There is just seven days to go until Scotland will go to the polls for the most important democratic decision it will ever make. Some people have already sent away their ballot papers, and many will be waiting in anticipation to head to a polling station on Thursday. It’s been a long time coming, a two year campaign that will come to an end as the results come in overnight. We’ll know Scotland’s destiny by breakfast on Friday 19th September, and it’s really exciting to have been a part in helping to shape that destiny.
No matter what the result of the vote, Scotland’s political landscape will change forever, and for the better of our society. We’ve engaged thousands of people in political process that have never voted before. Our polling stations will be busier than they have ever been, and Scotland will see democracy thrive.
This whole debate has been around democracy. Scotland faces a democratic deficit. Not once since the 1970s has Scotland influenced the outcome of the UK Government. The democratic deficit is bad for Scotland, and it’s bad for our rights.
The Conservative Government have plans to repeal the Human Rights Act, consigning our everyday rights to the history books as it aims to further cut welfare and leave thousands more children in poverty.
The Equality Act has already been watered down by the UK Parliament, and further changes are afoot in the next term, especially with the apparent rise in UKIP support – and likely defections of Conservative MPs before the next General Election.
Scotland has been given a chance, a once in a lifetime chance, to enshrine our rights in a written constitution. A written constitution will deliver our human rights, and our rights to live as equals in our diverse society. We shouldn’t put that at risk. Our rights are at risk because Scotland doesn’t hold any balance of power over the UK Parliament.
A ‘Yes’ vote will deliver the biggest constitutional change our country will ever see. It will allow Scotland to regain democracy and elect Government’s that we vote for. That might just sound like a great message, but the reality of the situation is that my rights, your rights and our families rights are at danger. Scotland has never voted for a Tory Government, yet we’re on track to receive another in 2016. Whether they are in bed with UKIP or not, our rights are at jeopardy. Extra powers may bring us some financial control, but not one of the Westminster parties has agreed to transfer the powers of the Equality Act to Scotland.
Our rights can be secured. Waking up to a ‘Yes’ vote on Friday morning will be the start of something new, a New Scotland. A Scotland in which the poorest aren’t hit harder by austerity cuts, a Scotland which puts people first. This once in a lifetime decision can help us set Scotland up for the future. Whether it is for our children, our siblings or our friends. Scotland has a bright future, no one can deny that, so now it’s time to make sure that that future is as bright as it can be – and that’s with the power resting firmly in our hands.