[This is another occasional observation on life in the Falkland Islands, which are currently enjoying "Referendum Fever". Today, Islanders must decide whether they want to remain British. It's a question in the same category as, "Is the Pope a Catholic?".....]
For those readers who are unaware, the Falkland Islands are conducting a Referendum on whether to remain a British Overseas Territory, or not. Currently, the Islands are self-governing, with Defence and Foreign policy being run by the UK. There can only be a "Yes" or "No" response. There is no option for independence or other possible outcomes.
|"X" marks the spot for the ballot|
|Horses are very important to Falkland's culture|
The last couple of days have seen a splurge of patriotic fervour, culminating in a massive rally of about 500 flag-bedecked cars parading through the capital, Stanley, yesterday.
|Horses lead the rally, snaking away to the distance.|
|Penguins just want to live peacefully...|
|Cornered by the camera crews......|
|Local resident without a vote.|
|Seal in town centre|
And if large numbers of British troops are required to be based in Falklands for the forseeable future, then it could follow the precedent of Cyprus and have a Sovereign Base, which is under UK control.
|Big flags need a big pole....|
By the way, if the majority of votes cast are for the "No" option, (currently you can get odds at 50/1 at bookies for that option; the same as Nick Clegg being the next British Prime Minister), then the government will have to instigate a series of consultations to find out what the populace would like, if not to stay an Overseas Territory.
The favoured options would then be put to the voters in another Referendum. I can't see it happening myself.
The result should be announced tonight (the 11th of March) at 9pm, Stanley time. (Midnight in the UK). There is a open-air party planned in the town centre.
Whatever the fickle Falklands weather does, I can't see anyone raining on their parade!
(PS. I don't have a vote. It takes at least 7 years to attain the required status, and there are many hoops to jump through).