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Revoke, Remain, Reform

(150 Posts)
GracesGranMK3 Mon 06-May-19 09:05:44

The more I read, the more I am convinced that people really voted for Remain on Thursday. The one thing those who want Brexit seem to have forgotten is that "democracy depends on the consent of the loser".

Currently, we have Farage commenting about “building a coalition against the people”. For him, "the people" mean less than 52% of the electorate. May sees “the people” as those who will keep the Conservative party in power; Corbyn sees “the people” as those who will put the Labour Party into power. "The people" are actually the whole of the electorate.

It has to be possible for the loser to consent, otherwise, you have the dictatorship-of-the-majority. We currently don’t have a crisis of democracy, as the Leavers keep telling us, but a crisis of legitimacy.

Democratic elections are designed to create uneven votes. It is the losers who maintain democratic legitimacy by agreeing to the outcome. How losers respond to their loss and how institutions, parties, governments, etc., shape the ability of the loser to accept that their loss is legitimate, measures the level of democracy within a country.

Did the losers believe the win was legitimately gained? Did the institutions, the parties, the government ensure the outcome could be seen as reasonable and acceptable? After the election, there was a Neanderthal attitude which tried to bully the "losers" into agreeing; that was never going to work. Without a true acceptance of the vote, you have a dictatorship, not democracy. Being able to accept losing is one of the central, if not the central, requirements of democracy. For the "loser" to do that, conditions must be created which allows them to feel it was a democratic process.

There are good reasons why the "losers" do not believe the referendum was legitimate. "Winners" do not have to believe those reasons to be right or wrong; what they have to be able to do is convince the "losers" of the legitimacy of the vote. Those who still want to leave think a vote is all about who wins; it isn't. It is about both winning and whether you win in a way that those who lose can accept as legitimate. Shouting, calling people names or slurring their characters will not change the "losers" view of the legitimacy or otherwise. It would be better to assess why the vote is not seen as legitimate by the "losers" as, unless we do this, it will always seem, to half the country, to have been an illegitimate vote.

Brexiteers keep trying to appeal to the already persuaded - those who want to leave. How do they think that will change anything? If half of the country cannot be convinced the vote was legitimate enough to be able to agree, we threaten not only our economy, our future and our standing in the world but our fundamental democracy.

EllanVannin Mon 06-May-19 09:23:33

Would we have had this same nonsense if Remain had won ?

Whitewavemark2 Mon 06-May-19 09:23:35

Wow! A good post gg3 and worthy of a grownup debate.

It has been leaked (we never seem to find out any other way these days) that May is in talks with a confirmatory vote in mind. That is apparently if the talks with labour don’t come to fruition.

The plan is to have a vote on the WA, no deal or remain.

I am not convinced that this is the right way forward, as I am a firm believer in parliamentary democracy, and don’t think that the wretched referendum should have taken place. What are our MPs for?
However, given parliaments inability to come to any form of agreement I am very reluctantly willing to compromise and accept another vote.

In a parliamentary democracy, what should happen is a GE.

But these days it is all about compromise.

Jane10 Mon 06-May-19 09:45:56

I don't know really. A potential reason that the vote was for Brexit was complacency by mainstream politicians. There still seems to be a sense that if the referendum was run again we'd all vote differently. However, now I'm hearing more about the parlous economic state of the EU countries I could vote for Brexit this time. I wonder if other previous remainers might do the same? That could lead to a repeat of the current ridiculous and damaging state we're in. Theresa May is right that we need to 'get on with it'.

Eglantine21 Mon 06-May-19 09:59:07

I don’t think that the elections showed that people were voting for remain. Can you explain your thinking on that a bit further? I thought they were voting fed up with politicians.

You are right. Democracy does depend on the consent of the losers. If we somehow remain though, then there won’t be the consent of those who voted exit. Same problem.

I very rarely look at the political threads, let alone engage so I expect I’m entering into a number of well worn arguments. But I really don’t see an answer unless we accept that in a democracy a slender majority is still a majority.

