The Will of the People

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bobscott
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The Will of the People

Postby bobscott » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:52 pm

I am having something of a problem with understanding some aspects of the BREXIT debate and would welcome some help from those more erudite and clear-thinking than I.

Throughout the process, ‘The will of the people’ is a mantra which is constantly heard when any consideration other than leaving the EU is voiced. It is used as a justification for continuing along a path which will result in the UK being divorced economically from the EU. The consequences of that are open to debate although the word ‘hope’ is frequently mis-used and expressed as ‘believe’. Wish lists are nothing more than that. Wish lists. The ramifications for national security, technology etc are as yet unknown but the feeling generally is that the UK will be worse off than it is now in both of those aspects.

The figures published show that for England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 17,410,742 people voted to leave the EU whereas 15, 141, 241 voted to remain in the EU. A ‘leave’ majority of 2,269,501.

Here is a scenario and the one that intrigues and I admit worries me. Suppose, just for argument’s sake, sufficient people on both sides have now changed their minds to the extent that there is now a (say) 3,000, 000 majority in favour of staying within the EU. Where does that leave us?

On the one hand, we have the campaign team for leaving quoting the original figure as ‘the will of the people’. Well, it was about 21 months ago, but the picture may have changed. On the other hand, we have people who were probably always on the ‘remain’ side saying they want another referendum in the hope (belief?) that the balance has changed.

Of course, no-one can accurately predict the result of a referendum. But the ‘leave’ side say that ‘the will of the people’ is that we should leave and that to have another referendum would be a ‘betrayal’ of the democratic ‘will of the people’.

That’s what I can’t get my head around. Throughout life, we are all subject to circumstances where we have to make decisions. Sometimes we can change our minds, yet on other occasions it is too late and we have to live with the consequences. So why, oh why, is there such a feeling around that we should NOT have another referendum? What on earth is ‘undemocratic’ about that? There is time to do it!

Are we really falling into a trap laid by those in the ‘Westminster bubble’ where life in the real world is just a bit of a joke and an inconvenience when one’s main concern is self-preservation? ‘Let he who shouts loudest be heard first’ might be OK, but stifling the opposition? Is that democracy?

Come on, all you brainy lot. Put me out of my misery and explain where I am going wrong.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:03 pm

I'm a remainer. I have sympathy with the concept of a second vote. Not because it might give a remain outcome but because the deal that has been achieved is so very different from the proposition presented by the leave campaign. If people had been presented with this deal in 2016 would a majority have voted for it or against it? I have no idea but I think it is a valid question to ask.

I also have concerns about a second vote, however. What would the question be? Generally referenda work best if there is a binary choice but what would the binary choice be here? You could ask, "Would you prefer to leave the EU under the deal negotiated by the government or with no deal?" That respects the original vote, since it only includes leave options, BUT it precludes the possibility that a majority might now prefer to remain. You could ask, "Would you prefer to leave the EU under the deal negotiated by the government or to remain in the EU?" That gives those who prefer to remain an option but it could hardly be described as respecting the outcome of the first vote since it denies those who would prefer to leave with no deal a choice. You could offer a three way choice, "Would you prefer to leave the EU under the deal negotiated by the government, leave with no deal or remain in the EU?" That gives everybody an option to vote for but the result may be problematic. If over 50 % voted for one of the options then that option has clearly won but what happens if, say, 40 % vote for one option and 30 % each for the other two. Clearly the 40 % option has won but 60 % voted against it.

I think that if there is a second vote it would have to be a three way choice using transferable votes. You would be asked which option you prefer first and which option you prefer second. Initially all the first votes are counted and the one with the lowest score is eliminated. You then add all the first and second choice votes for the remaining two options and judge the winner on the total. Even that is problematic since you would still probably have one option with more first vote choices but the winner might be based on the number of second choices. Those who did not win would then claim that everybody was forced to accept a second best choice.

Warwick

Disclaimer. From a purely personal point of view any deal that incorporates the December 2017 protocol is fine by me. Any deal that doesn't incorporate that protocol is a bad deal for me.

PS One argument put forward against a second vote is the idea that whenever the EU asks the voters a question, if the proposition is rejected they simply keep asking the question again and again until they get the answer they want. That is not an accurate portrayal of previous referenda. More commonly the EU looks at what aspects of the proposition people had objected to, they modify the proposition to take account of those objections and then they ask the question again. That is why there are so many derogations in EU treaties. If you objected to a particular part of the proposition and that part is changed why wouldn't you change your mind? Obviously there are always people who object to everything put forward by the EU and they are the ones who present the repeated vote argument.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:27 pm

People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way, have they ever thought for one tiny moment that it may go against them again? Then what? They would have to accept any deal. No, there was a vote and there should not be another one. The EU had there chance to reform and they just ignore it as per their usual arrogance.

