[Politics] UK Suspends Parliament

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49495757

Short summary, the British government just asked the queen to suspend parliament for 5 weeks, until the 14th October. It's important to note that the queen isn't allowed to say refuse to such requests, so in reality what we mean is that the government, under Boris Johnson, has temporarily suspended parliament.

According to Michael Gove, who has acted as government spokesperson on this issue, this suspension is to allow the government and PM to address domestic policy. However, the timing is, to put it mildly, extremely questionable, since the planned date of the UK's withdrawal from the EU is the 31st October. Now obviously, I cannot tell you with total certainty that Gove is lying, but the incredibly obvious motivation one could see for this suspension would be to prevent parliament from mounting any kind of opposition to no-deal Brexit.

The thing is, whether or not this is the motivation (spoiler: it is), it is going to be the effect, and one with fairly chilling consequences for democracy in the UK. This whole thing has been described as a coup, and that's not without justification since it essentially represents the executive unilaterally trying to shut down the legislature to prevent oversight. However, I also don't think that's the main issue here. The truth is, we're not quite at Emperor Palpatine stage yet, but there is a broader context in which this is merely the latest part of an ongoing attack on the supremacy of parliament within the British political system in the wake of Brexit, and that supremacy of Parliament is the essence of British democracy. Boris Johnson, our prime minister, has openly stated that he intends to run the next general election on a "people vs. parliament" program, which sounds great, but now we're getting an insight into what that means. In short, it means a strong, authoritarian, executive-driven government claiming to represent the "will of the people", even when pushing through policies which will literally kill people.

In fact, I think part of why this is so important even if you don't live in the UK is that it completely puts paid to the idea that populism is anti-authoritarian. Populism as an ideology is deeply authoritarian, and we should always be wary of it. It's no surprise to see other authoritarian populists (like a certain US president) come out in support of what is essentially a temporary end to democracy.

Of course, if the suspension of democracy becomes routine, at what point are you not living in a democracy any more?

They were going be in recess anyway, in reality of those 5 weeks they are realy only losing a few days.
But to be perfectly honest it is the only way to break the deadlock, Parliament is clearly a remain parliament in a leave country.

By Votes:
17.4m Leave - 16.1m Remain

By Constituency
406 Leave - 242 Remain

Constituency By Party
Labour: 148 Leave - 84 Remain
Conservative 247 Leave - 80 Remain

By Region
9 Leave - 3 Remain

By Member of Parliament
160 Leave - 486 Remain

Right-wing "populism" is indeed authoritarian and will tend to crush even merely nominal democracy. Such "populism" is hardly "populist" at all in the real intentions of its leaders.

Wakey87:
They were going be in recess anyway, in reality of those 5 weeks they are realy only losing a few days.
But to be perfectly honest it is the only way to break the deadlock, Parliament is clearly a remain parliament in a leave country.

By Votes:
17.4m Leave - 16.1m Remain

By Constituency
406 Leave - 242 Remain

Constituency By Party
Labour: 148 Leave - 84 Remain
Conservative 247 Leave - 80 Remain

By Region
9 Leave - 3 Remain

By Member of Parliament
160 Leave - 486 Remain

That not breaking the deadlock. That's circumventing the system.

No, I dont think any agree would have been reached. Everyone has been intractable. Taking away someone's power is going to get everyone offside, though. Next, 60 days are going to be really interesting

So basically this is step 3 on the way to a V for Vendetta world?

Squilookle:
So basically this is step 3 on the way to a V for Vendetta world?

I was gonna say step 5 in the seizing of the Republic

I think I'm mostly annoyed by how childish it is. BoJo heard his opponents were rallying to stop him getting the No Deal he wanted, so he just shuts down all of Parliament like a kid taking his ball and going home. If you're going to try and seize power you could at least be clever and subtle about it you know? When you're denying the people a voice while claiming to be speaking for the people I just feel insulted

Wakey87:
They were going be in recess anyway, in reality of those 5 weeks they are realy only losing a few days.

Parliamentary recess is from the 25th July to the 3rd of September. The suspension will begin on the 12th of September, and end on the 14th October.

