David Cameron is a stupid man, and his stupid decision to allow the Brexit referendum is what caused the garbage fire du jour. He also had the decency to campaign against the Brexit and to resign when Brexit won.
There’s more to it than that. Sure, if he’d managed his own economy better, and if Merkel et al. had managed the EU economy better, Brexit might not won. But there’s not that much more to it than that. He didn’t have to have this referendum. As anyone who’s ever followed California at all can tell you, plebiscites are a bad idea.
People suck. But they do respond to incentives. Megan McArdle can wax poetic about the dignity of her outlet buddies in Luton all she wants, but they made a bad decision. One that will hurt them a little economically but that doesn’t mean their ass. It does mean David Cameron’s ass, and good for him for surrendering it. But he fucked up, and that’s what this is all about. I realize there’s too many falafel shops in Warwick and blah blah blah.
Governing is hard. Let’s go blog about 2x4s.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
I just hope there is a teachable lesson that comes out of this.
Cancel democracy! The wrong people are using it!
Yeah, I brought this up on Twitter last night. Prop 13 eviscerated the funding base for local government. Prop 187 was an anti-immigrant tantrum. Prop 209 banned affirmative action. And Prop 8 I assume everyone knows about. Really, really bad idea.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: It’s like Socrates said: The best government is enlightened dictatorship.
Also, party on, dude!
I made the mistake of reading the McArdle column. All I can say is wow!. I thought pundits would continue to use dog whistles at leadt until Trump made straight out racial slurs okay again, but, I guess McArdle is ahead of the curve.
Yeah, listening to BBC News this morning and pretty much all the commenters said the same thing…this was a political gamble taken by Cameron to appease more conservative members of his party and in the government…
hmmm remind anyone of a certain US political party?
Wonder who will replace Cameron and if this opens the door to UKIP winning the Prime Minister position and the majority if an election is held soon. That’s my fear when it comes to this BREXIT vote.
On the other hand Brexit has made a lot of people in Scotland very, very, happy. They are gearing up for IndyRef 2 and this time they are confident they’ll win.
So. Not all bad.
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
@Klown: big difference btwn a democracy and a republic.
@Thomas Hilton: Where the hell have you been?
David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn are the most incompetent political leaders in the the English speaking world. They should have used Jo Cox’s murder as a cudgel and used that cudgel to beat the holy living shit out of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farange. Now Cameron is an ex-parrot and Corbyn just presided over the death of his party. Fucking wankers, the lot of them.
Malcom Tucker wouldn’t bother to piss on either one of them if they were on fire.
David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn are the most incompetent political leaders in the English speaking world. They should have used Jo Cox’s murder as a cudgel to beat the holy living shit out of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farange. Now Cameron is an ex-parrot and Corbyn just presided over the death of his party. Fucking wankers, the lot of them.
Malcom Tucker wouldn’t bother to piss on either one of them if they were on fire.
As long as the Conservatives rule the UK< Brexit will be a case of asking 'why should we let the EU drag us down with bad macroeconomic policy when we can do it just as well ourselves?.'
From what I've read there are two big issues that drove the Brexit result, bigotry and xenophobia and frustration with lack of progress in living standards for ordinary people. Merely leaving the EU will solve neither, certainly not the economic frustrations as long as the Conservatives are in charge. I guess Cameron was so foolish as to believe the BS PR his party pumped out in an attempt to persuade the lesser people that his administration was just an absolutely smashing success,for everyone, economically.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Winning was easy, young man. Governing’s harder.
And Northern Ireland, as well. It’ll be interesting to see if joint economic interests between the Republic and NI trump the religious schism.
@lamh36: I don’t have cable and normally watch CBS News or stream
MSNBC International. Today I left the tv off and didn’t stream news. I just couldn’t do it. Drezner thinks that people will wake up and see how the vote tanked the economy of England, but after watching Kansas reelect Brownback, I don’t think so.
Why would we? Not everyone lives in or obsesses with CA local politics. So; what the heck is Prop 8?
Implicit, of course, is that SHE is an elite and thus none of her opinions are motivated by racism, nope.
I’m sure someone has noted it here earlier today, but apparently a lot of voters were confused and/or just “wanted to send a message” on the assumption that they could safely do that via a pro-Brexit vote, since Brexit would be soundly defeated. Now reports are coming in from election officials that they are getting inquiries from voters who want to know if they can go back and change their vote. SMDH…
And the few people standing up for holding the referendum have their talking point: stop complaining, it was democracy in action. None of those folks seem to mention how referendums have worked out in California, especially on large and complex issues where voters need to willingly educate themselves, rather than complacently allow themselves to fall under the spell of dishonest campaign media operations.
