Through interacting with different Scotsmen and women so far, I have seen many differences in their communication style than that of many Americans. They seem more keen to meet a stranger and immediately act as kindred spirits for a time. There is a sense of camaraderie that has been extended to our group (even though we are Americans) on multiple occasions. Almost everyone I have talked to has been open to discussing multiple subjects and giving their point of view directly. There is no skirting around which way they voted on the referendum, even if the next statement included they felt they made the wrong choice. There is definitely a directness, laced with humor, that I have come to appreciate about this culture.
I have never been to England or observed Westminster politics at work, but I feel that the camaraderie and frankness of the Scots would hold contrast to the reserved, traditional English spirit and the formality of Westminster procedure. In fact, the Scottish parliament proves this by being a relatively informal parliament and emphasizing transparency and accessibility for the people of Scotland. Even the organic feel of their parliament building shows little resemblance to the grandeur of London’s version. That seems to be the point, the the Scottish Parliament wanted to bring something different, and they made a statement. Simply deeming the institution “The Scottish Government” has a completely different connotation than naming it the Scottish Parliament. That one word shows the hope of what the body hopes to accomplish, and a solely Scottish Government is not exactly what the rest of the UK would consider unifying.
Communication is key to the continuance of social structure. The differences in communication style between Scotsmen and Englishmen may not be the main issue of tension between the two when the subject of Scottish independence is raised, but it has the capability to exacerbate other differences. If the Scots do not feel they are being adequately represented or their views and interests defended, then it is much more likely for nationalism to gain following. Once that is set in motion, the divide in communication style can continue to fuel for greater feeling of separation and disillusionment with the current state of government.
The disillusionment with Westminster was the most common reason for voting Yes during the referendum. Feelings of difference in opinion had translated into want for dissolution of the Union. However, many No voters were much more concerned with the economic and social uncertainties of separation. Communication was key in that as well. Fear-mongering campaigns were frequent in the weeks before the referendum. Also according to the article, the Yes voters were more likely to have decided their vote more than a year in advance. The people who were more easily persuaded casted in as No. Those who never made a decision and did not cast a vote, essentially supported No.
If the SNP ever pushed for another referendum on independence, then they would need to emphasize communication and gain support far in advance of the event. The idea of separation would need to be complemented with clear evidence that the needs of the Scottish people would be better addressed solely by the Scottish Government. They would need to report clearly and concisely on the economic repercussions of separation and convince the people of economic stability, if not growth. The economic solution will need also need to be based on more than their oil resources and projections of barrel prices in an age where the world is seeking more and more reliance on renewable energy. For the older population, there will need to be reassurance of social security benefit continuance through the transition of responsibility from London to Edinburgh. The younger population would need a constant reminder of Scottish heritage to feel a connection to the cause. The Scottish Government would have to show their ability to successfully organize the responsibilities of being a full governing body. Including these strategies in order to sway the current vote and mobilize the silent registered voters would be an ambitious goal, however I don’t foresee a successful vote for independence unless measures of similar magnitude are taken.