After an historic vote, with the voting age lowered so more Scots could have their voices heard, 55% of Scots voted to stay United, against the 45% that voted for Independence. Almost 85% of eligible voters turned out — an amazing result I wish we could replicate in our upcoming (albeit less historic) elections. And if only more issues of this importance were decided by free and independent votes at a ballot box rather than guns, knives, bombs and terrorism. In our recent visit to Scotland most folks we met said the vote would fail, and that the majority of Scots are happy being part of the UK and/or the headaches and costs of separation were enough to lead to a “No” vote, so I’m not surprised by the outcome, and I think the effort of having the campaign and vote by itself has helped lead to changes that will be better for all. Congrats to our friends across the ocean for showing how it can and should be done!
Perfect … read my PostaDay prompt at exactly 6:00 a.m. therefore it will be easy to write for 10 minutes. Right? Somehow though it should make absolutely no difference starting at a round number — especially at an hour on the dot — seems organized and round and the perfect jumping off place from which to dive into a project. Much better than 6:03.
Now that we have that established, what exactly will I write about during my 10 devoted minutes? Today is Scotland’s Day of Destiny, hence an ideal choice. Certainly sounds important, and, in fact, it is. What a difference between the UK and Russia. On one hand, we have a rather civilized vote where the people who live in the country will decide whether they want to go it alone, as an independent nation, or stay consciously joined as part of the United Kingdom. Things seem to work somewhat different in other countries which decide to consider a split. No bloodshed in Scotland, no need for monitors for fear of cheating at the polls.
Of course it was much different years ago, when battles between the English and Scots were rampant. So perhaps there is hope for other countries, as well.
Jack and I visited Scotland for the first time in June, and loved it much more than we had anticipated. The literary history and culture of Edinburgh spoke to me. For Jack, it was the Scottish people he enjoyed the most. The Royal Mile was packed with tourists but it managed to maintain its ancient charms nonetheless. The first morning I ran out our door when I heard the bagpipes playing — I wouldn’t want to miss that once-in-a-lifetime experience! Of course after a day I realized it was more like once-an-hour, as the type of Scotland experience the tourists expect is broadly displayed, especially on the Royal Mile, not wanting to miss an opportunity to take in some tourist dollars. And the number of pubs releasing those who had way too much to drink onto the cobblestone streets was a little distressing. Really, how many pubs does one city need? But the City is magical and charming and a very … whoops, my 10 minutes is up!