Experts Divided Over Outcome of Scottish Vote for Independence

Scottish citizens will head to the polls to vote on an important issue on Thursday, Sept. 18. To educate students about the impending election, Epsilon Pi Lambda and College Republicans hosted a “Scotland Independence Referendum” summit on Sept. 9.

Liam Anderson, a professor from Wright State University, was the summit’s featured speaker. Anderson received his doctorate from the University of Georgia in 2000 and has been teaching at WSU since then. Anderson is an expert in many topics, including comparative politics, Western Europe and American government.

Anderson was joined by Glen Duerr, an associate professor in Cedarville’s history and government department. His area of expertise also consists of many topics including secession, Canadian politics and nationalism.

The topic of the evening was the referendum brought to the Scottish people about seceding from the United Kingdom and forming an independent nation.

“We are just two guys from England talking about Scotland, so this should be good,” Duerr said, drawing laughter.

After a crash course in United Kingdom history by Duerr, Anderson explained the motivation for the secession. He said the Scottish people have maintained a sense of detachment from England since the 1970s, when the English Prime Minister made various decisions that had a detrimental impact on Scotland.

The citizens of Scotland are finally acting upon the feelings of unrest, he said. They will now face the tough decision of either voting “Yes, we want to secede and become an independent nation” or “No, we want to remain a part of the United Kingdom.”

Both presenters said the campaigning of both sides will have a significant impact on the outcome of the election. The “Yes side” has been heavily campaigning, hosting many rallies and trying to draw people together. They have also secured many celebrity endorsements.

“Cool people vote for independence,” Anderson said.

Meanwhile, the “Better Together” campaign seemed to rest on their haunches as though they expected to win, Duerr said.

Anderson said he believes that it boils down to what each side is selling.

“The yes side is selling the dream ‘You can be a part of history,’ while the no side is selling the nightmare of what will come if you get independence,” he said, “Dreams are easier to sell.”

Anderson said he thinks that the “yes side” will win the majority while Duerr said he believes that the “better together” side may be able to squeak out a win.

Both professors stressed that Canada has a vested interest in this, which affects some Cedarville students. The province of Quebec had long fought for independence from Canada, they said, and the outcome of this election may either extinguish or add fuel to that fight.

Taylor Hobbs is a freshman psychology major and reporter for Cedars. She enjoys stereotypical Canadian things like saying “Eh” and watching hockey. 

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