For the record I voted remain but if there was another vote I think I would vote leave.

Labaik Mon 06-May-19 10:02:26

Get on with it is another soundbite like take back control; meaningless in that if it was possible to get on with it Brexit would have happened by now. Ireland still hasn't been sorted; Gibraltar is never even mentioned these days etc. Oh, and can someone explain to me why Farage constantly on tv....

Lily65 Mon 06-May-19 10:05:31

What on earth does " take back control" mean?

Things are very much out of control.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-May-19 10:09:57

Gibraltar is totally different to the Island of Ireland.

Spain closes the border between Gibraltar and itself whenever it feels like it. This is not heresay, myself and family members have experienced this on numerous occasions

GillT57 Mon 06-May-19 10:19:57

A very interesting and thought provoking post GG3. It is interesting that some political commentators and politicians have chosen to interpret last week's wholesale rejection of the two main parties as being down to frustration at Brexit not happening yet. I think it was more of a vote for it not happening at all, given the amount of votes for the LibDem and Green parties, neither of which have been in any way evasive about their remain/second referendum policies.

kittylester Mon 06-May-19 10:27:43

I would like to see another vote along the lines mentioned above regardless of whether an agreement is reached between Labour and Tories.

Dh has a theory that we should remain as we should be there to take advantage of the collapse of the EU due to the state of other countries. We are so wrapped up in our own state of affairs that it is easy to miss the fact that all is not well in lots of other member countries.

Jane10 Mon 06-May-19 10:28:14

'Get on with it' isn't just another soundbite Labaik. Its a heartfelt plea by so many people who just want this damaging uncertainty over.
Democracy is democracy. I wish we'd just done as the majority requested and left. I'm sure that would have concentrated minds and actions could have been taken to problem solve as the issues had arisen. Not ideal but better than this frozen impasse.

Jane10 Mon 06-May-19 10:29:39

Kittylester your husband is right. The other EU countries do seem to be in trouble. Could we not take advantage of this from the outside though rather than risk being dragged down by them?

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-May-19 10:34:00

GillT57, I think that our (dis)honourable MP's from all sides are clutching at proverbial straws and trying to "spin" the local election results to fit their own narrative.

In my opinion there is a high proportion of the electorate which are full of apathy and mistrust in both houses, hence the extremely high number of spoilt ballot papers!

Cannot see an end to the situation any time soon, if May and Corbyn cobble together a deal which gets through both houses and the EU honchos, I think it will disenfranchise so many of the voting public and leave the door wide open for a new party. Whether that is good or bad no doubt depends on the politics of the new party.

Nigel Farage is awaiting, think we should all consider very carefully what we wish / who we vote for?

Jane10 Mon 06-May-19 10:35:36

I thought Farage and the Brexit party got a drubbing too in the local elections?
Fingers crossed for a more centre party emerging.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-May-19 10:36:21

kittylester totally agree with your post, the government seems to be blinkered as to what is evolving in several EU Countries at the moment.

The media has had little if not no coverage of France, Poland and Spain lately.

Alexa Mon 06-May-19 10:46:13

One third of the electorate voted on Thursday, presumably the third who are most committed to political solutions i.e. Remainers.

The 2016 Referendum interested a great many people who don't usually vote so probably those will vote at the next referendum. This means the next referendum will be more likely to support Brexit, unless the voting paper is intelligently worded.

Therefore despite that many aged Brexiters are now deceased, and that many more young people can now vote and will do so, another referendum is risky.

Jane10 Mon 06-May-19 10:47:04

I agree Alexa!

Mycatisahacker Mon 06-May-19 10:50:40

I completely disagree with your analysis op.

I think the vote was a massive kick to both main parties because people are fed up with the lies, prevarication and pomposity and sheer incompetence of both main parties.

It was a protest vote of which the Lib Dem’s did well as they have many times before in by elections. Nothing new there.

