valid questions, but none strike the heart of the debate. The referendum is a great opportunity for people in Scotland to influence its future, whatever the outcome. Scottish civil society has a fantastic opportunity to articulate what Scottish people want, whether that is within the union or not.
As part of this debate, the Evangelical Alliance Scotland has produced a manifesto entitled ‘What kind of nation?’ exploring some of the current issues facing Scotland. As part of a mini-series on threads, we’ve asked a few people, a ‘YES’ voter and a ‘NO’ voter, to set out their vision for Scotland – just like politicians have been doing – on issues such as the economy, families, the environment and society.
This isn’t an issue with a right and wrong answer, but one that people need to make up their own minds on. People will choose to vote how they do for a huge number of reasons. For some, the cultural ties between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom will lead them to vote to keep the union. Others will vote “no” because of some of the uncertainties of change, and the risk they may be worse off.
On the other side of the argument, others will vote for independence because they believe it restores Scotland’s rightful place in the world, others because of the ability Scotland would have to shape certain decisions.
However, behind all this, everyone has an idea in their mind of how Scotland should be, the values it holds and the role it should play in the world. No matter what the result of the referendum is, we still need to work towards making people’s visions for Scotland a reality. What kind of nation do we want to live in, and can we change to make that happen? Is the referendum the end of the world as we know it? No, it’s not. It’s the beginning of a conversation about Scotland’s future. Yes, the result will determine a lot of things, but it doesn’t decide everything. We still need to work towards our vision of a future Scotland.
*I’m so sorry. I couldn’t help myself.