Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Referendum Fatigue

It's the Eve of the big vote here in Scotland. 

Should Scotland be an independent country?

I've been asked by various people outwith the UK what it's really like here just now.

Well, on the one hand it is quite an exciting time. 

It's being sold as a once in a lifetime opportunity to vote for our country's independence - even though the last such vote was in 1979, which was in my lifetime too, just!

The train to the boys' school passes right by the bottom of Edinburgh Castle rock, and I couldn't help but think today about all the changes the Castle has seen over the last few centuries and wonder if its about to see another tumultuous one?

On the other hand, well the title of this post sums it up really! 


I know I'm not alone in finding the constant, constant - did I say constant? -  debates, articles shared and arguments on social media a little tiring.

I get that people are passionate about this. I get that it's so great that we as a nation can debate this without resorting to bombs and violence. I get that the mainstream media is perceived to be biased in favour of No Thanks. Really, I do.

But the constant arguing, trying to prove each other wrong, trying to get the last word in, why my facts are right and yours are wrong, well, it's getting very wearying!

People just don't seem to be able to accept that others are able to make their own minds up. For example, late last night a friend posted a long status update on Facebook explaining how hard he had found it to make up his mind which way to vote. He spoke of how he had gone about making his decision and then within no time there were over 50 comments. He had made his mind up! Leave him be!

That's one of the reasons I'm not sharing which way I am voting.

Voting always used to be a personal thing anyway. I don't like the fact that you are being made to feel you should really wear your heart on your sleeve with this one.

While I'm not a fan of watching politics - I just can't stand all that shouting and arguing and general rudeness that seems to be such a big part of it -  it has been really interesting seeing how both campaigns have played out.

The Yes campaign took advice very early on from some US campaign managers who pointed out that the most positive campaign usually wins. For this reason they are trying so hard to keep up a positive spin. It's not always working, but they are mostly managing to get a fresh, youthful, positive energy across.

It seems a little harsh for the No campaign though. How can you fight a positive campaign when you are pushing a negative answer?!

I think the No Campaign didn't think they would need to push as hard, as polls a year ago gave them a clear lead. A huge effort by the Yes campaign has pulled them right back into the fight.

There has been plenty needless vandalism of signs, childish name-calling and such from both sides, each side claiming that the other is worse. I've heard people say that this is part and parcel of politics. It seems like a surefire way to loose supporters to me!

What do I think the result will be?

I think it really is too close to call. Our 20 year old neighbour says that about 65% of his fellow students are planning to vote No. The boys say that all of the older high school students they have spoken to (16 year olds have been given the vote for the first time, a move that the more cynical suggested was a ploy by the SNP to gain more Yes voters) are actually planning to vote No as well. A quick look through my Facebook feed shows an awful lot more posts by Yes voters but it's hard to say if this is because there are more of them or just because they are a lot more vocal!

So, I really don't know how it's going to go.

Whatever happens, come Friday morning all those who have been so passionately against the other side will still have to be friends with the others and accept the result. I was even told by someone today that they don't know what they will talk about on Friday once it's all over, which I think shows you how much 'ordinary' people have been caught up in all this.

So there you have it, my non-political, trying to stay neutral, take on the biggest political even in my lifetime!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love reading everyone's comments, so thank-you for taking the time to leave them! I try and respond to them here too, so do check back later on.