Alex (yakshaver) wrote,


There've been plenty of nights in my life when I lay in bed unable to get to sleep for four or six hours because my mind was racing in circles. But I'm pretty sure that never until Friday was what set my mind racing the results of an election.

I had been blithely assuming that not a sufficient proportion of Britons were fools for Brexit to pass. And that my British friends' fears were overblown.

Boy was I wrong. And what kept me up past 03:00 is that I have no reason to believe that a smaller proportion of Americans are fools.

A question for my British friends: As I understand the British Constitution, Parliament is sovereign. And Brexit was a referendum. I should think that a major advantage of such a system over mob rule democracy would be that wiser heads can prevail.

So as I understand it, Parliment could essentially say We asked you, the British people, to advise us as to whether the nation should slit its throat. You have voted in favor of the razor. Thank you for your opinion. We will give it all the consideration it deserves. And do our jobs and save you from your own foolishness.

Am I wrong? Or am I technically correct, but neither the Tories nor Labour would have the political courage?

(The one occasion of this sort of thing that I know of — though I'm sure there must be many others — is Sweden, when Parliment voted to change the side of the road they drive on from left to right, contrary to a national referendum in which the people voted overwhelmingly against the change. Sweden survived — indeed, thrived — and I doubt many Swedes today think their grandparents' reluctance to switch much differently than they think of their own childrens' reluctance to eat brussels-sprouts.)

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