by John Brian Shannon | June 17, 2016
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Sir Winston S. Churchill
Having experienced temporary European Union membership for a few years, British citizens will exercise their right to vote on how they feel about EU membership. That’s called democracy, and whether non-Britons agree with the decisions of those voters or not, it’s quite irrelevant.
On June 23rd, UK voters will either vote to ‘Stay’ or ‘Leave’ the European Union and ‘the people’ are always right — that’s how democracy works
If they feel that EU membership hasn’t worked for them, it certainly isn’t their fault, it’s the fault of the people who created such political arrangements.
Dissatisfied Britons will be telling UK and EU leaders on June 23, ‘You can’t eat GDP’ and ‘I don’t care for your ideals, I want my own back as they served me better’ and it is probably a comment on rampant elitism and unelected officials in Brussels making decisions that impact Britons negatively.
We should listen to them
Just as on the fateful voyage of the Titanic, once an alarm has been sounded, pretending that there isn’t a problem only means that the ship eventually fills with water and the whole thing sinks to the bottom — as opposed to taking concerns seriously and altering course to steer clear of danger.
Why is there always so much resistance to that?
And therein lies the whole story. It seems that many of the 1 percent have decided that the UK staying in the European Union better serves their interests, therefore the electorate should vote according to the interests of the 1 percent.
It also seems that many European and American non-1-percent elites feel that having the UK stay in the European Union serves their best interests, therefore the Brits should vote accordingly.
And all of them seem to say;
‘Vote according to our wishes because that’s what is best for us!’
(And not necessarily what is best for British citizens)
If that isn’t what they’re saying, they need to correct it. Because that’s what we’re hearing.
If you ask the average Briton; ‘How has EU membership benefited you and your family?’ you’re likely to get negative responses from Brexiteers — or confused looks from Bremainers. Because, largely, it hasn’t.
(Again, I reiterate, you can’t eat GDP. Yes, higher GDP is a tremendously amazing and wonderful thing for the UK government, for European industry, for the bankers, and for Brussels. It does practically nothing for everyday Britons)
Maybe the UK referendum question should be changed to:
‘Do you feel EU membership has benefited you personally?’
(If Yes; vote ‘Stay’)
(If No; vote ‘Leave’)
It would be a landslide if that’s the question on the ballot.
All I’m saying, is that if the EU *is working* for the largest number of Britons, then the largest number will vote to ‘Stay’ in the EU. And if it doesn’t, they’ll vote to ‘Leave’.
But no matter the result, it will be cathartic for the EU and the UK governments.
If the Bremain side wins by a wide margin, the UK government will still be empowered to push for change from within the existing EU membership, and even the EU hierarchy now realize that changes are needed to mitigate the concerns of other states in the union.
If the Bremain side wins narrowly, the UK government will be HIGHLY EMPOWERED to push for change from within the existing EU membership — and it may well influence other EU nations to feel empowered and likewise push for needed change.
If the Brexit side wins convincingly, the UK government will be HIGHLY EMPOWERED to rule for Britons (instead of the present arrangement which is a sort of caught between Brussels and Brit voters affair) and British politicians could still negotiate an even better agreement from outside of the European Union.
Instead of concerned parties looking at all of this democracy that is happening as a negative, why not look at it as a positive and necessary step towards building a better European Union?
If it *isn’t working for Britons* browbeating them to accept it will only serve to disillusion them moreso, which leads us to a worse conclusion.
If it *is working for Britons* but significant numbers disagree, why ignore those warnings? Why not alter course and preempt a worse conclusion?
Some commentators have characterized Brexiteers as ‘populists’ — of a sort having either a lower economic station in life or a lower level of education (or both) — and therefore, their votes should be regarded as of less importance than Bremain votes. But in truly democratic systems every voter is equal. A vote is a vote, and a person’s vote isn’t worth *more* for agreeing with one side vs. the other.
The June 23 referendum is one thing and one thing only; It’s a report card from British voters on how well, or how badly, Britons feel served by the EU. It’s no more, and no less than that
Trying to cast it in any other light risks bringing about another #OWS-type revolt, but this time from disrespected British voters.
The UK Voter ‘Report Card’ will be ready shortly after June 23. If significant numbers of Brit voters warn of, ‘Icebergs, so far!’ the governments of both the European Union and the United Kingdom would do well to heed their experiential warnings and adjust course.