There’s been some arguments from those on the
losing Remain side that referenda are not good ways to govern a country, and our MPs should exercise representative democracy to overturn the result.
They say that representative democracy is better because the average member of the public doesn’t have the time, inclination or education to read lots of complex documents, and we can’t logistically have a referendum every time a decision needs making anyway, so……………..yeah – representative democracy it is.
Elect a bunch of people who DO have the education required to understand boring economics and stuff, then pay them enough to compensate them for not selling that level of expertise on the open market where it attracts a decent chunk of change, and then empower them to take decisions on our behalf.
They kinda police themselves, because someone completely clueless making bad decisions makes them ALL look bad, and because we get a chance to kick them out every five years they can’t afford to look too bad.
If they fail to regulate themselves, we kick them out and try again with new ones.
This is incidentally the single biggest reason Leavers gave for voting to Leave – the ability to kick out under-performers and try a new group. The main strength of representative democracy. If someone tells you the main reason Leavers voted to leave was because of immigration, you’re talking to a Remainer, and he’s trying to convince you that all Leavers are racists. So he can probably be ignored.
So if we get a chance to kick them out every five years, why ever have referenda?
Well, because some decisions are too important to be left to mere representatives – they need escalating to the boss.
You may recall that politicians were at pains to point out in 2015 and 2016 that this was what they were doing – that whatever decision we made, would be implemented?
As it should be, because we reserve referenda for only the most important questions.
Claiming that representative democracy should hold sway over the result of a referendum is like claiming that the concierge should get to decide who stays in your hotel. You may trust him to run the place for you most of the time, but when you tell him to escort from the premises a guest that has overstayed their welcome, you are not asking for his opinion on the guest’s credentials.
The politicians said this decision was too important to be left to them. They wanted direction from their boss. And he gave it.
What were our MPs told to do with the EU?
Run those bums outta here.