I am not usually so interested in politics, but living in Scotland in 2014 has made me pay more attention about what is actually happening in this area. Don’t worry I am not going to share my personal view about the Scottish Referendum, nor I am trying to convince anyone how it is better to vote (that’s up to you), all I am doing through this article is share the view of an international person living for the past 4 years in Edinburgh.
Being a Journalism student made me care more about subjects such as the Referendum and although I did not have a strong opinion and I did not engage in any other particular matter in the voting system. What really stopped me to ‘care’ about this subject was the idea that as a foreigner I didn’t feel that I have the right to vote. I am not talking about the fact that I did not have the chance to (I did register to vote), but because I felt that maybe after 2-3 years I am not going to be in Scotland anymore. I did not feel that it is right for me to participate in this debate if I am not even sure that I am going to live here permanently.
Therefore, what really changed my opinion was the fact that as the Referendum date approached people started to talk more and more about this subject. Wherever I was and whoever I was talking to (from friends to classmates to co-workers) everyone had a strong opinion about the referendum. Afterwards, I started watching the two debates between Alex Salmond the First Minister of Scotland (YES campaign) and Alistair Darling (NO campaign). For me it was not important who ‘won’ the two debates, but mostly I was trying to see with my own eyes what are the key arguments coming from these two people. One of the problems about the Scottish Referendum was actually the lack of real information. I mean, sure, I got so many brochures through the mail and I saw people debating on the TV, but that was enough so I can make such an important decision or even to have an opinion in general.
What I am trying to tell you guys, is that no matter if you are not usually interested in politics, and maybe you do not even have an opinion about the Referendum, I still believe that this would be a great time to engage more. Read more articles (from both sides), do not let yourself brainwashed by the media, have a think about how your life would change or not and in what kind of country/environment do you see yourself living or even your kids. Would you like to change something or you think that things are pretty good as they are now?
I think that everyone should take advantage about what is happening right now, no matter what your opinion is and engage more in the Referendum. Remember that no matter what happens on September 18th is going to be a pretty historic day that will put a mark on the people living in Scotland (including myself).