Wakey87:
By Member of Parliament
160 Leave - 486 Remain

So, there's a bunch of things wrong here, but let's address the big one.

All these numbers are from 2016 (I mean, some of them are just made up, but the numbers they're clearly based on are from 2016).

Since 2016, a lot of things have happened. The conservative party has had to replace two leaders. We've seen a politican who campaigned for remain become prime minister and run a general election on a hard Brexit platform. We've had that general election, which wiped out the conservative majority in parliament, resulting in a hung parliament and a controversial confidence and supply deal with the DUP. We've moved from an environment in which remain and leave poll similarly to one in which remain consistently polls better than leave (incredibly consistently, in fact). We've moved from a media environment in which most traditional news outlets support leave to one in which the express remains the only outspokenly pro-leave print newspaper.

In short, it is not a case of a pro-remain parliament and a pro-leave country. That was the rhetoric in 2016, but it doesn't work any more, because people who might have voted on the promise of ?350 million a week for the NHS, or other now retracted claims by the leave campaign, are now much more away of what Brexit is actually going to look like, and what the government can actually deliver, and in general they don't like it.

https://whatukthinks.org/eu/questions/if-there-was-a-referendum-tomorrow-with-the-option-of-accepting-the-governments-brexit-agreement-or-remaining-in-the-eu-which-would-you-support/

https://whatukthinks.org/eu/questions/how-much-if-at-all-do-you-trust-boris-johnson-to-make-the-right-decisions-on-the-issue-of-brexit/

It is very clear that most people who voted for Brexit did not vote for a Brexit which might have negative consequences for them or their families, they voted for a Brexit which was going to be economically beneficial and politically smooth, and that is not what we are going to get. At the same time, most politicians seem to have accepted the reality that due to the referendum Brexit needs to happen, and the political debate has now moved on to what kind of Brexit can be achieved which will be acceptable and do minimal harm to the country. It is only recently, when it has become clear that it is a choice between no deal or a bad deal, that the thought of a second referendum or delaying Brexit has been on the parliamentary table.

Back in 2016, it wasn't just MPs who were pro-remain. Almost everyone with any kind of political expertise (such as political scientists and economists) overwhelmingly tended towards remain. This is not to say that we should always side with expertise, but what these experts were responding to was the overwhelming lack of hard information and data about the potential consequences of leaving the EU. Most people are not experts, they probably didn't have particularly deep knowledge of the best available research back in 2016, but they are also not idiots. Whether you are ideologically opposed to the EU or not, the deal which is on the table right now is shit, and most people know it's shit. No deal is even worse.

I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though? It's kinda ironic to me that people who ask to ignore democracy and do a second referendum because they lost the first now are all pro-democracy all of a sudden.

If anything, this is preserving democracy by safeguarding the implementation of a democratic referendum's result.

Why would he be trying to push through the no-deal option? Isn't that commonly agreed as being the worst possible outcome? Why would he be trying to sabotage the future of the country?

I noticed this juicy bit of spectacle.

The move has not gone down well with many, and one foul-mouthed celebrity tweet in particular has gone massively viral.

Nineties heart throb Hugh Grant unloaded on Mr Johnson, writing: "You will not f**k with my children?s future.
"You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. F**k off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects."

However, a brutal response to the actor's tirade from talk show host Piers Morgan has also gone viral this morning.

"Oh shut up you virtue-signalling little twat," he wrote on Twitter.

The fact that expressing outrage at a subversion of democracy can be dismissed as 'virtue signalling' sums up the shitshow that the world is now. Fuck this world.

Dreiko:
I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though? It's kinda ironic to me that people who ask to ignore democracy and do a second referendum because they lost the first now are all pro-democracy all of a sudden.

If anything, this is preserving democracy by safeguarding the implementation of a democratic referendum's result.

So, once again, lots of stuff wrong here, but let's focus on the big one.

