Brexiters Should Not Fear a Do-Over

 

brexit-658338It has been four days since 52 percent of British voters chose to leave the European Union. From almost the moment the networks declared victory for the Leave campaign, the Remainers have demanded a second referendum — a do-over to get a different result. Demanding a do-over is the oldest trick in the book for sore losers. It’s also something Brexit supporters should be unafraid of. Just ask Gov. Scott Walker.

In the United States there is a legitimate process for a do-over in the form of a recall election. A recall is designed only for extreme circumstances and can easily backfire if used inappropriately. An appropriate recall campaign will work to unseat an incumbent for reasons of incompetence, malfeasance, or corruption. It is a last-ditch way to remove an elected official who is objectively unfit to remain in office until the next regularly scheduled election.

A recall campaign waged for nakedly partisan political purposes is a dangerous weapon that can be turned against those who wield it. Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin in 2010. Halfway through his term, Walker was subject to a recall election based mainly on his having done as governor exactly what he said he would do if elected.

In a turn of events that should be instructive for Bremainers, Walker’s recall election scored a higher turnout than his original election and he went on to win it by a higher margin than he did the first time.

Some analysts have speculated that Walker’s higher turnout and increased margin in the recall was due to the perceived unfairness of recalling the governor for simply doing the things he said he would. The controversy stirred enough low-propensity voters to yield a higher turnout, and some people who didn’t support Walker in 2010 voted for him in 2012 in objection to the recall process itself. This analysis is supported by the results of the regular 2014 election which had lower turnout than the recall and saw Walker win with a margin of victory that was almost exactly the same as it was in 2010.

Walker Election Stats

The Remain campaign savaged its opponents as intolerant, bigoted, uncultured, xenophobic know-nothings. In the days since the referendum, Bremainers have stepped up those attacks and howled at the indignity of losing to extremists who refused to listen to their betters – who defied the gaggle of credentialed, elitist experts who, in their all-knowing wisdom, declared that not only must the UK remain in the EU, anyone with an opposing view could be nothing more than a tantrum-throwing extremist.

Most people don’t like being called bigots and know-nothings and other various and sundry epithets simply for holding a view not held by the credentialed elite. Most people acculturated to the democratic process have a basic view of fairness that says the results of an election are final and determinate.

A do-over referendum would be held solely on the basis that the result of the first vote was wrong and that a majority of voters were some combination of crazy and ignorant. It would also strike at the heart of the democratic process by undermining the results of a historically high turnout election (72%) and setting a precedent that when a vote goes against the elite, more votes must be held until the elites get the result they want.

Under those circumstances it is reasonable to expect that if the United Kingdom were to hold a second Brexit referendum, turnout would increase and the result would be the same as before only with a higher margin of victory for the Leave campaign. Brexiters would mostly stay with their original Leave vote to stick it to the elite for insulting their values, traditions, and intelligence while some Remainers would cast Leave votes to protest their side’s undemocratic sore loser mentality.

No one yet knows if a second referendum is in store for the UK but if so, Brexiters should be unafraid. Their response should simply be “bring it on.” Conversely, the prospect of losing a second referendum should strike fear in the hearts of the credentialed elite whose grip on power is already tenuous at best.

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  1. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    Seriously? A do-over? Leftists are childish and so is this idea. By the way, check this out:

    http://heatst.com/uk/exclusive-brexit-2nd-referendum-petition-a-4-chan-prank-bbc-report-it-as-real/

    • #1
  2. Michael Farrow Inactive
    Michael Farrow
    @MichaelFarrow

    I the consequence of our recall of Grey Davis as Governor of California. We ended up with a real loserand the last Republican governor – ever.

    • #2
  3. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    anonymous: I’d argue that a second referendum should be opposed because holding one legitimises the left’s tactic of “vote and vote until you get it right” as exemplified, for example, by the Danish referenda on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and 1993.

