Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit update -- Buyers' remorse

A 52% majority of what was a very high turnout of British voters cast their ballots to "Leave" the European Union.    The highest concentration for "Leave" was in rural and working class areas and among older citizens, where economic austerity measure are most strongly felt.   The highest "Remain" votes came from Scotland (62%), Northern Ireland (56%, London (60%) -- and among young people.

In fact, Scotland's main reason for wanting to withdraw from Britain a couple of years ago was so they could join the EU, if Britain left.   So now there's a movement there to leave the U.K. instead, so Scotland can affiliate independently with the E.U.    As for Northern Ireland, there's even talk of leaving the U.K. and re-uniting with Ireland, which is an E. U. member.   This would be despite the long-standing, bitter violence between Catholic Ireland and Protestant Northern Ireland, until the recent rapproachment.

Buyers' remorse seems to be growingOver 2.5  3.0 million have already signed petitions asking for a redo on the Brexit vote.   Many say either that they just wanted to cast a protest vote, or else they didn't vote, both assuming  that Remain would easily win and their vote wouldn't make a difference. 

This was a very poorly managed political operation, beginning with Prime Minister Cameron's initial plan to give the Leave people a vote to prove they weren't a majority -- and thus shut them up.   Then the Remain campaign couldn't get the Labour Party leader to join them, and it failed to sufficiently convince voters of the extent of the consequences.  It was all a very bad calculation, underestimating the widespread anger at government.   The immigration problem merely exacerbated the economic problems already caused by the austerity plan.

So now maybe the Brits can stop laughing at our election debacle for a bit.


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