Why was the 2016 EU Referendum an affront to democracy

Introduction The purpose of this post is to explain how the 2016 EU Referendum didn’t just fail to be democracy at its best, but was democracy delivered so poorly that no democrat should be offering it lip service. Issues of the lies told in the campaigns and breaking of electoral law are both key points… Continue reading Why was the 2016 EU Referendum an affront to democracy

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The People’s Vote: a betrayal of who, exactly?

Introduction - breaking faith and riots Theresa May has stood up in Parliament to insist that politicians would “break faith” (BBC News, 2018) with the public if they called for a People’s Vote. It’s a sort of dog whistle for the predictions that a People’s Vote followed by a Remain victory (should we be so… Continue reading The People’s Vote: a betrayal of who, exactly?

What should a democracy look like?

On Thursday 23rd June, the UK undertook a project of direct democracy: a referendum on its membership to the European Union. The result was a 51.9% vote for leaving the EU, a fact we should not ignore. It was a vote, on a day, saying a narrow majority of the British people who voted wanted… Continue reading What should a democracy look like?

The Brexit vote teaches us that we should be practicing how to do referendums

A Guardian columnist named George Monbiot is arguing for more referendums in the UK. His reasoning is pretty good: the problem with the EU Referendum was that it was a large, complex question boiled down to two answers given to a populace inexperienced in referendums. Referendums, especially significant ones, shouldn’t be a ‘learning-on-the-job’ experience; the… Continue reading The Brexit vote teaches us that we should be practicing how to do referendums

An Open Letter to the UK

Dear UK citizen, registered voter or not,   I am writing to you today to tell you to not give up on your new-found political passion just yet. You need to contact your local representatives. Immediately.   We can still stop the Brexit being invoked or shape the negotiations that happen, and we can do… Continue reading An Open Letter to the UK

Climate change is real, the “realists” are wrong and we can solve this problem (if we try)

Approximately 64% of Americans do not think climate change is a threat to their way of life. That 64% will be made up of climate change deniers as well as people who call themselves climate change “realists”. This is a hugely concerning problem; democracy demands that people are aware of the problem before action can… Continue reading Climate change is real, the “realists” are wrong and we can solve this problem (if we try)

Politics: costs and benefits

I like government. I don’t like politics, but I do like government. I like roads and hospitals and streetlights and police officers and fire and rescue services and clean water and regulation of the products I buy. I even like welfare; I think it is a mark of civilisation to take care of those that… Continue reading Politics: costs and benefits