Saturday, July 16, 2016

British Exit

To make sense of Brexit would require a consensus from multiple heads of faculties at Oxbridge and even then the result might well miss the mark, just like Raonic. Here is my take. Madeline Ashby in the Orillia Packet and Times claims being right is no longer enough. The Remain campaign thought presenting facts i.e. being right, would ensure the status quo. They obviously ignored the impact of emotional feelings. But the success of the likes of Trump, Sanders, Ferrage, Marie Le Pen suggests that voters make decisions in ways which fly in the face of past voting patterns. Misinformation and downright deceit (perhaps not Sanders) is not rejected for what it is any longer. Gut instincts are coming to the fore in western democracies. Extreme views approach mainstream. Intellectual elites can no longer assume they will get to lead what once were the “natural” governing political parties. Cameron made an error in judgment to make a national referendum out of what was essentially an internal Conservative Party rift. He would have known the pitfalls but was too sure that the result would banish any possibility of pitfalls being realized. Being correct would win the day. However, knowing the pulse of the nation is a mugs game in this day and age. Canadian polling companies have made several notable, embarrassing, miscalculations in recent years attempting to predict elections. Does it ever surprise you how often votes are decided almost exactly down the middle, only a point or two off a tie? Scotland, Quebec, Australia, Spain are just some examples. Brexit itself. Strong clear governing mandates do seem harder to come by. Fractiousness has been substituted. So judging by the reaction from Spain and France (for example) it is highly unlikely the needed unanimity of the EU will allow for sub-national Scotland to remain in Europe despite its Remain vote bias. Ironically Scotland had a similar voting pattern to SE England and some English cities yet the English countryside has clearly opted for a go it alone future. Then there is Northern Ireland. It is hard to imagine the shenanigans that will revolve around a hard border reinstated at the point of contact with the Republic of Ireland, which will also be the European Union outer limit. The fact that Prime Minister May was an advocate for Remain, yet now has made a commitment to negotiating the exit, how strange is that? I suppose she is taking the traditional British attachment to democracy seriously and saying a referendum has to be respected as the will of the people, even if untold numbers might change their will (pun intended) knowing what they now know. Like any good debater PM May presumably can debate both sides of an issue with the same degree of alacrity. All power to her. What is done is done. Get on with it. Hardly rules I live by personally but I do think it is the right message for public consumption at this stage.