Tsehaye Debalkew, Washington D.C.
Tigrai Online, Sept. 23, 2014
It is heartwarming to learn in what could go down in history as a significant development is that the people of Scotland, which make the United Kingdom along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland in an unprecedented turnout, spelt a 55% to 45% vote against independence. The popular decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union.
The wise people of Scotland have chosen to take a smart bite from the common cake they too were part in making. In saying no to the independence offered as a choice they have opted for more slice of the share from the collective and cumulative wealth they too were instrumental in storing through their sweat and labor for over three centuries of marriage in the Union.
What lessons do we learn from the Scotland experience?
Lesson # 1, The first and foremost lesson that we all learn is whether written into a country's constitution or not, the question of justice and equality is part and parcel of a democracy. It is absolutely in the realm of decision that the people make that whether the prevalence of genuine justice and equality is there to put the question forthrightly.
Lesson # 2, Despite the fact that people in the referendum took a no or a yes side to the question, Democracy is the ultimate winner. The exercise has corroborated the existence of a political process in the status quo which allowed such a fair game.
Lesson # 3, If we take the concrete Scotland question, although it could be clearly discerned the 55% no vote carried on the day; the 45% yes voters have to abide to the majority voice. It was in this respect that the Scottish First Minister who supported the independence side of the isle until the last minute had to admit defeat and appealed to his constituency to accept the verdict and result and align themselves with the majority.
Now coming to our country's case the question of the need to referendum is clearly stipulated and article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution boldly calls for a referendum if and when a member of the Federal family finds it appropriate to pose.
Ethiopia is striving hard to extricate itself from grinding poverty and trying hard to enlist itself in the ranks of the club of the middle-income countries in the not too distant future. With the attainment of economic parity and social justice and the ultimate narrowing of the gap between the haves and the have-nots the tendency to secede from the Federal family diminishes.
For every member of the family of the Ethiopian nations and nationalities having contributed its share to the national cake would naturally want to have a delicious bite. Hence one could strongly argue that Article 39, has contributed to strengthen the Ethiopian Federal state. The security embedded and the strength emanating from the sheer numbers is a plus that could act as a glue over and above a common history and culture and love of the motherland.