Philb
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Philb » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:03 pm

I would like to see May's deal debated by parliament and hopefully rejected. That would only leave No deal or Remain as options for a Peoples Vote, which I think would happen.

Philb
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Philb » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:07 pm

scooby wrote:People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way, have they ever thought for one tiny moment that it may go against them again? Then what? They would have to accept any deal. No, there was a vote and there should not be another one. The EU had there chance to reform and they just ignore it as per their usual arrogance.


Yes we do, the 'will of the people' has changed. Look at the polls. A vote on the outcome of 2 years negotiation is the only democratic way forward.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:46 pm

Philb wrote:
scooby wrote:People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way, have they ever thought for one tiny moment that it may go against them again? Then what? They would have to accept any deal. No, there was a vote and there should not be another one. The EU had there chance to reform and they just ignore it as per their usual arrogance.


Yes we do, the 'will of the people' has changed. Look at the polls. A vote on the outcome of 2 years negotiation is the only democratic way forward.

In one way I hope there is a 2nd referendum and it goes the same way, I see fear now and wonder what it would be like then! I also laugh at the way remainers say they have accepted the result followed by a "but" :shock:

Philb
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Philb » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:49 pm

scooby wrote:
Philb wrote:
scooby wrote:People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way, have they ever thought for one tiny moment that it may go against them again? Then what? They would have to accept any deal. No, there was a vote and there should not be another one. The EU had there chance to reform and they just ignore it as per their usual arrogance.


Yes we do, the 'will of the people' has changed. Look at the polls. A vote on the outcome of 2 years negotiation is the only democratic way forward.

In one way I hope there is a 2nd referendum and it goes the same way, I see fear now and wonder what it would be like then! I also laugh at the way remainers say they have accepted the result followed by a "but" :shock:


There's a lot of things Brexitards say make me laugh.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:43 pm

scooby wrote:People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way,...


Not quite accurate. SOME people who voted remain want another vote because they see it as a possible way to win what they lost before. SOME people, on both the leave and remain side want, another vote because they are not happy with what it looks like they are going to get. SOME people don't want another vote, because they think it might reverse the original vote and just want to leave whatever the consequences. SOME people have very mixed views about another vote.

About 17.5 Million people voted leave. About 16 million people voted remain. For anybody on the leave side to simply say "remainers want..." or anybody on the remain side to say "leavers want..." is clearly idiotic. Each of those 33.5 million people had/has their own opinion and nobody else has any real idea what it was/is. We all only know how many ticked the leave box and how many ticked the remain box. Why they ticked it, what their thought process was, what influenced them etc is unknown. How they think today is equally unknown.

Warwick

Jeffstclair
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Jeffstclair » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:59 pm

Thanks Warwick ...You have described just what I feel.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:16 am

Kilkis wrote:
scooby wrote:People who voted remain want another vote as it didn't go their way,...


Not quite accurate. SOME people who voted remain want another vote because they see it as a possible way to win what they lost before. SOME people, on both the leave and remain side want, another vote because they are not happy with what it looks like they are going to get. SOME people don't want another vote, because they think it might reverse the original vote and just want to leave whatever the consequences. SOME people have very mixed views about another vote.

About 17.5 Million people voted leave. About 16 million people voted remain. For anybody on the leave side to simply say "remainers want..." or anybody on the remain side to say "leavers want..." is clearly idiotic. Each of those 33.5 million people had/has their own opinion and nobody else has any real idea what it was/is. We all only know how many ticked the leave box and how many ticked the remain box. Why they ticked it, what their thought process was, what influenced them etc is unknown. How they think today is equally unknown.

Warwick
OK in "my opinion" MOST remainers want another vote as it didn't go their way.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:20 am

There's a lot of things Brexitards say make me laugh.[/quote]

Classy, real classy :shock:

Guy M
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Guy M » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 am

My first wife, 30 years ago, was a very beautiful woman. When we fell out of love, it was very painful and we said some unkind things to each other. When we met several years later, we got on well, but there was no question of getting together again: you can’t unsay the things you have said.

