Referendum has shaken off voter apathy

THERE are two things you're not meant to talk about at social gatherings:

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religion and politics.

But what's the point in a good discussion without ruffling some feathers?

The more we talk about the things that make us uncomfortable the better - because it means they are out in the open and we're closer to building better-informed opinions.

Growing up in a home where no topic was off limits means I'll chat about anything.

For example I'll happily ask you how old you are, how much you earn and what you pay for your car/home/babies a month.

My nosiness is probably the reason I'm a journalist and a bit of a manager's nightmare. Apart from being a busybody it's about craving a debate.

Which brings me to the independence referendum. No-one could fail to notice that we're approaching September 18.

And thank goodness for that.

I've been watching with interest how the debate has unfolded since it was announced that Scotland would go to the polls to say Yes or No.

It started off like a half-baked idea. Like it wasn't really going to happen. Like it was going to be as interesting as a European election.

However, finally the anticipation is palpable and everyone is talking about it. It is clear people want to talk and have their say.

They have questions or opinions that they will share without hesitation.

The indyref could be the catalyst for making people care about politics again. It's about time because I'm sick of apathy.

As elections have come and gone I have felt embarrassed that so few people have voted.

How can you have a say if you don't vote? The reason I can moan about David Cameron every day is because I voted and I didn't want him.

It is said a lot but it never gets old: people died so we could vote. Even in the European elections.

But things are changing.

Now there are people who have never previously had an opinion on politics talking about how they will vote in the referendum.

Last week Channel 4 news visited Glasgow Art School. They were out and about asking drivers, walkers, mums, dads, sisters and pets to find out what they thought.

The debate shifted up a gear at the weekend when our sister paper the Sunday Herald came out in support of a Yes vote.

The response from their readership and beyond was impassioned and exciting.

This referendum is not jaded. Every vote counts.

Nowadays the question is not 'will you vote?' Instead it is 'how will you vote'?

Whatever Scotland chooses, I hope it leaves a legacy that means we will never take voting for granted again.

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