BBC Wales Today - How Will Scotland's Vote on Independence Effect Wales?

A few days ago I got the call from BBC Wales to see if I'd like to attend a conference on the possible effect that the Scottish Vote on Independence could have on Wales. As the vote has been such an interesting debate, not just amongst people from Scotland but for people around the UK, I thought it would be a really interesting event to get involved in. I was also hoping to gain some more insight into which way the votes would swing on the day of reckoning next Thursday. For those people who read the blog but are not from Wales you might be wondering why a vote in another country, although albeit still part of the UK, would have an effect on another nation such as Wales. But there is a distinct possibility that it will, and I found out more about why today...

My role this afternoon was a very exciting one, as I was given the opportunity by the BBC to- as I mentioned, go along and hear the discussions on the effect of Scotland's independence vote. But not only that, to interview some of the key panelists in the Welsh debate, with the hope of finding out more on the topic and helping other voters as well as myself, to understand the ins and outs of the politics in place. The conference was organised by the Institute for Welsh Affairs (IWA) and was chaired by the Director for the institute - Lee Waters. The conference started with an interesting talk from Professor Roger Scully of the Wales governance centre for Cardiff University. He presented an expert's narrative of the behaviour of the polls of Scottish people's leanings towards the yes or no vote from when the idea was first put forward, up until now. Professor Roger's findings suggested that the No to independence vote was still out in front. But that the Yes voters were still quickly gaining momentum in the race to decision day next Thursday.

There was then a panel discussion with Gerald Holtham (IWA Fellow), Vaughan Roderick (BBC Welsh Affairs Editor), Professor Laura McAllister (Liverpool University) and Leanne Wood (Assembly Member/ Leader of Plaid Cymru). For me the outcome of the discussion as to deciding which way Scotland would vote was unclear. Also that few people wanted to come out and say exactly which way they thought the vote would go. But that the overall consensus was that it was a win win situation for Wales, as a fellow devolved nation like Scotland. As it showed that people aren't happy to continue with the status quo, and when a nation is engaged in a political movement towards change such as this, then Westminster gets shaken up somewhat and has to listen to the requests of the people. So for Wales this could mean that whichever way the vote goes, we need to be ready for change too, so that when new deals and decisions are being made. Wales will know what it wants and will be able to voice it on a national scale, as Scotland has done in this instance.

After the panel discussion I was given the opportunity to interview both female panelists - Professor McAllister and Minister Wood, alongside BBC broadcaster Dan Davies. During the discussion Professor McAllister mentioned that with politics it can be difficult to include everyone in the debate, despite the fact that what's being debated might effect them. So the question I asked was here, was how do we get more people engaged in politics in Wales so that everyone can have their say. I also asked whether Professor McAllister thought we should consider giving the vote to 16 year olds as Scotland will in their independence vote. Assembly Member Leanne Wood had expressed an interest in Scotland voting yes during the panel discussion, and so I asked what would a yes vote mean for Wales. In summary from the debate and my interviews with the panelists, I tend to share their view that the creation of a vote for change/ independence was a good thing. That if Wales is not ready to be independent, that it should use this spotlight as an opportunity to stand up and be counted on the stage of politics. So we wait with baited breath to see how it all unfurls in just a few days time as Scotland prepare to vote on one of the biggest decisions in their life time.

The broadcast for BBC Wales Today went out at 6:30pm today, but if you missed it you can watch again here.

With thanks to the BBC for the opportunity.










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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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