As an American tourist, I recently had the great privilege of visiting Scotland and learning more of your history and current events. With great interest I heard of the upcoming 2014 vote for Scottish independence.
I listened to many viewpoints; I felt the pride and the excitement. However, after these many conversations, dealing in both business and leisure, I now worry that several of the folks I spoke with have not fully considered, and hence have not objectively thought out, the advantages and disadvantages of such a significant vote.
I am afraid romance and pride may overshadow such objective considerations and possibly cause more, rather than less, concern after such a vote.
I suggest that the existing political powers in Scotland commission an in-depth survey considering all issues related to such a critical vote.
Such a survey must objectively and comprehensively list all of the advantages, disadvantages and costs in taxes, trade, currency conversion issues, defence and border security, social welfare, health and implications that will come with EU acceptance/non-acceptance.
A survey of this scope presented to every voter is critical for a well informed populace to make such a critical decision.
Finally, such a survey must be conducted from outside of Scotland and England by some experienced non-aligned entity, such as a major university in the European Union or possibly Canada, so that no trace or suspicion of bias can be made.
Whatever path you the Scottish voters choose, I wish Scotland and its fine people the best.
Jerrold E Winandy
University of Minnesota