Brexit IN it or OUT of it – Did you VOTE?
A referendum was held in the UK on 23 June 2016. The electorate voted & decided that Britain will leave the European Union. That’s Brexit. Simple.
Media & commentary before & after the referendum has been colourful, complex & it seems everyone is Tweeting. Everyone. Some unlikely people had their say – Me, you & Obama along with the usuals like Bob Geldof (this time yelling from a flotilla on the Thames) & the Virgin guy gave his reasons why he thought the UK should remain. Money or the fear of losing it is always a good lever.
Democracy – New & Old
Old democracies can be almost as entertaining as the (perennially) new democracies. Faces of the Powers that were, are & always will rule us – expressed or feigned shock. It seems that despite holding a referendum after slashing spending & taking money from the welfare payments of the poor, the government never thought that voters might actually venture out to the polls in protest. Hype expects us to accept that no roadmap was considered for the event of an OUT vote. It would take more than a teaspoon of sugar to help us swallow that one. Still, it is what it is.
Free & Fair
There are multiple ways to sway an election. In the old days, ballot boxes went missing & votes from some areas were not counted. We are a lot more sophisticated now. We have the media. Watching & listening to speakers answering questions give us ample time to decide who we like & trust. Think about your favourite actor, just for a moment. Think again about the diverse roles they have played, & how sometimes you love them or hate them, depending on the plot & how they have presented themselves as various characters. A good script, coaching & a few fashion tips & they transform into anyone the director wants them to be. Is it hard to accept that our speakers & politicians are not equally created?
Devils selling Dreams – Or Fighters selling Freedom
Whether voters did as manipulated or whether they caused a few headaches is open to speculation. The fact that (so far) the regime is standing by the decision sadly implies the former. The immediate effects are interesting. The news is back in fashion, forums are alive with debate & the youth now think they might vote next time. Referendums – general votes by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision – can herald great change. This recent one took my mind back to a previous referendum, the one held in South Africa on 17 March 1992. That one never created generated the tsunami of attention as the recent one, but it did lead to the transformation of a country. The questions asked, then & now are
- Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? &
- Do you support continuation of the reform process which the State President began on 2 February 1990 and which is aimed at a new Constitution through negotiation?
Was your vote fair?
People are people. Votes are decided by what they think will benefit themselves & their families first, & then by what they think is best for their country or nation. Most of the electorate have limited access to the mountain of information & expert opinion of the politicians. Where they do have access, they rely on the filters of media for some form of interpretation as to what is at stake. Gut feel often plays a large part in the decision, but too often this is exploited & many leaders rely on voice & body language coaches to win favour. My husband will vote for any guy who doesn’t have to read from notes because to him, this implies that the truth is being told. It could just mean that person has a great memory. Others might not even realise why they like or trust other characters.
Similarities between referendums?
Comparing only the two that I was part of
- People were voting for change. The status quo was infringing on their lives & they wanted something else.
- FREEDOM – (or an idea of it) – At a personal short-term cost
- Justice. Now is about fair assessment for the right to live in the UK, then it was about fairness & one law for all residents
- Self determination. Citizens like to think they can make their own laws & be ruled by their own people
- Sharing. Now they want to share less, then they wanted to share more.
- The government had a known bias. Opposition had fewer resources.
Evita on an upcoming municpal election
It has been said that the proof in the pudding. I wonder how long there is between courses this time around?
Citations: Link to Evita’s video on youtube, as presented by Dorpskoerant who have provided the video which they published with thanks to Stefan Hurter for permission to republish Evita’s Free Speech videos. The video is posted here using the embed code provided by the channel, & I have included the link back to their article. The featured graph is is public domain