Democratic participation and votes are crucial. Yet, referendums can cause prejudice when decisions are based on insufficient information on complicated or technical issues, or on propaganda, personalities, advertising campaigns or media influence.
The referendum on Scottish independence and the EU referendum seemingly strengthen the weight of public opinion but undermine parliament and government, and ultimately the country.
It is unusual that a country would let go a region as it was the case with the Scottish referendum. Most countries would deny any such change, would not give any square inch of territory away, and would even risk a civil war or terrorism.
It is a human weakness to focus on differences rather than commonalities. This does not help. Living together peacefully requires tolerance, respect and protection of minorities. Divisive politicians exploit this for their own interest.
Divisiveness is engrained in language. Scotland is still synonymous with “north of the border” after all these years.
Crossing the English Channel means “going to Europe” for many, ignoring the European compass that also points to Ireland in the west, Iceland northwest and Norway northeast.
The United Kingdom is engaged on a slippery slope of divisiveness. Scotland remained British by a small margin. If the leave side wins the EU referendum thanks to English votes, the SNP will demand another independence referendum, which it expects to win.
The United Kingdom engages in wrist cutting referendums.
Not Britain would leave the EU, but England.
Not Brexit, but Eexit.