5 Things Arabs Could Learn From Scotland’s Referendum Experience

Democracy is alive and well. Take a quick look around the world and you’ll instantly notice that this civilized, democratic and bloodless process is quite the rare happening. The traditional way of dealing with ‘nationalist’ or ‘separatist’ movements was by putting boots on the ground in a full-on military crackdown, otherwise if you’re lucky enough to be in the European Union or in a first world nation, you’ll simply be ignored and denied the legal framework required to achieve independence.

The world is changing. Long gone are the glory days of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. It was a much simpler time back then, governed by the laws of gravity, honor, freedom and the clan. Nowadays the equation seems to be considerably more complex, with more variables such as currency, social security, democracy, economy, jobs and pensions plans, and these things matter to people. In fact, it seems they matter just as much as everything else, maybe even more.

Political leaders can be popular. Even after many years of public service, some politicians can still be popular and deliver inspiring words to the public. And yes! Some of them even have enough dignity and courtesy to gracefully concede defeat and even step down when they fail to achieve what they had promised or when they feel that their job is done. Believe me when I tell you these people are a rare breed!

Politics in some places can still be interesting even downright exciting! It’s fascinating what people can do when they realize that they can make a difference and that their voices and votes are the actual driving force behind the democratic process. Especially when they feel that a lot is at stake. Hence the outstanding voter turnout in this referendum, a Whopping 97% registered voters!

Independence is not everything, and it is certainly not for everyone. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here. Arab nations in particular can certainly benefit from this. Maybe the Scots were simply progressive enough to do the mature thing. Maybe the instinctive need for independence just like many other basic instincts should be ignored in this brave ‘civilized’ new world. As a nation, if you’re not sure you’re fully capable of handling your own affairs; why not let someone with more experience do the job for you!