Monday, 8 September 2014

Why the Yes campaign has a lot in common with 'Chuggers'

Alex Massie, who I believed earlier last week had somewhat conceded one of the main arguments for independence, has written a really excellent piece in the Speccy.  I recommend anyone with an interest in Scotland's future read it.

Come in Britain, your time is up

Despite the fact that both the Yes and No campaigns have done their best to present this referendum as a battle between rival cost-benefit analyses, it is still – as it has always been – about the idea.
There’s always been a constituency for independence and it’s always been larger than many people imagine. Always. How often have you heard a variation on the theme of I like the idea but I’m no’ sure we could really do it? or Yes, in an ideal world and all other things being equal (but not, alas, in this world).
Even when the idea was ridiculous it was attractive, you see.
It reminded me of my days doing telephone charity fundraising.  The principles are the same: people like the idea of giving to charity, but often are reluctant to open their wallets.  What you need to do is give them a reason to do something they like the idea of doing anyway.  Voting Yes to independence is very much in the same vein.

'Yes' is gaining ground for precisely this reason.  As Douglas Alexander wrote the week before last in The Guardian, 'Scotland’s yes campaign has been based on emotion, not fact', which is precisely the 'No' campaign's problem.  When trying to get people to increase their giving level, you had to create an emotional hook, and create a space in which they could do something they liked the idea of doing, but which other factors inhibited them from initially agreeing to.  'Yes' has successfully created the emotional hook for Yes, and network effect is creating the space. That's why 'No' will not be able to regain the momentum.  I'm not yet convinced it will be enough to carry Yes over the line, but it is going to be very close even if they don't.

Will Scotland be pushed into what Quebecers call a 'neverendum'?

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