Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland votes 'Nae' - Will Stay In The UK!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_960/image.jpg

Scotland has voted stay in the United Kingdom. The results were:

                              Votes         %

NO 1,914,187    55.42
YES 1,539,920    44.58
TARGET TO WIN 1,810,042

Only four of Scotland's Councils - Glasgow, Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshie voted for independence, although a couple of the others were close.

What happens next is interesting, a little.

Brit PM David Cameron had promised the Scots a number of goodies if they voted to stay in, and now will come the task of delivering. It's called 'devolution of powers' in the local  lingo, and what it means is more autonomy for Scotland and the right to set its own tax levels, perhaps. The details were deliberately left kind of foggy.

The Brits plan to draw up a  white paper - a parliamentary agenda of sorts -  by the end of November, setting out the proposed new powers Scotland's parliament will gain. And a new "Scotland Act" law would then be published if all goes according to plan by January 25, 2015  for the House of Commons to vote on.

However, since there's a new a UK general election due in May 2015, the legislation would not be passed until the new parliament takes over. Cameron is something of a weasel and as a Tory isn't going to get too many votes in Scotland anyway since what Scotland finally gets at the end might very well be a lot less than they've been led to believe.

Another interesting paradox..since  this is a 'devolved system'  Scottish MPs in Britain's lower house, the House of Commons   get a vote on spending and other budget matters in England while, since Scotland already has semi autonomy  and its own independent parliament, English MPs have no voice in how these things are run in Scotland because the Scottish Parliament handles them.

If Scotland gets even more autonomy, there will be more areas where English MPs have no say on Scottish matters while Scottish MPs in Britain's parliament continue to have a vote in how similar things are run in England. Look for an outcry in the near future at this basic unfairness in the future, which might even eventually lead to a kind of federalist system. 

It remains to be seen if Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond resigns

Why did 'No' win? There are probably lots of reasons, but I think that the bottom line is that a number of Scots have gotten very used to the welfare state and life on the dole and didn't want to take a chance on anything that might disrupt it or change it. And there were enough of them to carry the day.

UPDATE: Alex Salmond has formally announced his resignation as head of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and has said he will also step down as First Minister of Scotland after the failure of the independence referendum.

"For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream will never die," Salmond told reporters in Edinburgh.

He said he would not accept the nomination as leader of the Scottish National Party at their annual conference in November and that he would then resign as First Minister.

"After the membership ballot I will stand down as first minister to allow the new leader to be elected."

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