British Politics/Brexit Twitter is still a dumpster fire at the moment.
Aziz Ansari: Trump’s rise ‘makes me afraid for my family’ @CNNPolitics
Can’t say that I blame him, but hey…we gotta pander to those Trump voters rather than call them on their xenophobia…so Aziz will just have to deal I guess…smh
But of course, same as before, basically POC and women are once again gonna save America from the majority white inclination to fuq it all up..
@Groucho48: McArdle’s unspoken assumption is that the elites should be screwing over the little people, and any suggestion that they make things better for their inferiors is unthinkable. At least by her and her pals.
Something more needs to be said about why “…[p]lebiscites are a bad idea….”, specifically in the context of British Constitutional practice, to which they are a recent and uncomfortable novelty.
Cameron is, or was, a lightweight. This could not be said even of Margaret Thatcher. It is genuinely interesting, in a way in which it would not be interesting in an American context, how Cameron got taken so seriously for so long.
Ideally one’s memory would be just as long as one’s knives, neither shorter nor longer. Yesterday was many things. One of them was a deliberate repudiation of the life and legacy of Roy Jenkins. Go look him up.
Reminds me of this. (Relevant bit starts around 1:15)
Truely horrifiying. “Elites” as strawman arguement for F*** the minorities.
England and Wales voted to hold the EU responsible for 4-decades of Thatcherite domestic economic policy. Who will be left to blame when the previous problems remain?
I’m not sure that’s the lesson I get from the California experience. Putting things up to a popular vote is a mixed bag. The ability to override decisions made by our elected representatives can be good when they’re doing special interests a favor, and bad when special interests are the ones who pay to get things on the ballot. It also sucks when the legislature dumps decisions on the voters because they’re afraid of the consequences of making the right decision.
Of course, the politicians in Sacramento had failed to do anything about taxes, including voting explicitly to raise them where necessary. Instead they just sat back and let inflation raise property taxes and ignored all demands for relief.
Prop 13 wasn’t just ginned up by Howard Jarvis. It was a reaction to cynical and feckless leadership. And the situation that led to Prop 13 was in part set in motion by the 1971 and 1976 California Supreme Court ruling in Serrano v Priest, which somewhat equalized California school funding by redistributing local property taxes from wealthy to poor school districts.
Here I guess you could also blame property owners in affluent districts who sought to cap their taxes because they were no longer going directly to their own local schools.
The Prop system is just nasty. Nasty. And often ineffective. Prop 50 in the latest election was a total waste of time, an absolute boondoggle that accomplishes nothing. But the proposition system is one of the few stopgaps to absolute corruption by the state government.
If the Scots decide to rejoin the EU they could pay for the referendum that proposes it through a foreign investor’s fairway tax.
Please someone tell me, how does one get folks inclined to distrust anyone NOT LIKE THEM to change their feelings about where the country is…we aren’t in a recession like folks still seem to believe, right and the numbers and fact show things getting better than they were.
Yet facts don’t always matter when feelings are involved. So other than just LYING to those people and telling them what they WANT to hear, even if you know it won’t happen or fix anything (see da Donald), someone tell me.
I’m reminded of the time I got my car tag and the guy there went on this rant about Obama increasing the deficit all on his own…prior to 2012, would facts change his feelings? HELL NAW.
So you ok, you pander to them too, and they still vote against you…but now you’ve alienated your dedicated, core voter…so tell me truly, WHAT DOES ONE DO?
@Hunter Gathersq: Wow, that Nigel Farange seems nice. He made some comment last night about the vote going off without a fight or a shot fired. What a horrid comment in light of what happened to Jo Cox.
It seems as if many people didn’t understand the ramifications of leaving.
My retirement fund ate it today. Cameron screwed up to the tune of $5K from where I sit. And closer to home, a lot more for millions of Britons. 52% of whom asked for it so screw them.
Prop 47 and AB 109 that were meant to “reform” the state prison system simply dumped thousands of more convicted criminals into local jails by changing the definition of crimes such as grand theft and by mandating that a sentence of less than three years be served in a county jail (that’s one of the reasons the backlash against the Stanford rapist was so harsh, he didn’t even come close to getting a prison sentence).
And to whoever was ignorant of Prop 8 above, it barred sane-sex marriage in 2008 until it, like every other stupid initiative the stupid voters of this state pass in a fever of xenophobia and fear, was overturned by the courts.
If Ireland goes to the EU it will be interesting for all of the foreign companies laundering their profits there to take advantage of the ‘unique ‘ tax situation.
