Brexit and the Value of Voting

I was once one of those folks who would berate anyone who didn’t vote.

“What’s wrong with you?” I’d say.

“How can you complain if you don’t vote? You don’t have a say if you don’t vote!”

Well. Times change.

For an individual voter the actual physical and financial value of voting is, and always has been, just about as near nil as you could get. 

Even at the parish council level, where the turnout is often just a couple of hundred voters, the number of elections where a single vote has changed the outcome is vanishingly small.

For an individual, voting as a process is valueless. The best you will ever get is a warm glow of satisfaction that you have done your democratic duty. But your one vote in many millions is all but irrelevant.

“But… If people don’t vote then democracy fails!” I hear you say. Which is true.

But democracy can sometimes fail (or be killed) even when people actually do vote. The “wrong” result can be either ignored or overturned by unscrupulous means.

A classic example is the current shambles surrounding the 2016 Brexit referendum vote where a clear (though highly unexpected) vote to leave the EU occurred. To date it has been systematically undermined, stone-walled and delayed.

So what happens when you vote for a particular outcome, find yourself on the winning side and then  the result is reneged on?

The only gain from your voting, that warm glow of democratic participation, evaporates. 

To be replaced by the feeling of being taken for a sucker.

There are many millions of people across the UK today who feel exactly that.

The losing side in the 2016 referendum have decided that the “wrong” answer should be cancelled.

The Liberal Democrats (what a parody of a name!) state that the 2016 referendum result should be ignored. Even though one former LibDem leader described it as a "Once in a Generation Vote" (Here) and another eulogised over how the result should be respected at all costs (Here

To be fair at the time they made these speeches they both thought remain would win. 

Others somewhat more squeamish about being so clearly identified as being anti-democratic, have another tactic.
They want what is laughably called a "Confirmatory" referendum.

If this enforced second referendum were to get successfully flushed through this cesspit of a parliament then I would hope Johnson and others would call for it to be boycotted.

But if the consensus among the Leave camp is to vote, I will grudgingly and reluctantly vote in what I would regard as little better than Hitlers enforced snap 1934 referendum.

Even so, I suspect that many people who voted leave in the 2016 referendum will not bother again.

Once bitten, twice shy. 

The turnout will fall and with it (I am sure this is the game plan) remain will sneak a win. Brexit will be cancelled.

Democracy in the UK will be not only dead but the corpse will be reeking with the stench of privilege and entitlement.

Voting is above all else an altruistic act. It is selfless and without tangible reward. It is something that those seeking office should be cherish and promote. Not cynically exploit.

If this Hitler style second referendum is forced through and then used to cancel Brexit then personally, I’ll be done with this cadaver of UK democracy.

I will never vote again.

No comments: