So today Scotland is expected to vote against independence, though polling is more uncertain on the sorts of elections irregularly held.

Prime Minister David Cameron and the government appears to be willing to promise the sun and the moon to get them to stay. They were, apparently, not expecting this vote to be as close as it looks like it might be.

Meanwhile, Spain is under increasing pressure to allow a vote in Catalonia. Catalons are tying themselves to the referendum. It’s no wonder that Spain, looking at what is happening to Cameron and the UK, is particularly keen not to let that happen.

As independent statehood becomes more popular, due ironically to increasing globalization, it touches on one thing that the global community hasn’t figured out: We have no generally recognized method for legitimate secession. Leaving it to constituent nations can be problematic.

Here in the United States, of course, we have particular reasons to be suspicious of it, though I think we would be hard-pressed to refuse a request on the part of Hawaii to secede. For example. And I think the international pressure on this sort of thing will increase with time, depending in big part on the reasons for the secession.

I tend to agree with Steven Taylor that the bar set for Scotland is awfully low. It’s hard to say what the appropriate bar is, though it seems to me that counting non-voters as “no” votes might be appropriate. That’s a very high bar, but secession is a very radical and complicated step.

Category: Newsroom

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