I've read a lot of Why I Am Voting Yes posts (naturally, as some one who was undecided until recently) as I sought out either a killer reason to vote Yes or a killer reason to vote No. It has made me realise that the most important thing is the main reason you're voting yes or no.
If your main reason is because you like Salmond - you're making a mistake. If it is because you dislike David Cameron you're also making a mistake. It also doesn't make sense to read each independent reason on it's own because that can easily be taken apart via nit-picking. You need to make sure that your main reason, your motivation, is solid - the rest can follow through.
This realisation came when I decided that the vote for Independence wasn't for Scotland being it's own country necessarily. That sounds crazy, but if you've lived in the UK for any length of time you'll understand that quantum nature of the nations that make up the UK - we are both countries on our own and also not at all, being just one part of a larger nation. That confuses many, and many might even disagree with it, but I think it's the best way to describe how I feel Scotland is - it's a country on it's own, and it's also not.
The vote is actually about self-governance. I believe I am Scottish despite actually being British, despite your definitions of nationality. So to make Scotland on it's own is not that important to me - what is important is that we get to be in control of our own affairs. This means becoming independent - it means becoming a nation on it's own.
The question is actually Do You Think Scotland Should Be Able to Self Govern? and the answer to that should be for everyone a Yes. We should - the democracy we have at the moment isn't very fair, not to my eyes, and it certainly isn't fair to the rest of the UK either. Why should Scotland be able to control certain parts of it's finances and healthcare, where Newcastle is set about by the same rules and changes that affect the rest of England? That is for a different post, of course.
Instead, I am voting Yes to make Scotland fairer so that we can enact change that we want. I know that we might not get the governments that I personally vote for, but that's the point isn't it? The rest of Scotland would have voted for them, not swayed by elections of other folk in England or Wales - a true representative Scottish parliament in control of everything we do voted for entirely by the people that they work for. We'd be accountable for our failures and our successes, which is the entire point.
There are other implications, so here we go - the usual run down of the other reasons. These have been considerations I have ratified over several months of discussion.
The big one here - there is no doubt it's going to run out, and there is also no doubt that it's dwindling. But the thing is that for the short 30 to 60 years we still have left it would be ours. We'd save the money we make and use it to fund the future. Norway, or neighbours on the North Sea and in oil, have saved $500 billion since 1990 and in the 1990s the price of oil was 1/5th of the price it is now. We can use that oil revenue, however it goes, to better our country, and to suggest otherwise is a nonsense.
We control the NHS spending in Scotland already (and have done since it's inception, actually) but we don't control the funding of it - the money allocated to us is limited by what the rest of the UK spends on it which is a big problem, seeing as spending on the NHS in England and Wales is in decline (despite what many people are saying). To make sure it's safe we need to have complete control over it, and at the moment we don't, and that actually terrifies me.
We don't need an army. We don't need Trident. We certainly don't need to spend billions on it. We will be members of NATO and the UN (even if it takes time) which means we will be as safe as we are now, and you could even say we could be safer, being able to control what wars we do or don't get involved with and what countries we do or don't piss off.
This one was the final point that I had to reconcile and it's because Connie and I are currently in the progress of becoming a UK citizen. It would mean that she could, in theory, be a triple nationality in the future, as would Joni - she'd have the UK nationality by birth, become a Scottish citizen in 2016 (in the case of a Yes vote) and then she'd also be a Canadian (her birth right). However, this fluidity makes me less worried actually, because it shows that it doesn't really matter in reality.
No need to write too much about this one; iScotland will be using the pound no matter what the rUK suggest. Either in a currency union or as a transferable currency. This actually boils down to getting our fair share of something that is as much ours as it is England's, Wales', or Northern Ireland's - we deserve to have our share of the Sterling. Calling it the Bank of England has always been a bit of a misnomer in recent years, but the important thing is that if we don't get the Union of Currency (and the power and safety that that gives us) we have no reason to take on the debt.
- England, Wales and Northern Ireland
The rest of the UK should be watching with envy, not annoyance, because we are getting to do something that they too should be getting to do - to work towards a better UK. A friend of mine stated that he'd prefer it to be a No, with better powers, and then help the rest of the UK to build a better government and system. I agree - but that's more fantastical than the Scottish Independence. Why? That because of the institutions that it upholds - a class system, an unelected representative system, systems that are outdated by even the democratic voting on the X Factor. The strange thing is that Scotland going alone would be better as a blue print for major reform in Westminster. Imagine we did it, and it worked - what is to stop Wales, Northern Ireland... or even "The North" doing the same?
Imagine being in control of tax. We'd be able to raise taxes if we needed to, cut them where we felt the should be cut, and then use the funds exactly as we want to. The new powers being offered in the Scotland Act 2012 allow us to raise the taxes but only at the same rate for every band of tax. Want to raise the top level of tax? You have to raise the bottom level of tax too, which is mental. Don't be fooled by the Devo Max options - they are giving us just enough rope with which to hang ourselves. But that, too, is for another post.
There are loads of other small points, but this post is already massive and meandering - I'm voting yes to give us control of our nation to make it more fair and secure place for the future. Our future in our hands, to coin a phrase.