NEW YORK (April 2012) — Nationalism is now a meme, I’ve been following the debate about Scottish independence (#indyref) on Twitter because I live abroad.
It may have seemed unimportant!
When I started to follow the independence movement, I felt this was about the Scottish people. A race of people who need a homeland. But, as I’m not getting to vote on my nationality, I have started to ask what will happen to me and the Scots who live and work abroad like I do.
Is it a Mandate from the Scottish People?
It seems undemocratic to me that I’m unable to vote while I’m abroad. How has this happened and why is it OK?
The right to vote is based on verification of residency. If you are registered to vote in a the local elections (because you live in Scotland), you can vote in the referendum, regardless of birthplace.
What Happens Next?
If the local people vote “yes,” Scotland will be created. The people who are entitled to be Scottish will then be defined by citizenship laws, which need to be written.
I say I’m Scottish because I was born there, but this referendum has made me question that. Ironically, I won’t be excluded from other British referendums while I am abroad. I would be given an opportunity to vote in 3 different ways.
It seems that my nationality will be defined for me without my consent and my right to live and work in my country of birth won’t be clear until these decisions are made by others.
I don’t know whether I will be able to be Scottish, or if the residency rules will be applied because they are easy to administer and I won’t be Scottish.
People already believe I’m a foreigner, because I talk funny, but this will affect my life as much, if not more, than the people who live there.
How Does This Affect People on International Assignments?