Majority votes and the urge to cherry pick democracy

As self-serving status quo pundits spew more hyperbolic nonsense about the ‘catastrophic’ costs of Brexit, why the yes vote should not be implemented, why the majority did not really understand what they were voting for, or how the margin of yes was too small to be accepted (anyone remember the Bush/Gore tie in 2000 that took the Supreme Court to break?) we should reflect on history and understand just how destructive and sinister such assertions truly are. Majority votes are not to be respected only when they go in favor of the ruling powers, sorry.  The Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi offers a must-read historical reminder on these matters, see The Reaction to Brexit is the reason Brexit happened:

Democracy appears to have become so denuded and corrupted in America that a generation of people has grown up without any faith in its principles.

What’s particularly concerning about the reaction both to Brexit and to the rise of Trump is the way these episodes are framed as requiring exceptions to the usual democratic rule. They’re called threats so monstrous that we must abrogate the democratic process to combat them.

Forget Plato, Athens, Sparta and Rome. More recent history tells us that the descent into despotism always starts in this exact same way. There is always an emergency that requires a temporary suspension of democracy.

To his credit, outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed his respect for the democratic process in the UK Parliament after Brexit here is direct video link.

This entry was posted in Main Page. Bookmark the permalink.