LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 9

We continue our meander through the top dozen LDV posts of the year with another trip back to January.

#9 This is how to respect the referendum result

In this post, Rob Parsons tackled the argument that those of us who wish to remain in the EU were disrespecting the referendum result and flouting the “will of the people.”

Generally speaking electoral votes stand, even if the majority is unsatisfactory. But that is premised on two conditions.  The first is that the voters get a chance regularly to change their minds. The second is that the voters were – at least relatively – well informed about the subject of their vote. All sides make their offers clear, and the media do a proper job of examining their claims.

Neither of these conditions applies to the referendum vote. There will not be a chance to change our minds about this one. Once we leave the EU, we will not be in a position to get back in for a considerable time. And if we do decide that rejoining might be nice, the conditions to rejoin will be the same as a new joiner, including having to join the Euro, which I do not see happening. So effectively, leaving the EU sets Britain’s course for at least a couple of generations. This vote is not sufficient basis for such a momentous and long term decision.

And the voters were seriously misinformed about what leaving meant. I blame both campaigns and the media for this. The Remain campaign was feeble, the most disorganised and ineffective campaign I have seen in British politics. Even Labour’s 1983 election campaign did not plumb the depths of this one. The Leave campaign was based on deliberate and sustained mendacity from start to finish.

 

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One Comment

  • Peter Hirst 31st Dec '17 - 5:38pm

    I agree and would add the franchise was not complete. For it to have any relevance long-term, there should have been a threshold, say two thirds for the change. For a country that invented modern democracy, it was a very shabby process.

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