If I lived in Canada in 1995, I would say that I am experiencing deja vu as the stories emanate out of Scotland. But I was starting teaching in West Texas, so I was not all that attentive. Still, Canadians must be watching this all like Scotland is re-booting the Quebec drama with slightly different accents (kind of like the Amazing Spiderman but less likely to turn a profit).
The story of the day is that the Scottish National Party, as the campaign for the referendum continues, is backing away from its anti-NATO stance. This is hardly surprising. To get more than 50% plus 1 or whatever the standard will be, the SNP has to be vague about anything that would alienate potential supporters and soften the impact of independence. Becoming independent for Scotland or Quebec would be costly. Lots of difficult questions and complexities that might give one pause about the utopia that would be an independent Scotland or Quebec. In the last referendum in Quebec, advocates of independence tried to make the jarring transition appear to be smooth--no, we can keep Canadian passports and the Canadian dollar.
The ardent independenistas are going to vote for an independent Scotland regardless of the NATO stance and regardless of the costs of transition. To win enough votes of the softer (dare I say squishier) nationalists, the SNP, like the Quebec sovereigntists, need to apply some denial sauce to any of the potential qualms that folks of mixed views might have. So, thus the new stance.
Do not be surprised if we see more "hey, this really will not be that radical a change" statements even if they kind of contradict the big message that a big change needs to be made.
And the Canadians will just shake their heads and sigh. Except for those who make money leveraging their expertise on separatism (on either side). And no, I have no money on this.
That ship has already sailed! We're going to keep GDP, keep the Queen, keep the same financial regulations and so on...
There still remains quite a strong radical element in Scottish Poltics though who are organising and pushing for bigger change.
Why expose yourself to all these risks if the end result isn't going to be measurably better?
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