Scotland could vote to separate in 2021, testing Canada’s independence formula - National Newwatch

This is an interesting article that helps outline Alberta's path to separation.

If the Scottish National Party wins Scotland’s parliamentary election in five months, it will be with a mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

Scotland took the idea that a lawful path to independence exists from the Québec experience, more specifically from a Canadian ruling on Québec secession. ...

Canada’s Supreme Court played a role

Faced with the prospect of a successful vote in Québec, the Canadian government turned to the Supreme Court for advice. The 1998 Québec Secession Reference case established referendums as a lawful means to legitimate independence, acknowledged Québec’s right to secede and obliged all parties to negotiate an exit in good faith.

Canada was brought to this point because Québec held the power to poll its own electorate. Whether Scotland has the same right is disputed, so Scottish plans to hold an independence vote as early as 2021 sets up a messy confrontation.

The Canadian judgment held that so long as a referendum returned a “clear majority on a clear question,” the democratic implications of an independence vote could not be ignored. The decision was hailed at the time as even-handed ...

Close Scottish vote in 2014

An unexpectedly close Scottish independence vote in 2014, followed by an unequivocal Scottish “no” to Brexit in the 2016 referendum, made divergent views within the U.K. more pressing.

The 2014 “indyref,” as it became known, was conducted under a joint Edinburgh-London agreement and used a co-negotiated question intended to settle the matter for a generation.

Scotland never conceded it needed the agreement, but it was in everyone’s interest to avoid testing the question constitutionally. Still, Scotland made Canadian-style clarity a watchword of its referendum exercise, and when the results turned out closer than expected, stakes were raised.

Fifty-five per cent voted against independence but only after an 11th-hour pledge to extend new powers to Scotland. ...

Lessons from Canada?

How did Canada avoid the impasse looming in the U.K.?

In many ways it didn’t; the tensions of the 1990s nearly tore the country apart. The Canadian Constitution is no more enlightened than the British when it comes to secession. As the saying goes “the constitution is not a suicide pact,” and specifying terms for its expiry seems perverse.

But while some constitutions, like Spain’s, declare national union “indissoluble,” Canada’s is silent on the question. Canada largely inherited its constitutional structure from the British, although not entirely, and it crafted an extraordinary formula for reconstitution out of that legacy.

The Supreme Court judgment worked like oil on troubled waters, establishing rights for Québec and Canada alike. But it was the balance of power in the Canadian federation that ultimately proved the real saviour of Canada.

Because there was no stopping a Québec referendum, there was no silencing the independence question. The ruling defused the standoff by insisting an unwilling Québec could not be held hostage to union, and that a democratic federation meant heeding democratic voice.

Québec has declined to use its new right of democratically chosen exit. Simply having it acknowledged has so far proven sufficient. For democratic voice to be heeded though, it must first be heard.

Read full article Here.