    I completely agree that a 2nd vote should be opposed. And it looks like it will have to be opposed because the sore losers are working hard to build a case (albeit a very weak case) for holding one. My encouragement to the Brexiters is that if the 2nd referendum happens anyway they should not be demoralized and assume that they will automatically lose the next vote. Instead they can use the opportunity to turn the screws on the elite a little harder.

    • #3
  4. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    I am truly beginning to hate the word “elite”.  The 48% of the UK  voters who love the EU are not elite.  Will one of our premier wordsmiths get about advising more accurate words to describe the huge cohort of our population that is fascinated with narcissism, unearned moral superiority, socialism and multiculturalism? Very few citizens are truly elite, but many want to be, and many fancy that they are.  Roger Scruton and a few others actually are.

    • #4
  5. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    In Ireland we voted to reject the Nice and Lisbon Treaties at first time of asking. So we were made to do it again and duly fell in line at each second time of asking. (Confession-I flipped from No to Yes on one of them, I can’t remember which).

    In fact there’s a distinct pattern in Irish referendums of the entire political and media class lining up on one side of the debate, countered by poorly-funded and much-maligned citizen activists who generally end up with the support of upwards of 40% of the voters, occasionally more than 50%.

    • #5
  6. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I can easily see a re-do coming to fruition.

    First, as John points out above “keep holding referenda until the people give you the result you want” has a long and ignoble tradition in the EU.

    Second, a major weakness of last week’s referendum is the fact that it wasn’t legally binding. Thus, it has even less legitimacy than the referenda referenced above. The Remain side could wait a few months, then claim the vote was just a glorified opinion poll and that they want to re-gauge the public’s opinion.

    Which leads to the last, and biggest problem: the fact that the referendum itself does nothing, and that someone will have to invoke Article 50 to actually get the Brexit ball rolling. Cameron doesn’t want to do it and presumably won’t leave until October, Johnson doesn’t seem eager to rush into it, and no one else in the Tory party seems willing to play the saviour.

    It may take so long for a future PM to actually get around to Leaving that they may be able to catch a public mood swing back in the Remain direction.

    • #6
  7. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Nathanael Ferguson:

    My encouragement to the Brexiters is that if the 2nd referendum happens anyway they should not be demoralized and assume that they will automatically lose the next vote. Instead they can use the opportunity to turn the screws on the elite a little harder.

    I completely(but respectfully) disagree. Just ask the USA men’s basketball team from the 1972 Olympics.

    • #7
  8. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Trinity Waters:I am truly beginning to hate the word “elite”. The 48% of the UK voters who love the EU are not elite. Will one of our premier wordsmiths get about advising more accurate words to describe the huge cohort of our population that is fascinated with narcissism, unearned moral superiority, socialism and multiculturalism? Very few citizens are truly elite, but many want to be, and many fancy that they are. Roger Scruton and a few others actually are.

    Nobody claims all 48% are elites.  However, it can be argued a majority of Remain voters are either a) making every attempt to mimic the elites, b) have surrendered their entire thought process to the elites, or c) elites themselves.

    That’s not to say a lot of people voted how they did for legitimate reasons.  I’m sure many did.

    However, they’re neither the problem nor those we want to show up.  Those who view and vocally portray their opponents as backwards morons are, and the vast majority of these are elites (and their wannabe groupies).

    Therefore, either avoiding another vote altogether or winning any subsequent referenda with higher margins than before would indeed be “sticking it to the elites.”

    • #8
  9. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    I’ve predicted that a leave vote would be followed by a repeat within a year.  If even one of these Baltic Republics is allowed to break away, that will be the end of the Soviet Union.

    I agree that a second referendum is as inevitable as it is illegitimate.  The thing that makes me partly sanguine about this is that the lurid and ostensibly terrifying predictions of the Remain camp will be shown to be nonsense — whereas those of the Leave camp will increasingly be borne out.

    Yet a win is no time to agree to go best 2 of 3.  That’s just dumb.

