Referendum Games

Democracy as a system of governance is at this very moment almost at a point of expiry as a viable means of limiting power concentration or even achieving something like the acknowledgement of government as ideally reflecting the will of the people it represents. If we are to be represented and acted on behalf of, it has to be seen either as in the sense of an advocate in the court of law or as in the case of a parent, with both cases requiring trust between the represented and the one who represents. Iterated Function SystemTo mitigate against tyranny in the former case of a lawyer, the one being represented should rightly be involved throughout the judicial process so that what is being said on their behalf corresponds with the wishes of the one being represented, requiring trust at one level. In the case of the latter where a parent represents a child, there is an assumption that decisions will be made on behalf of the child which either cannot be expressed by the represented but nevertheless comes close to their will or the represented is not capable of deciding, thereby requiring trust at another level.

When the will of the people is solicited in the case of the EU referendum, there is an assumption that (a) the people are capable of deciding on such a complex case given the right amount information and (b) consensus is always the right way of arbitration.

The main reason why we are now in this situation is the fact that the EU referendum was merely a card played by Cameron during the election game, a vow previously made but difficult to come good on but nevertheless binding. In the ideal situation, a decision on the EU can and should be made by our trusted representatives on behalf of the people. Politicians cannot be trusted, so in order to stay in power nowadays, they bamboozle the people into thinking they represent us when the mere fact of our electing them into office should ideally vest a semblance of trust.

All of this is just a mere game, a dangerous one though it is. The choices are not simple. Yes/No, Out/In, Brexit/Union are not the only choices nor do they capture the entire implications of any decisions to be made. If the UK votes out, the future is uncertain. If UK votes to stay in, Cameron crawls back to Brussels with his tail between his legs back to where we began in the first place. An EU super-state is a dangerous idea, plain and simple. Nationalism can also become an idol that ceases to serve social unity as its ideal master.

How then should one vote when presented with two false choices?

Can simply not acting be a viable choice?


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