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"What SIDS can learn from Scotland's referendum"
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"What SIDS can learn from Scotland's referendum"

Scotland’s referendum renewed hAriela St Pierre-Collins 2eady thoughts of independence in Barbados, but Ariela St. Pierre-Collins, 16, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Barbados, says there are benefits for Barbados as a Small Island Developing State to continue its relationship with the UK.

I followed with interest the recent referendum in Scotland as its population voted on whether or not to become independent of the United Kingdom.  As young person, I first revelled in one of the finest manifestations of democracy in recent times, but at the same time I pondered the “bigger picture”…what was this all for?

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the plight of the overtaxed and under-served in that country (and mine) and can completely understand their thinking that going solo may be the more favourable path to take in the new world order.

Think of the patriotism!  The togetherness!  The oneness that a people can only attain when they themselves are responsible for their own country’s well-being and ultimate success.  Surely there can be no flaw in that thinking, right?

Similarly, we have these discussions in my homeland, in Barbados.  We are independent…but are we completely? Why does the Queen of England have to be our island’s head of state?  We make our own parliamentary decisions and laws, so why the link?  Frankly, the reminder of colonialism and slavery makes us Barbadians sick, so why not do away with this foolishness?  Common topics…mostly political.

Meanwhile getting back to Scotland, I’d normally be the first to hop on the Nationalist bandwagon and support flag, country and patriotism in every sense of the word – mostly because there’s an interesting parallel to my homeland.  Our politicians, more so in recent times, have flown “becoming a Republic” up the flagpole with varying degrees of public acceptance.  In recent years it gathers more and more momentum every time.

For Barbados, this proposition would shed the Queen of England as our ceremonial head of state and launch Barbados headlong into sovereign statehood to fend for itself as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS).

While much of the voting populace relishes the political intrigue of the issue, my feeling is that they do not fully grasp the true ramifications of such a decision.  To me, the two countries (Barbados and the UK, and Scotland and the UK) are much stronger together than they are apart.

While situations are somewhat different for both countries, there are stark similarities.  My feeling is both Scotland and Barbados can and do have their “independence” of mind, people, soul and culture but at the same time they can (for the time being) enjoy the benefits of unity and an economic stability that comes with that relationship. Both Barbados and Scotland can boast of that. Others unfortunately cannot.

In a nutshell, this is nothing more than a relationship. I measure the whole thing up against the finest relationship I know; my family.  It is my hope Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth going forward because I feel the synergies we have with England and the UK, both historic and otherwise, are worth preserving for our own interest. There is no doubt in my mind we are better off together than apart.

It is my opinion that Scotland is too.

photo credit: Commonwealth Secretariat via photopin cc
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About me:

I am a Barbadian-Canadian and the founder of ‘Youth For Epic Change’, a charity aimed at raising funds for causes both locally and globally and inspiring teens in Barbados to be the catalyst for positive change. View my personal blog at www.unleashthepowerofone.tumblr.com.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/ …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

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