The Once (and Future?) Scotland

Today is a big day – at least in terms of global politics – as Scotland is voting on its long-awaited independence referendum. If the referendum succeeds, Scotland will become a separate, self-governed country for the first time since 1707. I’ve been closely following Scotland’s push for independence since even before my recent visit to the beautiful country.

All indications point to a close vote that will be decided by a single-digit margin. No matter the outcome, this will be a decisive and historic moment that will shape the future of the British Isles. And from a political communications standpoint, it has been an absolutely fascinating case study. One side has taken a positive, inspiring tone; the other has been accused of fear-mongering and threatening. Celebrities and global figures have sided with each.

On Tuesday, Alex Salmond, the leader of Scotland’s independence movement, published a final letter of appeal to Scottish voters.  In a campaign that has stirred many emotions, I found the conclusion of his message to provoke some thoughtful insight.

“What to do? Only each of us knows that. For my part, I ask only this: Make this decision with a clear head and a clear conscience.”

Well put, and a good lesson for any of us. Follow your conscience. Do what’s right. After all, your future could depend on it.

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