As an American, it's hard for me to grasp the gravity of what exactly has been happening in the UK these past few weeks. I'll admit that I'm not very worldly, and it's hard for me to make sense of a situation in which a country can literally vote to be its own sovereign nation. I mean, other than Texas and Alaska, two states that have voiced a desire to secede from the United States and do just that; to which I reply: Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. But I digress.
While all regions have not yet declared the results of the vote, those that are reporting results are implying that Scotland has rejected their opportunity for independence and will remain a part of UK by about a 55% to 45% margin.
Those who desired independence have certainly been the most vocal bunch, and the most confident. They were sure victory was theirs and that it would be obtained by voters who were cut off from the campaigns and politics. Up until the last moment they were sure that those citizens on the outskirts of society would file in in droves and give them the landslide victory they so vehemently coveted. They were wrong.
Instead, the traditional campaign delivered by the traditional parties proved more effective. They were boring, sure; but they were concise and informative; and apparently that's exactly what the Scottish people were looking for.
However, just because Scotland will remain a part of the UK does not mean this referendum has not inspired change. Scots are split nearly right down the middle in their contempt of the three major national parties. The word "Westminster" is met with bitter disdain and its promises are deemed empty and worthless. The predominate feeling appears to be distrust and skepticism. Hmmmm; not trusting your politicians and believing that the media are purposefully covering things up to make one party look better or worse? Maybe we're not so different after all!
This was a vote that Scottish citizens were passionate about. An unprecedented 80% of eligible voters actually showed up to vote, including 16-17 years who were permitted to cast their vote for the first time on this important subject.
For those of us who are woefully American (like me), on the surface it looks like nothing has changed. But those across the pond know that this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, nothing will ever be the same again.
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