It’s a liberal country.
It’s up in the north.
It’s a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
And it borders on only one other country – a conservative, capitalist, nuclear power on its southern border.
The country being referred to here, of course, is Canada.
But with the rise of the SNP and continued devolution of powers from the UK to Scotland, someday soon that description may fit Scotland as well.
Does Canada provide a good model for Scottish independence?
The United Nation’s Human Development Index was released last year and measures the quality of life, especially child welfare, of all member countries. Canada ranks 8th in the world. Meanwhile the UK ranks 14th.
Regarding women’s rights, the UN’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) focuses on reproductive health, empowerment, and the labor market. The GII ranks countries from best to worst and once again Canada (23) outranks the UK (35).
And in the Environmental Vulnerability Index, determined by the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners, Canada scores 251 and is determined to be “At Risk.” The UK scores much higher – meaning much worse – at 373, and is labeled “Extremely Vulnerable.” This of course is a fact that can only be exacerbated with the latest blow to renewable energy in Britain, after George Osborne’s first all-Tory budget withdrew the exception of the climate change levy to affect renewable energies too; a move that has been described by one prominent campaigner as “Apple juice paying alcohol tax.”
Therefore, emotions aside, analytics provided by the UN regarding quality of life, child welfare, women’s rights, and the environment indicate that an independent Scotland – modeled on Canada – could indeed provide a very positive result.
Statement of interests: Paul McCarthy is an American “geek” with a keen interest in British and Scottish politics, business, and current events.