I got a package in the mail today. A couple of months ago I was looking at the website of the Scottish National Party and ordered its publications about the planned referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
As a Canadian, I have witnessed the playing out of separatist aspirations of many of the people of Quebec. As a Canadian I have been on the side of keeping Canada together. At the same time it is self-evident that Quebec is a "distinct society" within Canada, just as Scotland is a "distinct society" within the UK, as are Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
Reference to the Supreme Court of Canada and the development of the Clarity Act to govern future attempts to hold a referendum on the subject. The ongoing discussion in Scotland, including preparations for a referendum on separation, is taking place with a keen awareness of the Canadian precedents.
So, as a Scot by birth I am sentimentally in favour of Scottish autonomy. As a Canadian I understand the importance of keeping countries together and at least the arguments against separation. As a lawyer I find it fascinating that the experience of my adopted country might influence the experience of the country where I was born.
I don't know how I feel about Scottish separatism. I don't really know how I feel about the nation-state in this twenty-first century. The circumstances of Scotland and Quebec are very different. Scotland was a sovereign state that joined England by treaty in 1707. Quebec has never been recognized as an independent state.
I am going to start reading now.