I am not normally a supporter of adding more countries to the world's list of nominally independent countries. Or at the very least, I am usually ambivalent about it. While localism is sometimes fashionable in progressive circles, there's lots of reason to doubt its merits. [looks pointedly at south of Canadian border.] But: there are sometimes some merits. [looks again pointedly at south of Canadian border.]
Montreal Simon is disappointed at Canadian progressive bloggers for not being as vocal as he for #YesScotland. I admit, I haven't said as much on the subject as I could have. Canadian bloggers outside Québec, particularly anglophones, would have a not-unexpected negative reaction to separatist campaigns, a tendency whose origins I will not go into too much here, except to say that the most recent incarnation of a PQ government, at precisely the moment when a progressive stand against Ottawa made the most sense, instead decided to shift with disastrous results into a more ethnoculturally-focused footing.
But despite my general reluctance towards these things, I am inclined to wish for a yes vote in Scotland, even knowing that a yes vote would bring out a host of unresolved risks and problems and is not guaranteed necessarily to be everything that the #YesScotland campaign might hope it would be, at least in the short and medium terms. The reason for me to give the crucial Vala endorsement of the yes side is thus:
The UK, and London in particular, is in some sense the epicenter of a political dynamic that started in the 70s and has now almost fully played itself out. Nowhere in the world is the neoliberal dead end more visible than in the UK, for all that it possesses a more comprehensive social state than e.g. the USA---now almost an accident of history, because unlike Great Britain, the US actually has had a recent if very flawed expansion of its social state. But the UK is at a dead end. Of all the countries in Europe that should be considering leaving the EU---itself a flawed institution that has slowly turned itself into a nightmare---the UK is the last to have something to complain about, as it is not suffering the effects of the Eurozone. And yet, the biggest pressure to leave comes from people whose primary objection seems to be the EU's social standards and human rights protections!
Something's gotta give. The situation and ideological paralysis epitomized by an unbreakable consensus in Westminster (reflected throughout the world, but it seems particularly present there) cannot last forever. There will be a rupture. And there as a choice as to which kind of rupture it is. It seems to me that the first stone thrown can either be the formal ascendency of an explicitly chauvanistic and regressive English nationalism, or it can be an optimistic and progressive-minded Scottish civic nationalism. I fully realize that even under the latter, there can be nodules of darkness hiding behind blue and white. But nothing is perfect, and there are few better opportunities. I suspect the result will be end up being a few percentage points for the "No", but whatever the outcome, the UK will never be the same. Which, at this point, is something to be hoped. I know it's not fair to place burdens on liberatory movements, but if Québec sovereigntism can adopt a similar spirit once again, I'm now less against it than I might have been, because Ottawa too is trapped in the same London paralysis.