The Elephant in the Room - Brexit

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Sly Boots
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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:12 am

Why would it be undemocratic to hold another referendum now when everyone has a clearer picture of the shitstorm they set themselves up for the first time when a significant proportion of them were blinded by the lies and obfuscations of one side?

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Wrathbone
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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Wrathbone » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:45 am

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:53 am
Mantis wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:44 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:53 am


The idea of a leader "rising up" and overriding a democratic decision of the people makes me very nervous.
A democratic decision based on lies, dodgy money, misinformation and fiddling the voting criteria so that many of the people most affected couldn't take part.

Still a democratic decision, though, and if we believe in democracy we have to uphold the sacredness of that. The people that don't like the outcome will always label those who voted the other way as idiots (and a variety of other names) and blame this, that and other (we saw exactly the same thing in Scotland when the Separatists didn't get what they wanted). But if you believe in democracy you have to accept the outcome and find a way to deal with it. To speak of strong leaders rising up and overthrowing democracy because you didn't like the result of a referendum is the first step on the path to tyranny.
I get what you're saying, but I think there's more to it than that. A referendum is a form of democracy, but it's not legally binding as part of our democratic process - it's a statement from the people. The government we elect is another part of democracy, and we elect them to make decisions on our behalf. If the government decides that stopping Brexit is the only sensible outcome in the face of catastrophe from every other angle, they are within their democratic rights to act on that. It's democratically and ethically questionable given the referendum, but it's not tyrannical.

Personally I think May should say "we're cancelling Brexit, I'll take the blame" (or something to that effect) and then resign. Or at least strongly suggest that as a course of action.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Stormbringer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:11 pm

Wrathbone wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:45 am
Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:53 am
Mantis wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:44 am


A democratic decision based on lies, dodgy money, misinformation and fiddling the voting criteria so that many of the people most affected couldn't take part.

Still a democratic decision, though, and if we believe in democracy we have to uphold the sacredness of that. The people that don't like the outcome will always label those who voted the other way as idiots (and a variety of other names) and blame this, that and other (we saw exactly the same thing in Scotland when the Separatists didn't get what they wanted). But if you believe in democracy you have to accept the outcome and find a way to deal with it. To speak of strong leaders rising up and overthrowing democracy because you didn't like the result of a referendum is the first step on the path to tyranny.
I get what you're saying, but I think there's more to it than that. A referendum is a form of democracy, but it's not legally binding as part of our democratic process - it's a statement from the people. The government we elect is another part of democracy, and we elect them to make decisions on our behalf. If the government decides that stopping Brexit is the only sensible outcome in the face of catastrophe from every other angle, they are within their democratic rights to act on that. It's democratically and ethically questionable given the referendum, but it's not tyrannical.
I think that's a fair argument and I can't really disagree. If May made a speech basically explaining everything you just said, followed by her giving up her plans, cancelling Brexit and resigning, I think that would be an acceptable situation in the circumstances.
I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Mantis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:20 pm

I don't think it would be dangerous or a path to tyranny to cancel the whole thing given the context. Rather than being the case of overturning democracy, I think that the entire referendum makes a mockery of the very concept of democracy, it was corrupt and should never have taken place in the first instance. Our democratically elected leaders should show the responsibility that they are meant to and say "Look, we made a horrible mistake" and reverse the whole process. It is their duty to protect the interests of this country, that includes steering us away from completely self inflicted disasters that were the result of a flawed process. Even when you leave out the foreign interests, disaster capitalists and criminal investigations surrounding the vote, no other country that uses referendums to decide key national policy does it on a simple majority basis, it's a bonkers idea.

ERG members say that we shouldn't have a second vote because it will cause nationalist rioting in the streets. In the event that we are not considering a course of action simply to placate the far right then I'm afraid we have already lost the battle against tyranny.

Three years on and there is still no credible argument as to how we might leave without damaging our economy and making us far less relevant on the world stage. They've had their chance.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Stormbringer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:45 pm

I think you're right; I hadn't realised when I made my original comment that it was perfectly legal for the government to say "No" to the referendum result.

The smart thing to do would be never to have had the referendum in the first place, as you said. That was highly irresponsible of David Cameron.

Only problem is, if the government can say "No" to a referendum, and it's perfectly legal to do so, it kinda makes a mockery of the referendum system in the first place. Why even have them at all?
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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:49 pm

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:45 pm
I think you're right; I hadn't realised when I made my original comment that it was perfectly legal for the government to say "No" to the referendum result.

The smart thing to do would be never to have had the referendum in the first place, as you said. That was highly irresponsible of David Cameron.

Only problem is, if the government can say "No" to a referendum, and it's perfectly legal to do so, it kinda makes a mockery of the referendum system in the first place. Why even have them at all?
They could have framed it as a consultative referendum to gauge public opinion before committing to anything, and/or set a threshold at which it would have triggered the Brexit process, like a 70/30 majority say. What we ended up with was basically flipping a coin, and considering the implications of what it meant that was madness.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Mantis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:55 pm

They can be useful for gauging opinion on things and the law can be changed each time to make one binding. The sensible way of holding them is to make them legally binding but ensure that they require a two thirds majority to pass, like how Switzerland does. The Conservatives just fudged the entire thing from start to finish really, and all because they thought they could nip the UKIP threat and get their own right wing Eurosceptic MPs to back down.

Their internal party civil war has spewed out over the whole country and now the nation is completely divided thanks to a decade of anti-immigrant populism. And just to really hammer home the insanity of it, May is repeatedly trying to force through a deal that everyone hates, but to put a second referendum to the people would be considered 'undemocratic'.

The whole thing makes me so distressed with how second rate our political system and representatives are.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Medicine Man » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:37 pm



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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Mantis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:25 pm

Parliament just voted to extend Article 50, 210 majority. Pretty much every amendment to the motion was voted down though.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Sly Boots » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:28 pm

Is this the moment we start to right the ship/sprint to the cliff's edge?

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Stormbringer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:48 pm

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Tommy » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:02 pm

Been away from the forum for a while.

Brexit went mad. Then even madder. Now the country is in a semi-conscious numb state of madness where nobody has a clue what they're doing anymore and has lost various senses and have all the cognitive ability of a sandbag. Probably get worse too. Somehow.

Right, caught up.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by DjchunKfunK » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:49 am

Stormbringer wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:45 pm
Only problem is, if the government can say "No" to a referendum, and it's perfectly legal to do so, it kinda makes a mockery of the referendum system in the first place. Why even have them at all?
Many would argue that you should never have a referendum because we elect politicians to make decisions on our behave and a referendum is them abdicating responsibility.

I've never been a huge fan of referendums and both with this one, the AV one and the Scottish Independence vote I felt they were poorly conceived, a waste of time and would do more harm than good and in each case that has been true. The AV damaged the chance of the UK reforming it's terrible voting system, the Scottish vote only deepened the divide and as for the Brexit one...

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Mantis » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:55 pm

John Bercow is actually a legend. Really winding the Tory frontbench up today.

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Re: The elephant in the room - Brexit

Post by Raid » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:00 pm

Perhaps, but it just feels like another reason for us to crash out without a deal in, let's not forget this, less than a fortnight. It's just one more person for the people in charge to blame rather than taking fucking responsibility.

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