Editorial: An incomplete referendum

There seems to be a little déjà vu in the air.

This very month, more than 700 years ago, William Wallace — otherwise known as Braveheart — led the people of Scotland on a rebellion against Great Britain. Known as the First War for Scottish Independence, the conflict saw Wallace and his many followers attempt to break away from British rule and form their own nation.

Though earnest in their attempt, the Scottish fell short of victory, Wallace was executed and the revolt — at least for a brief period of time — went silent.

Now, history has repeated itself. Scotland’s fight for independence was revitalized in November of last year, when a referendum bill was passed by the United Kingdom, promising Scotland freedom on the condition that the majority of Scottish citizens voted in its favor.

On Sept. 18, citizens of Scotland came together again — this time peacefully — to vote on the referendum for independence. However, more than 3 million votes later, the world stared toward the United Kingdom, dumfounded. Despite the effort poured into the campaign, more than 55 percent of the Scottish population voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom. More than 2 million voted against independence, while about 1.6 million voted for it.

The kingdom remains, well, united.

Randall Wallace, an American writer who provided the screenplay for the “Braveheart” film starring Mel Gibson, told the media on Friday that the result was disappointing.

Perhaps to some, it was. However, it is important to recognize that the old arguments between Scotland and Britain are just that — old. For more than 300 years, Scotland has been a part of the United Kingdom, sharing in all the mutual benefits.

Now, all of this is not to say that independence is unnecessary. If the American colonies had not shaken off the Great Britain’s collar and leash during the American Revolution, the world of today would more than likely be very different. Nevertheless, it is important that we recognize, as a species, when change affects a situation neither positively, nor negatively.

Because sometimes, déjà vu is really just a dream from the past.