Next Monday is referendum day in Scotland. Its purpose is to determine the wording of the question on independence the National Scottish National Party will then submit to the voters in a second referendum.
Canadians are familiar with the political and verbal acrobatics performed by separatists, independentists and federalists, i.e., those who prefer the status quo.
Lovers of the status quo may take heart in the news that the inhabitants of the two French overseas departments of Martinique and Guiana (not Guadeloupe) have just rejected greater autonomy from France in a referendum.
This is an extraordinary reversal. One year ago social problems in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guiana had led to strikes and rioting.
On January 10, Le Monde explained:
“The paradox may seem confusing…. To calm the situation Paris recalled its minister, convened meetings on the future of these distant territories and decided to hold local referendums on increased autonomy. But now the people of Guiana and Martinique have clearly rejected this option.… The fear of being ‘dropped’ by France and of losing French and European assistance in the name of an uncertain future has led them to prefer the status quo.”
It is also evident that the inhabitants of the two departments have read Erich Fromm’s Fear of Freedom, first published in 1941.
The book is freely available in Scotland.