Wednesday 8 June 2016

shangri-la or public-burden

Although with very different issues at stake, a series of referenda (plebiscites) put to the people have been returned, I think, with a degree of timidity—like Switzerland’s recent rejection of a basic income for all, the cession of Scotland or of Catalonia, and I wonder what this bodes, bold or dull, for up-coming votes, like for the US electorate or the potential UK withdrawal from the EU.
Of course, sometimes a departure is a foolhardy thing that fortune does not necessarily favour and there’s little leverage for polemics and convincing in defeat—but, as hackneyed and exhausting as being told votes are historic and come with a mandate can be (I doubt that anything so momentous would be left in the hands of the public) maybe our conservative posture is indicative of what meaning we attribute to democracy and how much personal liability we are willing to accept. What do you think?