Being Scottish was actually not the criteria to be able to vote. The entire criteria was residency. As a result, almost 400,000 people living north of the border in Scotland were actually not Scottish but born in other parts of the UK (reported the BBC back in 2012). The number of Scots living in England, Northern Ireland and Wales had no vote amounting to 800,000 not counting the Scottish in Canada and the United States.
Even if we set aside the question of rigging the vote, it seems that the criteria by itself may have doomed the entire vote. Can you imagine if the right to vote that the United States should merge with Mexico was based upon simply residency?
The turnout for any Scottish vote was no doubt setting all records in this referendum . In total, 4.29 million people registered to vote in Scotland based simply upon residency not requiring any Scottish birth record. It appears that more than 90% of voters turned out. In a similar vote in Canada in 1995 on whether Quebec should secede, 94% of registered voters cast their ballot.
The violence breaking out in Scotland may actually arise from the more than 400,000 non-Scottish residents who see this whole referendum as treason. In Scotland, everyone the age of 16 or over were eligible to vote. Alongside Scots, British citizens and those from the European Union and Commonwealth countries who live permanently in Scotland all had a right to vote – just residency.
Based solely on this information, we have to ask if the Scots ever stood a chance to actually decide their own fate “for a generation” as Cameron declared. Strange, in East Ukraine it was Russian “tourists” but we may have the very same problem if elections are decided upon residency.
I have argued against the income tax because it only applies to citizens rather than everyone. If the “illegal” aliens paid a national consumption tax and we abandoned the income tax, then everyone pays for their fair share. But does this idea run afoul in a national election of this magnitude deciding national identity? Mexico could just send everyone across the border and transfer power from Washington to Mexico City.
A very interesting problem on who has the right to vote in such elections. My condolences to the native Scots. Another example of how those in government just never can do anything right. This brings to mind Milton Friedman’s assessment of government – you can see why I regarded him as a friend.