Oh no, another opinion on this damn referendum!

Posted: September 8, 2014 in Politics
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Let me start by saying two things; 1) I have no clue about politics and don’t pretend to and 2) I am not looking to give a heavyweight, vote changing opinion here. I merely wish to share with you all my reason for why I am choosing to vote the way I am.

Why now? Why am I putting my thoughts out there when there is less than 2 weeks to go? You’ve had 2 years man! Well until a couple of months ago I was on the fence. When the referendum was first announced I was an outright No. Now I am voting Yes. Only now am I clear enough on why that I feel I can articulate it well enough to share it with you.

I want to count. I want my vote at an election to carry some weight when I put my cross on that paper. Looking back historically Scottish votes make little difference to the Westminster government. Yes in 2010 we stopped a Conservative majority by giving Labour 2 seats back but 65 of the last 67 years you could remove the Scottish MPs from government and it would have no change on the composition of the UK government. This was brought to my attention one lunchtime at work whilst discussing the referendum with a colleague and I was dumbfounded. This can’t be true I thought, surely a proud nation such as ourselves carries more weight in the political landscape than that? Nope. But we’re not independent either, Holyrood primarily deals with fiscal responsibility of the country as opposed to how the country is actually run, so what does my vote actually mean to the running of my country? Turns out, very little.

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As I said at the beginning I have no clue about politics, up to this point I have never really paid much heed to it. We had Modern Studies class at school that was meant to engage us and get us ready for the day we get to vote but that class was mainly spent listening to a teacher – disillusioned from decades of teaching – moan about how ‘the system’ (still don’t know what system he was talking about) is failing us and him dealing with unruly pupils who knew if they misbehaved the class time would pass with him shouting at them and them not having to learn anything. Turned out it wasn’t just them that didn’t learn anything because of this. So as a result I have voted throughout the years for parties that had manifesto’s that caught my eye, that struck a chord with me but I have never really known, truly, who I have been voting for. Now I know it was essentially nothing. I voted for Lib Dems in 2010, believing Nick Clegg offered something different for British politics and ultimately being bitterly disappointed with his desire to be Deputy Prime Minister rather than sticking to his guns. The Tories are in it for the rich, the Lib Dems are in it for a laugh and Labour, well who knows.

“Alex Salmond is a dick, I’m not voting for him”. Surprisingly this is one of the main reasons I hear from No voters as their reason for voting No. Let me just put this out there, the man is a dick but you’re not voting for him. You’re not voting for Darling, Cameron, Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP etc etc either. You are voting for change. Real change. A chance to shape our political landscape for the better, you are voting for a chance to count. If a Yes vote comes through then Salmond and SNP will ultimately start to shape our country and the way it will be run, however there is another Scottish general election due in May 2016, you can vote them out. And your vote will count! It will truly make a difference in the way our country will be run for the following 5 years. You can vote for whoever you want with the knowledge that you will be shaping your own future.

That my friends, is why I am voting yes.

Below are articles written by a friend of mine which helped give me a better understanding on reasons for voting yes. If you are on the fence or just want to read more on personal reasons for voting Yes then I implore you to read them:

The biggest year of my life

Remember the Opportunity

Scotland has a chance to enact real change

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