I don’t think anyone, on either side of the debate actually imagine a prosperous future following UK’s decision to leave the EU. The whole context of the issue what the realisation that winter is coming and the question of how UK should best handle it. Rightfully or not, the majority of Brits believe they know better than the “bunch of bureaucrats in Brussel”. They don’t expect to make “Britain great again”. They just want to decide how to spend their own money; tighten their boarders against immigrations and have less intervention at their own internal affairs. Generally, those are completely legitimate reasons, if one ignores the fact that winter is coming and a united Europe stands a much better chance to survive it. Environmental issues are global issues. Refugees are an international and UK will be infamously remembered as the country that turned its back on humanity and let people die at it front door. Fine, whatever.
A small note on possible repercussions of this action – one is that the complete dissemination of the EU, leaving small countries completely undefended against global issues; and the second is much more entraining from my point-of-view – a dissemination of UK itself, as Scotland and Northern Ireland never wanted to leave the EU. Will the break apart from UK (as they previously tried) just to join independently to the EU? Do the bureaucrats in London know any better how to handle Scotland affairs?
But what I found mesmerising with the referendum is the head-to-head outcome. Almost 50% voted to remain in UK and were dismayed. This wasn’t the only election in which 50% of the voters wished a reversed result – same applies for Scotland’s referendum to leave UK, or Sweden’s decision to join the EU, or Israel recent election. Is it right? Is it ok that decision will be decided on the tip of single vote? When those who conceived the idea of election planned on it’s going to play out – is this what they had in mind?
The biggest tragedy with democracy (or republic. Same thing) is our admittance to its imperfection and yet we accept it the lesser evil – that this is best we can get. But I fear that this defeated attitude prevents us from trying to improve a broken down system, in which 50% of the people are coerced to a decision against their will.
We believe that believe that “one person equals one vote” and as all man are equals than surely more people amount to a better decision. This is essentially true, but there’s an underlying assumption that all voters are knowledgeable and care about the issue roughly the same- because as soon as they don’t – someone who knows more or care more is automatically in a better position to “buy” votes by either offering gifts and usuries to get vote from people who wouldn’t mind selling the vote for things that matter more to them. Reality shows that more than 90% of the times the candidate with most money is more likely to win. So – yes, our current political system inherently favours the rich.
Most democratic decisions are actually between two possibilities – stay in the current position or shift to a new position. So if we decide to “change” only when there’s more 2/3 of the votes – we can prevent making hasty decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. that’ll be a good start. I mean, it would have been nice to get an unanimous decision, but I wouldn’t dare subdue myself to the tyranny of stubborn, stupid and evil people. but let’s continue from this – how can we try to convince people one way or another? by answering their arguments. We might have several millions of voters but surely we’ll amount to few dozens of actually different argument why a decision should be made one way or another. Can we use technology (or better yet -our politicians. that’s they’re job after all) to gather all arguments and address them so every individual will have a clear answer why his arguments are invalid or irrelevant? I don’t expect this solve all issues, for many of our political decision are actually based on abstracts things like trust, faith and beliefs – can you trust an enemy when signing a peace treaty, for example? These are landmines that cannot be truly answered as we are not oracles – but they can be addressed, as a good solution will allow us no to rely on faith – with guarantees, for example, or to acknowledge the people’s right to different decision and down-scaling the decision – for example, a state that cannot decide regarding legality of abortions – should down-scale the decision to the local municipalities – in which in some of them it will acceptable to have abortion clinics and in others – it won’t. I’m pretty sure sure the anti-abortion activist would oppose such idea but he should be reminded that people’s right to their opinion, body and lifestyle is basic. Because this is the world we ALL want to live in.
An honorary mention to US Senate’s decision 4 days ago to reject all bills for gun control. Apparently they believe in other ways to prevent mass-shooting (or maybe they seem them as a lesser evil, compared to a hypothetical scenario they would need to fight off an evil military-industrial complex who took over their government and now sells automatic machine guns to their children. oh wait (have you ever stopped to wonder wether the thing you feat the most actually already happened?)
Jose Saramago’s “Seeing” describes a situation in which no one votes, thus causing a breaking down of the political system. Obviously this is a fantasy story. Not only because the politicians vote themselves – but also because there’s no minimal number of votes to render an election (or referendum invalid). But maybe there should be. People who decide not to vote are making a very strong claim – “I don’t agree with any of the offers laid before me and I refuse to play a part in this farce you so arrogantly call ‘Democracy’ which works for my presumed interests”. So yes, a cap should be placed for the minimal votes that would influence the entire collective. and once we fail to reach this quota – serious questions should be asked regarding the options offered. Important to note that “not-voting” isn’t the same as “wishing to stay in the current state” as white-vote should lead to a second election – where the given option were improved and refined so more people would accept them.
In conclusion, I don’t really see BRExit as “democracy at its finest”. I doubt anyone does. I just hope the winter won’t be as bad as to justify this incredibly selfish action and one day we could discuss how democracy should work.
— Magic Del (@magicdel) June 24, 2016