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  10. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    How to deal with the left’s tantrums or tactical moves is always a problem, but giving them a mulligan is among the worst.

    • #10
  11. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    So all of this brouhaha, months of campaigning pro and con, trillions of dollars lost from peoples savings…and it’s NON-BINDING! We’ll just vote again!?! I need a mountain from which to scream.

    Of course I knew this the day after the vote, but it still is infuriating.

    • #11
  12. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    cdor:So all of this brouhaha, months of campaigning pro and con, trillions of dollars lost from peoples savings…and it’s NON-BINDING! We’ll just vote again!?! I need a mountain from which to scream.

    Of course I knew this the day after the vote, but it still is infuriating.

    Well, you never know.  A “to-o-otally non-binding referendum” sponsored by the UN was good enough to get a bunch of people tortured to death in East Timor, while Clinton twiddled his thumbs.  We got there late of course, once the dying was done.

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  13. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Ball Diamond Ball: I’ve predicted that a leave vote would be followed by a repeat within a year.

    It might not even come to that for procedural reasons.

    Theoretically, the Brexit process should proceed by the PM sending a letter to the EU invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, at which point Brexit becomes irreversible but does not actually happen for another 2 years.

    If Article 50 hasn’t been invoked in a year’s time, there will be no second referendum and no need for a second referendum: if the public will tolerate dragging out the process that long, they’ll also tolerate the government just sweeping the issue under the rug.

    In a way, the second referendum is actually taking place right now: will the electorate demand that Brexit actively proceed, or will it tolerate slow-walking the process?

    • #13
  14. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    Trinity Waters: I am truly beginning to hate the word “elite”. The 48% of the UK voters who love the EU are not elite. Will one of our premier wordsmiths get about advising more accurate words to describe the huge cohort of our population that is fascinated with narcissism, unearned moral superiority, socialism and multiculturalism? Very few citizens are truly elite, but many want to be, and many fancy that they are. Roger Scruton and a few others actually are.

    The term elite has sort of been corrupted, no? In certain contexts it still retains its original meaning. If anyone asked for a list of elite NFL quarterbacks we’d see a lot of interesting lists with general agreement that most everyone on the list is, in fact, elite. But when applied to culture and politics elite” has come to mean something like “self-proclaimed elite” or perhaps “faux elite”. It’s short for “people who look down their noses at us and think they are better than us but really live in insulated bubble worlds marked more by safe spaces and echo chambers than intellectual honesty, diversity of thought, and tolerance of the views of others.” I try to get at that a little bit by using the term “credentialed elite.” This entire train of thought probably deserves a stand-alone article…

    • #14
  15. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    cdor: So all of this brouhaha, months of campaigning pro and con, trillions of dollars lost from peoples savings…and it’s NON-BINDING! We’ll just vote again!?! I need a mountain from which to scream.

    It also raises a serious question about legitimacy in a democracy.

    Great Britain already had a way for the public to express its opinion: the electoral system. And the public voted a majority of Remainers into office.

    There’s more than a little absurdity in a public electing a majority of MPs with a certain opinion (Remain), then holding a non-binding referendum which tells them to do the opposite of what they said they would do. Which of these votes is more legitimate?

    And there is also a real possibility of new elections being called within the next year. What happens if Remain politicians win that one? Which vote is the most legitimate one in that case?

    This referendum was set up to fail from the outset. Personally, I think referenda are counterproductive in almost all cases as a general rule, but if a country really wants to hold them, they need to establish clear ground rules and hierarchy levels in advance, the way Switzerland has.

    • #15
  16. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    Plus, a second vote is a waste of taxpayer money. The government shouldn’t allow public money to be spend on repeat elections solely because it came out the way the elites don’t like or just because it was close. Everything is close nowadays. It makes an actual vote of actual human beings that much more important. Nobody needs to vote if the question is “what’s for lunch”  between Taco Tuesday and a plate of cat poop.

    • #16

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