Democracy is a system in which heads are counted regardless of their content.
Nonetheless, it is the system EU voters suppose that they have with the EU. Not so, says Simon Black in this guest post.
On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill, then ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rose to speak at a debate in the House of Commons:
“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.
Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time;
but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, continuously rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide, and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.”
This may be the perfect summation of what democracy is supposed to be.
And western nations-- particularly the US and UK-- have been champions of ‘democracy’ around the world (though they typically mean ‘republic’).
Now, today the voters of the United Kingdom go to the polls to decide whether or not their country will remain in the European Union.
This is about as democratic as it gets-- direct voting by the people to choose their fate.
Or so they claim.
In reality, each side has had a long, drawn out campaign to influence the outcome.
The ‘leave’ leadership has been scaring voters with horrific stories of evil foreign-looking people who will infiltrate the United Kingdom should the country remain in the EU.
I mean, I’ve seen more subtle propaganda coming out of North Korea.
Meanwhile the ‘remain’ side has been threatening eternal economic damnation and financial Armageddon.
Most of the political and media establishment falls in the ‘remain’ camp, so this is where the propaganda becomes painfully obvious.
The IMF, for example, published a report recently suggesting that Britain leaving the EU would permanently lower incomes in the United Kingdom.
So if voters choose to leave the EU, then the UK, which traces its sovereignty back more than 1,000 years and once had an empire so vast they ruled the entire world, will never be able to recover forever and ever until the end of time…?
We’re honestly supposed to believe that a few decades within the European Union has irrevocably thwarted Britain’s 1,000 year history in being able to achieve economic growth independently?
Or that Iceland (not a member of the European Union) can do it, but the UK cannot?
Or that a bunch of IMF bureaucrats can see decades, let alone centuries into the future with 100% certainty?
This is such blatant scaremongering, they’re not even pretending to be professional and unbiased. And this is direct from one of the top financial agencies in the world.
Clearly these people truly love democracy and embrace the idea of voters independently determining their own fate.
The British government (firmly in the ‘remain’ camp) has been using taxpayer funds to support its cause, which is really bizarre when you think about it.
If you’re British, even if you want to vote ‘leave’, the government has been using your money to influence your vote in the other direction.
One of the most absurd scare tactics has been telling people that they’ll lose visa-free travel rights to the European continent if the UK leaves the EU.
This is completely absurd.
Nicaragua has visa-free travel to Europe. Paraguay has visa-free travel to Europe. Are we really supposed to believe that Brits will be shut off from the continent?
They’ve rolled out every possible threat, every human emotion, every celebritythey can find, to influence voters.
In fact, these people love democracy so much they even had Barack Obama fly in to explain to British voters why they should remain in the EU.
(Because, of course, Mr. Obama would willingly hand over US sovereignty to a pan-American political commission based in Mexico City…)
Whichever side wins, it’s clear that no one in power gives a damn what voters want.
Despite having waged wars in foreign lands to ‘make the world safe for democracy’ and despite all the song and bombastic speech about your freedom, they have no respect for your right to self-determination, or even their own electoral system.
All they care about is getting their own way.
And they’re willing to engage in the most vile propaganda and blatant manipulation to do so.
This is a pitiful excuse for the democracy they claim to love so much.
And I’m not sure how long a road it is from here, to how Josef Stalin was quoted in his former secretary’s 1982 memoirs:
“Comrades, you know,” said Stalin, “I think that it’s totally irrelevant who votes, and how they vote. It’s extremely important who counts the votes, and how they’re counted.”
I suppose we’ll find out in a few more hours.
Until this afternoon…
Why Today is a Great Day for Democracy – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED
Yes, Pandora’s Box has been opened. Let’s keep it that way.
Today is a really good day for democracy. For British voters have been entrusted to make a real decision. A decision that could have a massive impact on both British politics and the global order. Where in recent years voting in General Elections has come to feel routine, and possibly even a little pointless, given you couldn’t squeeze so much as a beermat between the policy programmes of the main parties, today’s vote feels heavy, solid, like we’ve been given real democratic responsibility. I know that when I cast my ballot early this morning — for Leave — I felt powerful in a way that I didn’t on the two occasions I’ve voted in General Elections. I felt like a true democratic citizen, making a choice that could make a ripple in history itself, and make the future look very different to what we have today. It felt good.
This is what we at spiked have found most exciting about the referendum campaign. Even though the debates have been lame, and both sides have plumped for the politics of fear, still there is something stirring about being asked: ‘Do you want to change Europe’s political order?’ The radicalness of that question has — quite by accident, given that the referendum’s architect, David Cameron, is hardly a democratic firebrand — served as a brilliant reminder of what it means to be a member of a demos. Too often today, it can feel like we are technically enfranchised, with all over-18s enjoying the right to vote, but politically disenfranchised, as more and more of the big, society-shaping issues are taken off the political agenda. But with today’s vote, we’ve been properly enfranchised, properly entrusted, to decide the fate of our nation, and of the EU itself, to rearrange the world order, if we like.
It is precisely the hugeness of this decision that we the people have been entrusted to make that has made the political and media elites look upon the referendum with fear and loathing. They despise the referendum, openly…