Let's say I ask you if you want a sandwich, and you say yes. So I go and take a shit between two slices of bread and hand you the result. Technically, I gave you a sandwich, but it probably isn't the sandwich you wanted. It's a shit sandwich. Would you feel compelled to eat the sandwich because, after all, you did ask for a sandwich. Would you be okay with me forcing you to eat the shit sandwich? After all, it may not be what you wanted, but it is what you asked for.

This is the situation we are in now regarding Brexit. People may have voted leave in the referendum, they may have asked for a sandwich, but they probably don't want the sandwich they're getting (in fact, polling suggests they kind of hate it). It is a shit sandwich. It is an absolutely shit sandwich with no redeeming qualities unless you are ideologically committed enough to believe that leaving the EU is worth eating shit for, which some people are, sure, but most are not.

This stopped being merely a question of leave versus remain a long time ago. Until very recently, Brexit itself had bipartisan support with both major parties agreeing that it needed to happen. The problem, for a long time now, has been the consistent failure to actually achieve Brexit in a way that doesn't force the people who voted for it to eat a shit sandwich.

evilthecat:

Let's say I ask you if you want a sandwich, and you say yes. So I go and take a shit between two slices of bread and hand you the result. Technically, I gave you a sandwich, but it probably isn't the sandwich you wanted. It's a shit sandwich. Would you feel compelled to eat the sandwich because, after all, you did ask for a sandwich. Would you be okay with me forcing you to eat the shit sandwich? After all, it may not be what you wanted, but it is what you asked for.

Worse, it's actually like offering someone a really good sandwich with all their favourite fillings, and no bad things like relish at all. Then giving them a shit sandwich with relish.

Kwak:

The fact that expressing outrage at a subversion of democracy can be dismissed as 'virtue signalling' sums up the shitshow that the world is now. Fuck this world.

I think the thing to remember is that Piers Morgan is a huge bellend who'd be forgotten about if he didn't make boorish statements to stay in the limelight.

Baffle2:
Worse, it's actually like offering someone a really good sandwich with all their favourite fillings, and no bad things like relish at all. Then giving them a shit sandwich with relish.

But... sandwich means sandwich.

Kwak:
Why would he be trying to push through the no-deal option? Isn't that commonly agreed as being the worst possible outcome? Why would he be trying to sabotage the future of the country?

I noticed this juicy bit of spectacle.

The move has not gone down well with many, and one foul-mouthed celebrity tweet in particular has gone massively viral.

Nineties heart throb Hugh Grant unloaded on Mr Johnson, writing: "You will not f**k with my children?s future.
"You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. F**k off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects."

However, a brutal response to the actor's tirade from talk show host Piers Morgan has also gone viral this morning.

"Oh shut up you virtue-signalling little twat," he wrote on Twitter.

The fact that expressing outrage at a subversion of democracy can be dismissed as 'virtue signalling' sums up the shitshow that the world is now. Fuck this world.

I find myself somewhat surprised that Hugh Grant said that. Just seems.....bizarre to imagine the word fuck in his tone of voice.

Dreiko:
I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though? It's kinda ironic to me that people who ask to ignore democracy and do a second referendum because they lost the first now are all pro-democracy all of a sudden.

If anything, this is preserving democracy by safeguarding the implementation of a democratic referendum's result.

What's so anti democratic about having a second referendum about an issue people know a lot more about?
Let's not forget that during the first referendum the campaigns were filled with lies and false promises but also that nobody knew what a "brexit" would look like. Was it a no deal? Was it with a deal? What kind of deal? Etc.
Now at least people know: there is the deal offered by the EU or No deal and be at the mercy of "America First" Donald J Trump.

Surely it would make a lot more democratic sense to ask the citizens opinion now that they actually know what their decision entails? If nothing new had happened and no new information was acquired since the last referendum you would be right, but it isn't the case.

In the end that is why i'm 100% against referanda about such complex and big decisions. Usually the impact of such a decision only becomes clear ex post...

evilthecat:

It is very clear that most people who voted for Brexit did not vote for a Brexit which might have negative consequences for them or their families, they voted for a Brexit which was going to be economically beneficial and politically smooth, and that is not what we are going to get.

