I’ve just come back from living in England for six months last year. During the time I was there they had the referendum on Scottish independence. It was generally a pleasure to witness the quality of debate in print and broadcast media. Now we know the result of the referendum and while it wasn’t a victory for Scottish Nationalists it was a victory for the democratic process with very high numbers of people taking part in the debates and voting.
Part of the debate centred around the idea that the Scots were somehow more “socially progressive” that the rest of the UK and that was part of the reason why they’d be better on their own. There was discussion about whether this was actually the case and there were attempts made to measure it at the time.
One blog that was prominent and popular during the debate was Wings over Scotland (http://wingsoverscotland.com/) and recently I spotted a couple of surveys on there that got me thinking about life in New Zealand.
These surveys, taken some time after the referendum, looked at the difference in attitudes between Scotland and the rest of the UK with some interesting results:
The first looks at public ownership of assets and public services and the second at attitudes towards crime and punishment.
They seem to indicate that the two parts of the UK really are not that different which isn’t perhaps surprising. But the questions and answers got me thinking would we answer differently here in NZ?
Of course, some of the questions are UK specific and if we were to run such a survey we might want to leave those out. But I think that questions like these would allow us to understand who we are a bit better. I’d prefer that to being told by politicians of all flavours and the media that they know what we think and what’s best for us.
So is there a group who might be interested in running a proper survey on this? And I mean proper and not just txting yes or no to the the John Campbell Show – sorry, John if you’re reading this.