Personally I don’t think people have massively changed their minds on leave or remain but my view is if we have another referendum leave will win again with a slightly bigger majority.

If we had a GE half the Tories and labour MPs would loose their jobs and Farrage would do well.

Not saying that’s what i think of best for the country just what I think will happen.

Mycatisahacker Mon 06-May-19 10:52:41

Yes Alexa I agree with you.

Caledonai14 Mon 06-May-19 10:54:32

It would be understandable if the Lib Dems received unaccustomed votes for many reasons.

First, people are fed up with the main parties in the run-up-to and missed Brexit deadlines and all the money spent on the fiasco so far.

Second, of the 16 million people who voted remain, there would still be a large number who saw this as their one chance to have any say on the economic cliff edge to which Brexiteers are blind and deaf.

Third, it's been a long time, but some natural Lib Dem voters might eventually have forgiven Nick Clegg for keeping the Tories in government in exchange for a deputy's badge/forgiven Vince Cable for privatising Royal Mail.

To that I would add that the Greens have benefitted from the apocalyptic warnings recently and for the upswelling of support for what they have always stood for.

In Scotland, we are comforted that we will also get another say - eventually - on Brexit, but it doesn't mean there is any more chance of avoiding being dragged out of the EU. For all the reasons expressed by others here, the result of any second vote is completely uncertain.

Our small comfort is having both a strong, stable government (thanks NS) and capable opposition (wb RD) focussing on our day-to-day issues without having to worry about being engulfed by leadership battles, rebels, sackings and resignations at times of crises.

Mycatisahacker Mon 06-May-19 10:57:32

I wish you Scots would stop boasting about your blooming wonderful women leaders Its very cruel to us poor sods who have to put up with Theresa and Jezza.

Stop running it in!!!!! grin

Mycatisahacker Mon 06-May-19 10:57:52

Sorry rubbing grin

Alexa Mon 06-May-19 10:58:38

A voter might want to imply a protest and also be positive about who they did vote for. I hope that some of those who were Brexiters have changed their minds to the effect that the Libdems' No- Brexit will be a positive choice.

Mycatisahacker Mon 06-May-19 11:01:26

No Brexit is Infinitely better than TMs rotten deal.

GracesGranMK3 Mon 06-May-19 11:08:44

I will try and answer bits but I am really pleased to see what you are all thinking - and that I wasn't just talking rubbishsmile

Whitewave I have issues with another vote too. Firstly, because it doesn't feel democratic and secondly whether it will actually solve anything.

One of the reasons I feel it would be better to revoke is because that doesn't stop us starting again. If we did that any "leave" group would have to put forward exactly what they were suggesting as to our relationship with the EU in the future and we would have to feel we were properly informed. As Jane10 said a lot of the problems were down to complacency - I would say even arrogance on the part of the politicians. It was ad hoc in nature - designed, not to answer the referendum question but rather to answer a party political one. I really think things could be done very differently if we decided to start again.

EllanVannin I do believe that, had remain won we would still be seeing the same complaints of legitimacy, simply because it didn't seem to be legitimate. They would be right to do so in my opinion. It's interesting that in just a few posts Eglantine21 you brought that up too. That's one reason why I would rather we revoked and did it in a legitimate way than have a second referendum. I too voted remain Eglantine but I was never 100% remain. If a good proposition was put forward for leave I would have to look at it and remain would have to convince me that they meant reform too.

I do agree with GillT57 that the parties seem to have decided the vote in the Local Elections told them just what they wanted to hear, rather than what it seemed to me to say - we don't want it to happen. I would add personally "in this way".

Labaik I think your reasoning backs revoke. Another referendum could be delegitimised in the eyes of many who voted for Brexit. It does not make sense to me, to replace one system that is not seen as legitimate by another that is the same. I believe revoking and going for a properly planned mandatory (not advisory as this was) referendum, with a supermajority(?) and proper information (Citizens Assemblies?) could give us a decision acceptable to all.