The government has been using the referendum as the ultimate mandate for continuing with BREXIT and triggering article 50. We’ve also also been complacent in arguing about what this mandate means. So let me make the following argument; the Referendum in of itself was flawed and has in return produced a flawed process irrespective of how you voted in the referendum and here’s why;
- When we talk about mandate it implies a clear policy NOT an opt (in/out) preference of continuing membership in the EU. Why? Well because unlike an opt (in/out) proposition this definition of what it means to stay in or out of the EU is a critical ingredient of this endeavour because each option has a drastically different outcome for the nation. Some prefer OUT at all cost, others call for hard, soft or medium rare BREXIT while others who prefer to remain the EU talk about EU with reforms but do NOT specify details of what reform means – a great way to play on people prejudices away from any form of realism. So what has been lacking was a clear realistic vision that supports arguments on both sides. What that translates to is a loose vision leading to prolonged negotiation/cabinet & political divisions and more importantly an ultimate/real cost with economic uncertainty and the reputation of a nation. At the very least triggering article 50 should have NOT taken place before such clarity was achieved; now we can only pay for this mistake. So what we can say here with certainty is that to have the basis of the referendum be an opt (in/out) proposition is flawed.
- It is also clear that many of the assumptions perpetrated by the pro BREXIT side have been fallacies like the NHS funding claim among others. Statements/assumptions made during important public debates like a referendum cannot be susceptible to disinformation because the future of the nation is at stake and it is clear now that regulating these debates has been lacking in the previous referendum which led to misconceptions and a confusion between fact/fiction.
- In terms of process we can see clearly now that it is driven based on ideological prejudices and without any form of inclusiveness in the negotiations or any attempt to unite the country under 1 pragmatic vision forward. The Politics of BREXIT is taking over the nation where party takes precedence over country. You see my friends in my opinion a Democratic process is similar to LAW in a broad sense where we should NOT only follow the letter of a law but also the spirit of that law – this is the real problem we face today in our Democracy and the evolution of our understanding of what it means to be part of a Democratic system of governance.
Based on the above I would suggest that there are grounds to challenge the legitimacy of the BREXIT referendum and how it was conducted as well as the process that resulted from it. I would also argue that politicians who have contributed to this mess we are in should be held squarely accountable for it because ultimately it is the entire nation that is paying the ultimate price for their incompetence and/or sleaze. So arguing it is un-Democratic to have a 2nd Referendum by some is convenient but also a bit “rich” – just a tad “rich”. However one can equally argue that referendum’s are by design a zero sum game and are NOT suitable to address settle complex issues like ones raised in BREXIT and it would be prudent to rely on our Democratic process/elections as mentioned in this post/clip and that is certainly quite a reasonable/pragmatic view point.