Glad you know what we voted for because apparently we didn't because we were too stupid.

We tried leaving 3 times with a deal and it was blocked at every turn, didn't matter what was on the table there was just no appetite in parliament to implement the result of the refurendum. The leave voters are at the end of their rope, and it's because of the unwillingness to accept we are actualy leaving in parliament is why we are crashing out.

generals3:
What's so anti democratic about having a second referendum about an issue people know a lot more about?

https://youtu.be/dYMFa3YzbYE

evilthecat:

Wakey87:
They were going be in recess anyway, in reality of those 5 weeks they are realy only losing a few days.

Parliamentary recess is from the 25th July to the 3rd of September. The suspension will begin on the 12th of September, and end on the 14th October.

Thats the Summer recess, we are talking about the Conference recess from mid September to early October.

Wakey87:

The leave voters are at the end of their rope, and it's because of the unwillingness to accept we are actualy leaving in parliament is why we are crashing out.

Big cross next to that one I'm afraid. The last few days of comments on the news has been nothing but leavers getting their excuses in for why it's everyone else's fault that we're leaving the EU with no deal in place. Sorry, but it isn't - it's the fault of the people who voted to leave. Pretty sure they were warned about this before they voted. Yep: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

Gordon_4:

I find myself somewhat surprised that Hugh Grant said that. Just seems.....bizarre to imagine the word fuck in his tone of voice.

Ever seen Lair of the White Worm? He's in that. Not sure if he swears.

Wakey87:

evilthecat:

It is very clear that most people who voted for Brexit did not vote for a Brexit which might have negative consequences for them or their families, they voted for a Brexit which was going to be economically beneficial and politically smooth, and that is not what we are going to get.

Glad you know what we voted for because apparently we didn't because we were too stupid.

We tried leaving 3 times with a deal and it was blocked at every turn, didn't matter what was on the table there was just no appetite in parliament to implement the result of the refurendum. The leave voters are at the end of their rope, and it's because of the unwillingness to accept we are actualy leaving in parliament is why we are crashing out.

Welcome to adversarial politics as implemented by May. There are multiple scenarios of leaving the EU with radically different consequences. A lot of Leave voters wanted a economically beneficial and politically smooth Brexit but that's not realistic. So, what realistic implementation to pursue and sell to the electorate? May's plan was to sell 'red, white and blue Brexit', win a large majority in a snap election, tell the hardline Eurosceptics to go fuck themselves, and push whatever actual Brexit she wanted. And tell the Opposition to take a running jump but that's standard in British politics.

But as we know, May lost the Tory majority yet she carried on as if her plan was working. Even after a third whipping where even the chairman of the European Research Group, Rees-Mogg, voted for the withdrawal agreement, the hardline Eurosceptics still told May to go fuck herself. The Tory party (and DUP alies) refused to vote its own agreement. Only then did May think to achieve consensus with the rest of Parliament but, by then, her authority was destroyed and talks were undermined by the potential party leadership candidates, particularly Johnson.

Adversarial politics: a system that only works when a party has a big enough majority to ignore its own extremists.

In case you continentals think trying to push an agreement without cross-party consensus is odd, we're British, goddammit! We don't do your ludicrous consensus building. The ruling party whips its own members, ignores the rest of Parliament, and that's the way we like it!

Baffle2:

Wakey87:

The leave voters are at the end of their rope, and it's because of the unwillingness to accept we are actualy leaving in parliament is why we are crashing out.

Big cross next to that one I'm afraid. The last few days of comments on the news has been nothing but leavers getting their excuses in for why it's everyone else's fault that we're leaving the EU with no deal in place. Sorry, but it isn't - it's the fault of the people who voted to leave. Pretty sure they were warned about this before they voted. Yep: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

Realy? I'm hearing most Brexit voters didn't vote for no deal on one hand and your telling me its our fault on the other. Exactly which is it? It seems people are doing somersaults trying to belittle the leave side as much possable and because most of us are up north away from london and don't have a voice it's going to work.

