GLASGOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – Scottish independence referendum demonstrated that democracy is “quite healthy” in the country, one of America’s most right-wing political scientists, Professor Francis Fukuyama said on the Good Morning Scotland BBC Radio program.
“I think the act of organizing is important because democracy isn't just about individuals expressing preferences in a voting booth,” Fukuyama said to BBC.
“It’s also about people coming together for common purposes, whether you are for or against independence and that act by itself, I think, becomes a school for democracy because once you’ve mobilized for one purpose, you can mobilize for others down the road,” he added.
The referendum, deciding whether Scotland should become independent from the UK or stay united, brought about a huge increase in political awareness and participation. 97 percent of people registered to vote and 1.6 million voted. The initiative by which 16 and 17 year-olds were able to vote also proved to be a success.
Fukuyama, who previously acted as an adviser to Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi and played a pivotal role in the American neo-conservative “Project for the New American Century” emphasized that democracy wasn't always about getting exactly what the people wanted.
“Even if the Yes lost in the current vote, what you do in a democracy is not always get your way but you put questions on the table, you force people to confront issues and you force a discussion in them and I think that's actually something that's already succeeded,” he said.
Francis Fukuyama has written widely on issues in development and international politics, his most recent book, The Origins of Political Order, was published in April 2011.
The independence referendum, which took place on September 18, saw a turnout of 84.59 percent. Scotland has chosen to stay in the United Kingdom with 44.7 percent of Scots having voted in support of independence and 55.3 percent having voted against.