So it is with Brexit: we can’t unsay the things we’ve said in the last two and a half years. Britain is currently not a very nice place to be - everywhere I go people are infected by the fever of Brexit - in pubs, coffee houses, on streets I see people nearly foaming at the mouth with pro or anti EU feeling; everywhere someone is having a heated conversation. A second referendum would only prolong the agony, as would a hard Brexit or a No Deal.

What is on offer from the EU is the only game in town and it is the best of the worst: the Withdrawal Agreement, if you read it and don’t rely on hearsay, starts by dealing with people and their position as citizens in different countries caught up in this. It then offers something Leave voters wanted - a curb to freedom of movement, before offering something Remain voters wanted - a free trade arrangement to start with.

Yes there’s lots of stuff in th fine print - I wouldn’t be happy if I was a fisherman in the East of England or Scotland, for example - but with a vote that was close and strong feelings on all sides, you can’t always get what you want.

The best hope is that this agreement, or a version of it, passes Parliament and we get on with running our lives, dealing with more pressing issues - the state of the roads, schools, hospitals.

After a while, I met an even more beautiful, younger woman, I was older and knew rather better what a good match looked like, and i’ve never looked back.

Kamisiana
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kamisiana » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:19 am

Guy M wrote:My first wife, 30 years ago, was a very beautiful woman. When we fell out of love, it was very painful and we said some unkind things to each other. When we met several years later, we got on well, but there was no question of getting together again: you can’t unsay the things you have said.

So it is with Brexit: we can’t unsay the things we’ve said in the last two and a half years. Britain is currently not a very nice place to be - everywhere I go people are infected by the fever of Brexit - in pubs, coffee houses, on streets I see people nearly foaming at the mouth with pro or anti EU feeling; everywhere someone is having a heated conversation. A second referendum would only prolong the agony, as would a hard Brexit or a No Deal.

What is on offer from the EU is the only game in town and it is the best of the worst: the Withdrawal Agreement, if you read it and don’t rely on hearsay, starts by dealing with people and their position as citizens in different countries caught up in this. It then offers something Leave voters wanted - a curb to freedom of movement, before offering something Remain voters wanted - a free trade arrangement to start with.

Yes there’s lots of stuff in th fine print - I wouldn’t be happy if I was a fisherman in the East of England or Scotland, for example - but with a vote that was close and strong feelings on all sides, you can’t always get what you want.

The best hope is that this agreement, or a version of it, passes Parliament and we get on with running our lives, dealing with more pressing issues - the state of the roads, schools, hospitals.

After a while, I met an even more beautiful, younger woman, I was older and knew rather better what a good match looked like, and i’ve never looked back.



Very well put Guy M
My story was exactly the same as yours
the divorce was unpleasant either side of it for a year or two but we had a clean break we parted we went in different directions we found new partners to trade the good times with we did not stay attached to each other I did not tell her what to do or who to deal with and visa versa as far as I know she lived happily ever after and so have I and that would not have been the story if we stayed together :D

Philb
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Philb » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:51 am

scooby wrote:There's a lot of things Brexitards say make me laugh.


Classy, real classy :shock:[/quote]

A bit like your use of 'remoaner'

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:26 am

scooby wrote:...OK in "my opinion" MOST remainers want another vote as it didn't go their way.


I'm not sure on what basis you reach that opinion, Scooby. About 16 million people voted remain. I have seen comments by a very limited number of MPs who very clearly want a second vote in order to reverse the vote. How you can extrapolate from the views of a dozen or so MPs to the views of 16 million people I have no idea.

I can't comment on your divorce analogy Guy but I tend to agree with your comments on the deal on offer. A lot of people do not seem to grasp the whole concept of cost/benefit. They latch onto something in the deal that they don't like and condemn it on that basis. Often the problem is distinguishing between the two.

I cannot imagine many people making a case that having totally free trade with the EU is NOT a benefit. If it isn't why is everybody, including the most ardent Bexiteer, so keen on doing a new trade deal? I can't imagine many people making a case that paying £10 billion per year to the EU is NOT a cost. It clearly is. The rest, however is a matter of opinion. To an employer free movement of labour can be a benefit. To a worker it may be a cost. To a worker, workers' rights legislation resulting from EU regulations may be a benefit while to an employer they may be viewed as a cost.

People have to recognise that the EU also works on a cost/benefit basis. Trading with the UK is clearly a benefit to them as well BUT giving up their principles just to satisfy the UK is a cost. They have clearly decided that sacrificing some of their principles is a cost worth paying but giving up all of them is not.

Warwick


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