Wakey87:

Realy? I'm hearing most Brexit voters didn't vote for no deal on one hand and your telling me its our fault on the other. Exactly which is it? It seems people are doing somersaults trying to belittle the leave side as much possable and because most of us are up north away from london and don't have a voice it's going to work.

It's possible for it to be both. You were warned no deal was a possibility (but not a certainty) but you voted for it anyway. Hence yes, leavers' fault.

I'm up north too. You know where's going to suffer from no deal (and leaving in general)? Yeah, the north (and the southwest). The EU redistributed funds from London up to us; you think the Tories are going to bother?

Baffle2:

Wakey87:

Realy? I'm hearing most Brexit voters didn't vote for no deal on one hand and your telling me its our fault on the other. Exactly which is it? It seems people are doing somersaults trying to belittle the leave side as much possable and because most of us are up north away from london and don't have a voice it's going to work.

It's possible for it to be both. You were warned no deal was a possibility (but not a certainty) but you voted for it anyway. Hence yes, leavers' fault.

Sure it is, it's not the fact that the opposition blocked leaving with a deal at every turn. I think you'll find more labour MP's blocked a deal than the ERG.

Wakey87:
Glad you know what we voted for because apparently we didn't because we were too stupid.

So, you're saying that you voted leave in full knowledge that you were voting for a no deal, and that this would result in such severe disruption that a full government task force would need to be assembled just to ensure the country can still function, because what.. you genuinely don't care about human life? You like to see people suffer? I'm curious, if you didn't think this was going to be a good outcome, which seems to be what you're suggesting, why did you vote for it?

If you did vote for a good outcome, why are you willing to accept a bad one? Are you that deep into cognitive dissonance that you're really going to eat a shit sandwich and pretend its what you wanted?

Wakey87:
We tried leaving 3 times with a deal and it was blocked at every turn, didn't matter what was on the table there was just no appetite in parliament to implement the result of the refurendum.

So, do you remember we had a general election in 2017?

..and the Tory government, running on a hard Brexit platform, lost its majority.

The reason there is no appetite in parliament to implement these shitty deals is because not enough people voted for Theresa May's party to enable her to push them through. That is how a democratic mandate works. The prime minister is not a dictator who rules for 5 years. In a functioning democracy the government requires a popular mandate, which in our system is expressed through parliamentary elections.

Now, the obvious solution to this would have been open up the committee stage of any proposed withdrawal bill to parliamentary debate, allowing for a greater degree of bipartisan compromise. Theresa May refused to do this. Boris Johnson refused to do this. There is also the option of calling a general election, which would provide a clearer mandate for whichever government ends up in power and allow the voting public to express their opinions on each parties' Brexit policy to get a sense of which options are likely to have most public support. Again, this hasn't happened, and the result is that we now have an unelected prime minister suspending parliament to force through the absolute worst option, which is a no deal. That is certainly the most undemocratic thing that's happened in my lifetime.

The fact tha tyou think anything justifies it, let alone this complete shit sandwich, is not a good look. Where the fuck is that 350 million for the NHS we were supposed to get? Where are the money birds which were supposed to come home to roost? You're telling me this shitshow is genuinely what you voted for..

Wakey87:

Baffle2:

Wakey87:

The leave voters are at the end of their rope, and it's because of the unwillingness to accept we are actualy leaving in parliament is why we are crashing out.

Big cross next to that one I'm afraid. The last few days of comments on the news has been nothing but leavers getting their excuses in for why it's everyone else's fault that we're leaving the EU with no deal in place. Sorry, but it isn't - it's the fault of the people who voted to leave. Pretty sure they were warned about this before they voted. Yep: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

Realy? I'm hearing most Brexit voters didn't vote for no deal on one hand and your telling me its our fault on the other. Exactly which is it? It seems people are doing somersaults trying to belittle the leave side as much possable and because most of us are up north away from london and don't have a voice it's going to work.

I fail to see any contradiction between voting Leave but not wanting no deal, and fault for no deal happening. Voting Leave only answered a small part of the big, fundamental questions about EU relationship. Of course someone else was bound to provide answers to those questions with something you fundamentally don't like. The Conservative party has always been plagued by hardline Eurosceptics and a Leave result would break the modernising wing of the party. Are you telling me you DIDN'T think this would happen?

