The white paper and the voluntary sector

Thoughts on the white paper by Jenny Bloomfield, Policy Officer for SCVOJenny Bloomfield

Should we be swayed by current government promises when deciding on the fate of our country?  How can we decide which way to vote?  Should we get involved in the debate?

Covering economics, health, welfare, culture, and a myriad of other issues, Tuesday’s 670-page Scottish Government white paper certainly kept me busy.

Much of what has been set out seems appealing, and the white paper contains things many people will want to vote for in a government election.

However, the 18th September 2014 will see people vote on the fate of the country, not on what government they want to see.

So we should perhaps be wary of politically driven arguments (e.g. tax, privatisation versus public ownership, the nuclear issue, welfare, poverty etc.) playing a large part in our consideration of the independence debate.

After all, we cannot guarantee that the current political climate, and the differences between Scottish and Westminster governments, will remain in the longer term.

So what does that mean for everyone who is voting – perhaps for the first time – on such a momentous occasion?  How can we make a decision based on what we know?  Or will it be a vote based on gut feelings?

At the moment it is important that everyone feels they can get involved in the debate, and shape their own opinion, forming the debate about Scotland’s future.  The debate mustn’t sit in a political bubble; it cannot sit in the yes and no camps alone.

That means continuing to be involved through schools, youth groups and amongst friends, debating the issues and forming opinions.

I don’t want the debate – or the vote – to be left to the same old faces.  Everyone should feel engaged enough to get involved in the debate and to exercise their right to vote – young and old.

What are your thoughts on the white paper? Leave us your comments on the blog.

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