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Scotland just held a national vote to decide whether or not it should break ties with the United Kingdom, to become its very own, standalone country. And 85% of registered voters in Scotland came out in full force to voice their opinions on this historical occasion. After the votes have all been counted and the results are in; the final count goes 2,001,926 "no" votes to 1,617,989 "yes" votes. 55.3% decided that Scotland was indeed "better together" with the UK ('Better Together' being the slogan for the campaign against independence), while 44.7% voted for Scotland independence.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron had some interesting things to say about the election. First off, he pointed out that:
"There can be no disputes, no reruns — we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people," Cameron said in a statement outside No. 10 Downing Street, his official residence, shortly after the results of the vote.
"Scotland voted for a stronger Scottish Parliament backed by the strength and security of the United Kingdom, and I want to congratulate the 'no' campaign for that — for showing people that our nations really are better together," he said.
Acknowledging the unpopularity of his conservative government among more liberal-minded Scots, Cameron said bluntly: "If you don't like me — I won't be here forever. But if you leave the U.K., that will be forever."
Those three statements I think sum up this election quite well, at least when it comes to British/Scotland relations and why the vote went down the way that it did. For as much as Scotland's more liberal and/or romantic and hopeful citizens wanted to be free from British influence and rule that's loomed over their country for the last 307 years, this came down to practicalities. Cameron points out that this was a one time, settled for a generation type vote. And with the second statement he points out that while Scotland didn't get to go its own way, economically they will be better off again 'together', and that Scotland will have the placating prize of a campaign promise of giving Scotland much more control over its own country's affairs. And lastly, Cameron underscores both sentiments by reminding the millions in Scotland that even if you don't like the current U.K. administration, it will change one day. Voting for independence is forever.
So, this came down to being economically practical vs fulfilling a 'manifest destiny' type wish that Scotland could be free to run its country all by itself, without having to answer to anyone, about anything. Problem is, as romantic as that sounds and as nice as it would be, in today's global economy, its incredibly hard to 'go it alone'. I for one would have been proud to see the country vote YES, but I understand why the NO vote won.