I think I did to take a break because I am thoroughly pissed off. I will try to address what I can quickly.

I voted to leave, that is all. If they wanted to frustrate brexit so be it, I'm not backing down.
I remember the general election, both conservatives and labour said we would leave.

Wakey87:

Sure it is, it's not the fact that the opposition blocked leaving with a deal at every turn. I think you'll find more labour MP's blocked a deal than the ERG.

Well... the ERG has many fewers MPs than Labour so that's obviously going to happen. But note that you're saying the group that wanted to leave the EU still voted against a deal that would involve leaving the EU.

But yes, it is on leavers. You voted for it and you say you knew what you were voting for, so at least own up to the consequences. If it turns out it's all sunlit uplands, you can proudly claim 'I voted for that!' (but I would probably not get the T-shirt printed just yet).

You see what I mean about trying to absolve themselves of responsibility though?

Wakey87:

Baffle2:

Wakey87:

Realy? I'm hearing most Brexit voters didn't vote for no deal on one hand and your telling me its our fault on the other. Exactly which is it? It seems people are doing somersaults trying to belittle the leave side as much possable and because most of us are up north away from london and don't have a voice it's going to work.

It's possible for it to be both. You were warned no deal was a possibility (but not a certainty) but you voted for it anyway. Hence yes, leavers' fault.

Sure it is, it's not the fact that the opposition blocked leaving with a deal at every turn. I think you'll find more labour MP's blocked a deal than the ERG.

You expect Labour to whip their own MPs to vote for the Tory version of Leave? Particularly, the biggest constitutional change for a generation? Now you're just trolling.

Wakey87:
I voted to leave, that is all.

Did you vote for no deal?

Did you sit there in the polling booth and rationally consider the possibility that people might not be able to get medicines, or that oil exports to the EU would suddenly become worthless? Did you think these things, and then vote leave anyway? Was that your big dream? Was that the hill you were ready to die on?

Wakey87:
I voted to leave, that is all. If they wanted to frustrate brexit so be it, I'm not backing down.
I remember the general election, both conservatives and labour said we would leave.

The fact that you genuinely think this is the same leave/remain debate it was 3 years ago is sadly indicative.

Personally, I gave up on stopping Brexit years ago. I don't support another referendum. What I support is taking whatever measures are necessary to ensure that whatever deal is achieved is acceptable to the majority and economically beneficial to the people of this country. We all know that what was actually promised in 2016 is impossible. It was lies. But that doesn't mean we have to accept the worst possible deal simply to placate people who are angry because democracy doesn't revolve around them. It also doesn't mean we have to accept a bad deal just to avoid the worst possible deal.

Also, I know this is harsh but I gotta say it. The tantrums are pathetic. People's lives will literally hang in the balance of this. People I know and care about will have their ability to live profoundly affected. What are the potential consequences for you? What do you actually have to be angry about?

generals3:

Dreiko:
I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though? It's kinda ironic to me that people who ask to ignore democracy and do a second referendum because they lost the first now are all pro-democracy all of a sudden.

If anything, this is preserving democracy by safeguarding the implementation of a democratic referendum's result.

What's so anti democratic about having a second referendum about an issue people know a lot more about?
Let's not forget that during the first referendum the campaigns were filled with lies and false promises but also that nobody knew what a "brexit" would look like. Was it a no deal? Was it with a deal? What kind of deal? Etc.
Now at least people know: there is the deal offered by the EU or No deal and be at the mercy of "America First" Donald J Trump.

Surely it would make a lot more democratic sense to ask the citizens opinion now that they actually know what their decision entails? If nothing new had happened and no new information was acquired since the last referendum you would be right, but it isn't the case.

In the end that is why i'm 100% against referanda about such complex and big decisions. Usually the impact of such a decision only becomes clear ex post...

You do not want to open that door if you are a fan of democracy.

