To Understand The Brexit Fiasco, You Have To Understand Democracy
I have had so many people replying to earlier posts about Brexit, that I thought I would try and straighten out what I think democracy really means.
I think a lot of the anger being felt now by people as that they were told by irresponsible Conservative MP’s (including David Cameron) that a Brexit vote, “In or Out”, would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the country to decide the issue.
In fact, no politician has ever had the authority to make such a promise.
You cannot bind the hands of any future Prime Minister or government to change policy, (especially if the country itself changes its’ mind).
The second big failure is that the referendum in 2016, did not specify how we should leave.
If you speak to people who then voted leave, they have different ideas about what leaving should mean.
Some are content with no deal replacing it, no matter what impact it might have on the economy, travelling and working in the EU, freedom of movement and a whole host of issues that leaving something that we have been an active member of for 40 years, means.
Others only voted leave because of the assurances from (the same irresponsible politicians) that we would have a series of deals and agreements in place that really meant we could “have our cake and eat it”.
Some believed that we could leave and keep most of the benefits… and nobody raised the £39 billion divorce settlement before the vote!
So, the people who post on my Facebook Page saying I am not respecting democracy, because I don’t hold with the referendum result are wrong.
The whole point of a democracy is that it is a dynamic thing.
If I stand up in the Council Chamber, as an opposition member opposing cuts of £85 million because I know that a lot of people will suffer the consequences, I might lose the vote but I will carry on opposing those cuts as long as I can draw breath.
Being a democrat doesn’t mean that you have to fall in line with the majority.
It’s clear to me that many people don’t really understand that a functioning democracy requires a strong opposition who can challenge and try to overturn the majority view.
The Liberal Democrats aren’t being undemocratic in offering people a different direction than the one being proposed by the Conservatives.
Whichever party you support, you should respect them for being clear about where they stand and continuing to campaign for what they believe to be best.
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It’s interesting to hear Nigel Farage express the view that Brexit is so important that if it breaks up the United Kingdom it will be worth it.