Scotland’s Referendum: Some lessons for Quebec … and Canada

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin no. 1043, by Richard Fidler, Oct 3, 2014.

Superficially, the 55-45 victory of the No forces in Scotland’s referendum September 18 was a clear rejection of independence. The Yes forces won a majority only in the four poorest and most deprived of the nation’s 32 local divisions, although a class breakdown of the vote would show a majority of the working-class voted for independence.  

It was the mobilization of working-class support, especially during the final month of the campaign, that brought Yes support from 30-35 per cent in the opinion polls to the high 40s and even low 50s on the eve of the vote. A registration campaign led by the Radical Independence Campaign, a left platform within the Yes Scotland movement,[1] entitled 97 per cent of the electorate to vote in the referendum. In the end, only 84 per cent actually exercized that right. But even this was a record turnout – the highest vote in a Scottish election for over a century. (In Quebec’s 1995 referendum on sovereignty, about 95 per cent of the electorate voted with an even closer outcome, barely 50,000 votes separating the Yes from the victorious No.)

Impressive Mobilization: … //
… Inclusive and Welcoming: … //
… No Campaign Based on Fear: … //
… Demonstration Effect? … //
… 1. The issue was independence, not a tentative ‘sovereignty-association’: … //
… 2. Which comes first: Referendum or Constituent Assembly? … //
… 3. Alliances and united front:

The latest public opinion poll, released September 27, found that 40 per cent of Quebec voters would vote yes in a referendum on sovereignty, a rise of 10 points among those 18-24 years of age. “This may be a consequence of the frenzy that surrounded the referendum in Scotland” during the previous week, says pollster Jean-Marc Léger. But half of those who declare themselves sovereigntists no longer support the Parti québécois. These figures point to the importance of alliances among the pro-independence forces (and not just the parties) in the next referendum.

Québec solidaire participates in the present umbrella coalition, the Conseil de la souveraineté du Québec. And it has clearly and correctly rejected electoral alliances with the PQ. However, the new constellation of sovereigntist forces presents Québec solidaire with the potential to play a more important role in putting progressive content into the campaign – just as, in Scotland, the Radical Independence Campaign was instrumental in building popular support for the Yes. As Hilary Wainwright reported:[12] … //

… It need only be added that a powerful mobilization for national independence and progressive social change in Quebec would most likely inspire solidarity and support in English Canada among working people. This could be crucially important in thwarting the federalist offensive against Quebec independence and fostering a radical politicization in “the Rest of Canada.”

For further reading, I highly recommend the collection of articles in Links, international journal of socialist renewal.

(full long text and endnotes).


Easing the transition: Means and ends, how governments can deal with the labour imbalance, Oct 4, 2014;

Germany handed law-protected private data to NSA for years – reports, on Russia Today RT, Oct 4, 2014;

Le Modèle allemand et ses “mini-jobs” vus par un belge, 14.42 min, (parlé flamand, sous-titres français), mise en ligne par Rico Way, Oct 3, 2014 … remix belge, voir Grèce;

Biden says US embarrassed EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine, on Russia Today RT, Oct 3, 2014;

Internal affair: Beijing warns foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong, on Russia Today RT, Oct 2, 2014;

David Cameron promet d’alléger les impôts de 30 millions de Britanniques, Oct 2, 2014;

7 tips for living well on a fixed income, Oct 2, 2014;

Noble, COFCO complete agribusiness joint venture, on, Oct 1, 2014;
(more farmlandgrab-items);

Mexico Moves Up 26 Places in the Senior Citizen Quality of Life Index, Oct 1, 2014;

Q&A: David Cameron’s income tax proposals, Oct 1, 2014;

1 Video/13 photos: Cette imprimante 3D révolutionnaire matérialise des objets dans du sable grâce à l’énergie solaire, 6.07 min, dans daily geek show, Sept 30, 2014;

11.09.01: pas d’avions dans les murs, sauf à la TV – lire descriptif (VOSTFR), 8.55 min, mise en ligne par Rico Way, le 15 sept 2014;


… and this:

Scorpions, uploaded by ScorpionsVEVO, Nov 1, 2009:

… und noch das:

Links aus dem letzten Newsletter der Giordano Bruno Stiftung:

… et encore ceci:

  • Attac France – extrait de la lettre d’information du 30 septembre 2014: Samedi 11 octobre prochain, nous vous invitons à investir rues, routes et chemins pour dire non aux multinationales et à leur monde. Des actions auront lieu partout en France à l’occasion d’une journée commune de mobilisation. D’abord contre TAFTA, CETA, TiSA et les autres accords de libre-échange que les multinationales et les gouvernements des plus riches économies du monde tentent d’imposer au détriment des peuples et de la démocratie. La lutte contre les gaz et pétrole de schiste sera également à l’honneur à l’occasion de seconde édition du Global Frackdown. Et si ces deux motifs ne vous suffisent pas, vous pourrez vous mobiliser contre LeSalonQuiTue, la « World Nuclear Exhibition », premier salon international de la filière nucléaire organisé au Bourget, à peine plus d’un an avant la COP21.
  • Plus d’informations sur la journée de mobilisation du 11 octobre.

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