If you do that, you will make it a thing people do to decide on a democratic result based on a perception of the education of the electorate. You will both make an elitist system that treats the educated as superior to those less educated and you will also allow anyone with enough power to undermine any result by adding new factors after the fact and going on about how they're not being pre-met by an electorate that couldn't have known it was supposed to meet them.

You don't get to say how educated people were, how deceived they were. You both have no way of proving such a thing because there is no way to mindscuplt people into a conclusion and you have no right to undermine democracy based on such a finding either way. Nobody gets to do these things. The reason being that once someone does this, someone else will now have the ability to come up with their own thing that didn't used to make a democratic choice invalid but now apparently does because it's convenient to the speaker, which will let them undermine democracy again for their benefit.

This will continue happening back to back with disregard for actual democracy and the end result will be a world where the people who get to make people think they are correct through the use of soft power from media sources and other similar vectors are going to be the arbiters of democracy.

evilthecat:

Dreiko:
I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though? It's kinda ironic to me that people who ask to ignore democracy and do a second referendum because they lost the first now are all pro-democracy all of a sudden.

If anything, this is preserving democracy by safeguarding the implementation of a democratic referendum's result.

So, once again, lots of stuff wrong here, but let's focus on the big one.

Let's say I ask you if you want a sandwich, and you say yes. So I go and take a shit between two slices of bread and hand you the result. Technically, I gave you a sandwich, but it probably isn't the sandwich you wanted. It's a shit sandwich. Would you feel compelled to eat the sandwich because, after all, you did ask for a sandwich. Would you be okay with me forcing you to eat the shit sandwich? After all, it may not be what you wanted, but it is what you asked for.

This is the situation we are in now regarding Brexit. People may have voted leave in the referendum, they may have asked for a sandwich, but they probably don't want the sandwich they're getting (in fact, polling suggests they kind of hate it). It is a shit sandwich. It is an absolutely shit sandwich with no redeeming qualities unless you are ideologically committed enough to believe that leaving the EU is worth eating shit for, which some people are, sure, but most are not.

This stopped being merely a question of leave versus remain a long time ago. Until very recently, Brexit itself had bipartisan support with both major parties agreeing that it needed to happen. The problem, for a long time now, has been the consistent failure to actually achieve Brexit in a way that doesn't force the people who voted for it to eat a shit sandwich.

If the foundation of sandwitch-making (democracy) is at stake, the right thing to do there is to eat the sandwitch and just never ask you to make me another sandwitch ever again and also use your creation to inform how I interact with you in the future.

I'm sorry but until the UK is actually out I don't think anyone will buy that the question isn't between remain and leave, even if you're right. You have the remainer side's antics to thank for that.

Dreiko:

You do not want to open that door if you are a fan of democracy.

If you do that, you will make it a thing people do to decide on a democratic result based on a perception of the education of the electorate. You will both make an elitist system that treats the educated as superior to those less educated and you will also allow anyone with enough power to undermine any result by adding new factors after the fact and going on about how they're not being pre-met by an electorate that couldn't have known it was supposed to meet them.

You don't get to say how educated people were, how deceived they were. You both have no way of proving such a thing because there is no way to mindscuplt people into a conclusion and you have no right to undermine democracy based on such a finding either way. Nobody gets to do these things. The reason being that once someone does this, someone else will now have the ability to come up with their own thing that didn't used to make a democratic choice invalid but now apparently does because it's convenient to the speaker, which will let them undermine democracy again for their benefit.

This will continue happening back to back with disregard for actual democracy and the end result will be a world where the people who get to make people think they are correct through the use of soft power from media sources and other similar vectors are going to be the arbiters of democracy.

I'm a fan of representative democracy, and that system is inherently elitist as it considers the "plebs" to be incapable of directly making political decisions and is forced to make them through representatives who very often act as informed filters. After all it's their full time jobs and they have teams of experts advising them. Something you and I don't.

And I do get to say how educated people were. They were blatantly lied to, something that was admited right after the vote by Nigel Farage. (reference to the NHS lie) And NO ONE knew what Brexit would entail. How could anyone have known whether it would have been a no deal brexit or a brexit with a deal and with which kind of deal at that point in time? So I can say with a 100% certainty voters were unaware of what they voted for.

generals3:
I can say with a 100% certainty voters were unaware of what they voted for.

