I am Scottish and live in Edinburgh, so it’s safe to say that I have my opinions regarding Scottish Independence. I vividly remember 2014, with the images of blue ‘Yes’ stickers on car windows and lamp posts, and people campaigning to stay in the UK regularly on the streets. That being said, do I want to go through all of that again? I’m torn.
As someone who could not vote last time due to being too young, I think a more up-to-date reflection of what the population want is a good idea, rather selfishly. I have not supported Scottish Independence in the past, however, which means that I am satisfied with the previous result and thus am not too disheartened about my inability to vote before.
I am a strong advocate for the improvement of political education amongst the grassroots of the population and especially in schools, so I believe that a second referendum is only really a good idea if the facts and the eventualities are presented widely enough to allow for informed decisions. The ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ mentality was crucial in a lot of people’s eventual vote, but it is, of course, unclear how many of those votes would have been swayed with more information on their side. I had no idea what independence would have meant for Scotland because I was not educated on the matter. Granted, I could have tried harder, but there was an accessibility issue that I think would be improved for a second vote.
The political climate has also drastically shifted with Brexit, which brings new factors into play. How Scotland, as a potentially independent nation, reacts to Brexit, will influence perceptions on the vote in the first place. Would Scotland plan to re-join the EU? Given the vast majority of Scotland voted to remain, I can see a policy to re-join the EU post-independence being a selling point for the independence campaign, and it can be interpreted that the Brexit campaign is largely English.
This question, for me, is definitely a conflict between the personal and the political. Politically, due to Brexit and the time that has passed since the first referendum, it is a good idea for democratic legitimacy and reducing disillusionment across Scotland. From a personal standpoint, on the other hand, a second referendum is not something I am interested in seeing, despite my own participation this time round. I genuinely cannot make up my mind about this, regardless of how much it could affect me, but I will be sure to use my vote if the situation arises.