Prime Minister Harper recently made pilgrimage to the British Isles; the origins of his heritage. On his father’s side, he mostly English. On his mother’s, mostly Scottish, describing the union, “worked well for me.” But hey, it’s 2014, man. Divorce is at an all time high as more and more people are discovering marriage isn’t for them. But these people are secular rats and Harper is a wholesome conservative, which is why he spared no breath in tackling this issue while visiting the British Isles, a place facing the dissolve of holy matrimony, to speak in London about U.K./Canada trade ties. He urged against Scottish separation from the U.K., though considering Scotland is colloquially known as a son to its English mother state, the marriage alone is suggestive of Scotland’s having of an Oedipus Complex, making understandable why Scots would want to cut off this relationship and distance themselves from this notion. I mean after all, it’s not like they’re the Welsh, or the…uch, Northern Irish.
Despite the Parti Quebecois recent downfall to the Liberals back on the homefront, Quebec sovereignty seems to have an ever fluctuating presence and Harper doesn’t want separatists getting any ideas. But with voting in only a bit more than a month and polls suggesting against an independent Scottish country, it doesn’t look like Quebec sovereigntists will be getting the pick-up they’re looking for anyways.
However, the Toronto Star poses that this Scottish referendum in fact will be more of a sovereignty deterrent than the rallying cry Quebec separatists think it will be. For the Scots, the question of referendum is left entirely up to the voters, as opposed to the Quebec referendums where people were voting on giving permission to the government to begin considering Quebec sovereignty; a question so diffident, many votes were probably swayed by thinking they would hurt the feelings of the timid 16 year old girl they assumed wrote the ballet. The Star claims that any more direct of a question and the chance of ‘oui’ being selected would have been slim to none.
In his discussion of the Scottish referendum, Harper questioned whether separation would solve any of the major problems that afflict Western industrialized countries like the U.K. and Canada, namely job loss, strained social service programs, terrorism, climate change and the threat of pandemics. “What would the division of a country like Canada or the division of a country like the United Kingdom do to advance any solutions to any of those issues?” Harper asked. It was his next response to a U.K. journalist’s joke of it being a shame he couldn’t go north to Scotland to speak on the matter that I think is paradigmatic of why separatist movements, be it in Quebec or Scotland, are still thriving today, his response being, “I might not be so well received there.” Which is true, because no matter how many issues you believe separation would solve, it’s a distinct people’s yearning for a collective destiny, the ability to be politically and economically independent from a society alien from their own that continues to drive sovereigntist movements. It’s this issue that would be solved, whether it be a negative solution or not, through separation and it is this reason the issue is left off of Harper’s list, as well as the reason he wouldn’t be welcomed to kindly in Scotland. This is really too bad because Harper is probably missing out on the worlds best kilt shopping while begetting banter with the business audiences of London. I’ve always wondered how my Prime Minister would look in a kilt…and also whether he’d wear it traditionally Scottish or with underwear. But, like most referendums, some questions are better left unanswered, lest they flame further passions.