Monday, July 4, 2016

What is the fuss about Brexit?

The United Kingdom held a referendum about leaving the EU.  LEAVE won 52% to 48%.  All hell has broken loose.  One has to wonder why?  Nothing has happened yet nor will anything for likely a couple of years, if ever. Yet the economy has gone to hell and racist bigots are out in the streets making life unbearable for anyone who is not "just like them".  Northern Ireland may look at joining the Republic of Ireland (Hallelujah) and Scotland will hold another independence referendum if UK leaves the EU.

The LEAVE group never expected to win and has absolutely no plans for the future. And people are changing their minds as fast as they can. The vote is not legally binding, though one can argue that it is morally binding.  Only the British parliament can make that decision.

Cameron resigned the Tory leadership and Farage today resigned the UKIP leadership.  Corbin is under pressure with the Labour Party as most Labour MPs voted REMAIN while Labour rank and file voted LEAVE. British political parties must elect new leadership and a general election must be called with each party clearly declaring its position on the EU.

Once a new government has been elected, then and ONLY then, can a decision be made and notice given, if in fact it is given at all.  Until then, it is all hysteria over nothing.

An acquaintance of mine sent this quote this morning: 

Edmund Burke, the intellectual father of British Conservatism, understood that a representative democracy was not a menu from which you chose the issues you were electing representatives to decide — and the ones you retained a personal veto on.  Our politicians are elected to make the hardest and most painful choices, not merely to decide what to spend where.
Burke defined the obligation eloquently for his Bristol voters, in a declaration that is powerful and relevant, two and half centuries later:

“Government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment and not of inclination ... Your representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment: and he betrays instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

In other words, governments are elected to govern.  The images of a waiter in a black waist coat, with a white towel over his arm, taking orders from the customers, that "serving the people" seems to conjure up in the minds of some people is nonsense.

Party platforms are there to provide voters with an informed choice at election time.  Parties lay out what they intend to do, based on input from their members and voted on a convention.  Once a government is formed it is up to the elected members to implement their platform.  Failure to do so, without the ability to convince the voters there was good reason, should result in their removal at the next election.  The notion that they should hold referenda rather than make decisions is a recipe for disaster.

That is why the selection of men to run for office and the selection of the voters is critical. In a democracy, the government is elected by YOU; they are not some alien other that appeared out of nowhere.

6 comments:

  1. That's a great quote from Burke - I think most people don't truly grasp the difference between governing and serving. But that attitude of entitlement is pervading everything from government to fandom. People demand a particular action or outcome and react with rage when it isn't delivered, forgetting (or ignoring) the fact that others are demanding the exact opposite with equal fervor and expectations.

    Beam me up, Scotty; there's no intelligent life down here...

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    1. Entitlement: I made an X; you owe me Nirvana. It is little wonder Democracy is rapidly getting a bad name around the world. There are so very few good examples.

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    2. It is the way the markets work, someone at the Fed farts and the markets dive 100 points. Makes no sense. It use to be that money was redeemable in gold or silver; now it is only worth the paper it is printed on. It is valuable only because we say it is valuable.
      the Ol'Buzzard
      the Ol'Buzzard

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    3. Actually, gold and silver are valuable for the same reasons. Money is simply a medium of exchange that makes life simpler than multi-way swaps. Speculators make their money on market volatility. The more the better. The rest of us lose.

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  2. our congress serves the one with the most money..and it ain't me.

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    1. The golden rule. Adam Smith, whom everyone quotes but no one has read, warned several times in The Wealth of Nations, that politicians were subject to manipulation by the capitalist crowd. He had no solution but did warn us.

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