No Second #Brexit Referendum

GBP-BrexitThe idea that there was going to be a second #Brexit referendum was, frankly, rather silly. “Leave” carried 52% of the vote. That’s as much as Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012. It’s more than George W. Bush carried in either 2004 or especially 2000. It’s substantially more than Bill Clinton carried in 1996 and nearly ten points more than he carried in 1992. You have to go back almost three decades to find a US president who carried more than 52% of the vote. That was George H.W. Bush in 1988 – the year my wife was born.

That’s right – in her lifetime, my wife has seen one US president carry a higher percentage of the vote than Brexit did.

On top of that, the turnout was close to 75%, which is radically higher than any US presidential election in my lifetime.

In other words, if the Brexit vote were deemed invalid then there would basically be no reason to have any elections at all, ever. We’ve never once invalidated a presidential election. We didn’t decide that the result was too narrow for it to count. We didn’t call a “do over” because we believed people might change their minds the next day. And believe me – an awful lot of folks would like to invalidate many of those elections.

Nevertheless, this is how democracy works.

Today there’s confirmation: there will not be a second referendum.

The Government has rejected a call for a second referendum on European Union membership in a petition that was signed by more than 4.1 million people following the Brexit vote.

It was the most-signed Government petition since the process was introduced in 2011.

However in an official reply, the Foreign Office said 33 million people had had their say and “the decision must be respected”.

Folks like Mark Kern have done in demonstrating that a large number of those 4.1 million petitioners aren’t even British. Yet even if that weren’t the case, 4.1 million doesn’t compare to the 17.4 million who already voted to leave.

The voters have had their say, and they said “leave.”

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0 thoughts on “No Second #Brexit Referendum

  1. rayblank says:

    Don’t forget that this was a battle between two fundamentally opposed value systems: the people who value money over freedom, versus the people who value freedom over money.

    Those who voted to remain in the EU will hate seeing the debate characterized that way, but it fits the facts. The overwhelming majority of their arguments were economic in nature – that they or the country would be poorer outside of the EU.

    In contrast, the polling data shows that the top reason for voting to leave the EU was to restore democratic accountability of the government. The remainers simply had no argument to offer in response to that serious demand by many millions of Brits. So many remainers have since been re-running various arguments about immigration in order to retake the moral high ground. Whilst they damn the leave campaign for taking votes from those who wanted less immigration, they make no mention of how many selfishly voted remain because they receive EU grants or subsidies, or because they run businesses which drive down wages by relying on immigration, or because they own property abroad. They present themselves as moral and caring people, whilst ignoring one fact that cuts through the moral bluster: the poor overwhelmingly voted to leave the EU, whilst those whose wealth would be affected by Brexit voted against it.

    Others presented an even more despicable explanation of why they wanted to remain in the EU: they honestly believe the average Brit cannot be trusted to elect their government. It is worth reiterating how many of those who supported the EU have openly stated that the British people are not fit to influence decisions that affect them, whether it is on the environment, trade, regulation of working hours, or human rights. It is as if the descendants of the signatories to Magna Carta now believe that their rights rely on a gift from a European bureaucracy. They fail to appreciate that sovereignty ultimately resides in the people, though power can temporarily be hijacked by elites that seduce and divide the population. Brexit is a return to the natural order of democracy after the interregnum of a trading bloc that tried to assume more power than it deserved.

    So looking again at the facts: the poor voted for democracy, irrespective of the threats about economic harm; many wealthy have made a determined effort to present themselves as morally superior though most of their arguments were selfish; and the losers of this vote often stated they have no faith in democracy to make decisions, because they consider their fellow Brits to be too stupid, bigoted and ill-educated. In this context, it is no surprise that the losers would demand a do-over. They may tolerate democracy when it gives them the policies they prefer (and usually it does), but they view democracy as a means to an end, and so they will happily abandon its principles if it does not deliver the results that suit their selfish goals.

    Let us not waste time indulging the cranky rich who may resist employing a British woman to clean their toilet because a Pole is willing to work for less, and who begrudge that the exchange rate now adds to the cost of renovating their Tuscan villa. Let us admire the majority instead. They voted for freedom over money, and so have turned the tide of recent history. Of course some will castigate their decision, which is why we should admire their bravery and fortitude.

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