Especially farmers. Apparently something like two-thirds of the farming community (not quite sure how broad that is) voted for Brexit, and now they're all clamouring for government subsidies because they're going to lose the EU ones and, if we introduce points-based immigration, aren't going to have the same level of access to cheap labour. Those poor bastards and their vast tracts of land.

A second referendum wouldn't exist because the electorate didn't understand what they were voting for, it's to partially address the flaw of not asking what they wanted in the first place. They were only asked if they wanted to leave the EU. What about whether to maintain regulatory alignments? Monetary cost of single market access? ECJ jurisdiction? EU migration? Intelligence sharing? European arrest warrants? The Good Friday Agreement? These aren't minor technicalities, answers to these have fundamentally different consequences. And there's still the question of what to do if leaving and not all desires can be met.

As the withdrawal agreement negotiations are done, it's pretty much too late to ask these questions. So, the failure can be partially addressed by asking the electorate if the withdrawal agreement and political declaration is what they want and, if not, whether to leave with no deal or remain in the EU.

Dreiko:
I dunno, if you care about democracy, wouldn't you want the result of referendums to be upheld though?

Well. The thing about referenda is that there are good and bad ways to conduct them, and this is well known.

I think of this like exam-setting in education, which I do plenty of. Writing a question is hard, because if an educator wants a specific answer from a student, the question must very clearly direct the student to the specific answer. If the question is badly worded, the student can give something other than the desired answer, but cannot be marked down, because they have answered the question reasonably. And, obviously, if the educator has not adequate taught the students the material required to answer the question, the question cannot be allowed to stand either.

Extending this concept into referenda, firstly, the public need to be fully informed as to what the results of the referendum are. This also goes right to one of the most important issues about free choice, which is informed consent. That's why when you buy lots of things they come with a massive document, because you need to know what you're getting into. More generally, it's just ensuring they have the basis to make a good decision.

A referendum should have clear outcomes. "Should the UK remain in the EU - Yes / No" is superficially clear. Except that's just superficial. The "yes" vote is clear - everyone knows what the status quo is. The "No" vote is not, because there are lots of different relationships that the UK can have with the EU upon leaving which make a very big difference to how the UK functions. And people clearly aren't just thinking about leaving the EU with no reference whatsoever to the wider state of the country - economy and trade, health, social services, immigration, etc. So what this means is that the "No" side could campaign to leave the EU with a close relationship, and then once they'd won enact something completely different. And indeed, that's exactly what they appear to be trying.

In short, the referendum was a badly conducted referendum.

On other issues:
Imagine you had a presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump won, but the Republican Party had a legal way of just replacing Trump with whomever they wanted before he took office at their whim. How do you think that would go down? I'm sure some Trump voters wouldn't care, but I'm equally sure a lot of them would. And in any case, is that really "democratic"? Because it looks to me like shitting over the public's choice of president, even if they got a Republican president.

Next, we could go into constitutional issues. We all know Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, but we also accept Trump won via the electoral system because that's the constitution. Well, in the UK, parliament has constitutional supremacy. The referendum is "advisory", just like the votes of the public to the electoral college electors are advisory, or that the constituency nature of the individual states means that the most popular candidate doesn't always win anyway. That's something to think upon when you talk about what's "democratic", because constitutions have a way of crimping absolute democracy. Let's also remember that parliament is composed of directly, democratically elected representatives, thus is itself a democratic body.

Finally, to quote one of the leaders of the Leave campaign, spoken several years before the referendum: "A democracy that cannot change its mind is not a democracy". There should never be a ban on reconsidering a referendum, especially when, as per the above, it turns out that what people are getting may be very different from what they voted for.

Never mind that it's not a re-run. It's a different vote, and arguably the much better referendum because the outcomes are now clear and people are fully informed.

"What should the UK do?"
A - Leave with the deal the government negotiated
B - Leave with no deal
C - Remain

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