That was the 2008 initiative to ban gay marriage.
You are never going to change the mind of FOX News addicts, unless they themselves seek rehabilitation. Not. Going.To. Happen. Breath deeply and learn to relax. Tend to a garden. Throw your fucking TV out the
I stopped watching more than 10 years ago and when I tune into this blog, sporadically, and see all the discussions about the latest TV show, be it GoTs, or some other series that The John, or someone else, is embroiled in, I just shrug it off and read a book or take a walk. Who cares? .
@Ultraviolet Thunder: Ireland is an EU member.
@Omnes Omnibus: Hah, haven’t seen an Eddie Murphy bit in ages. And his kidding aside, there was genuine interest in Jesse Jackson Sr. back in the day from some white folks, e.g., poor whites in Appalachia. I don’t recall though how many votes Jackson actually got from precincts with lots of white folks (whether drunk or sober voters).
Somewhat related – and also something probably linked here already since its posting this morning – here is a short WaPo piece that discusses the fact that many in UK may not have actually understood the nature and possible consequences of leaving the EU: The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it.
The Ancient Randonneur
As I wrote in a previous thread Cameron had his “hold my beer and watch this mome
OTOH, the proposition system also brought us medical marijuana and an independent redistricting commission. There’s a decent chance it will bring us full marijuana legalization and an end to capital punishment this November. So it’s not as if it’s an entirely bad thing.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Well played.
Concerning the goodness or badness of referenda — didn’t Ohio voters rescind a “right to work” law passed by the Tea Partiers a few years back?
@Roger Moore: I’m not 100% confident that legalization will pass. It lost in 2008; I remember talking to a sensible guy at work who was opposed to legalization because he didn’t want his kids smoking pot like he had in the ’60’s. It also brought us, in addition to Prop 8, lovely things like the top-two primary system–how’s that working–and getting Yolo County to vote against SMUD because PG&E poured a ton of money into convincing people that their rates would go up, which was a lie.
The problem with the initiative system is that it’s vulnerable to being manipulated by out-of-state and corporate interests, and that people vote their gut, without doing research. Hell, even if you want to do research, given the number of initiatives most years, it’s a full-time job. Which is sort of the point of paying legislators and staffers; why should I do their job for free?
@smith: Michigan voters did. The GOP-led legislature responded by pushing through a new bill in such a way that it can’t be overturned by a popular referendum.
Corbyn – LULZ. Another old line ideologue and pro tariff fart who thinks a return to a glorious steam punk economy is just a matter of will. Now his EU voting party is going to gut him.
@smith: We need Kay here to best answer that, since she lives there and knows both state politics and the labor/union situation there so well.
As I recall Kay explaining it, labor unions are still pretty strong there in a lot of areas of the state, and political support for labor is also somewhat strong – despite the unending media and political assaults – and (IIRC) even crosses political party lines to an extent. So trying to pull a fast one over on voters on a labor rights issue is a lot harder in a place like Ohio, where unions still have enough power to counter the lies and propaganda of the ALEC crowd, and make right-wingers pay at the ballot box for bad labor laws that get through.
It’s a good thing too that labor still has some juice in Ohio, since the Democratic Party there is one sick old dawg (a sad fact in many states).
IIRC they also have a common customs area with the UK.
This is such a colossal fuck up – Northern Ireland is going to take it sideways from three different directions.
@Darkrose: Looks like the one in Ohio stuck, at least so far.
James E Powell
Can you imagine what we’d be voting on if the national ballot issues were part of our constitution? I’m thinking that the bill of rights would have two amendments.
@James E Powell:
What’s the other one?
They did. The law was wildly unpopular though. It was like 60/40 against.
We also passed a minimum wage increase by ballot measure, in 2006.
It’s a double edged sword. I’m thrilled when it goes well but it could also backfire horribly. Ohio has a pretty high bar to get on the ballot. You need a lot of signatures. It’s a full-blown campaign just to get on. That helps weed out crazy shit.
Repeated from an earlier post, the BBC is reporting protests by young Remain supporters outside the Murdock owned newspapers while an online petition for a 2nd referendum has already gained 400 thousand signatures.
The young are making their feelings known.
I think the biggest single problem with it is that it’s a take it or leave it proposition. Normal legislation is the product of a long process that gives many people input and provides chances for people to point out problems and make changes to improve it. We like to complain about the process because it’s slow and it provides legislators chances to slip in unnecessary stuff, but it also provides plenty of chances to identify and correct real problems.
Ballot propositions are generally the work of one or a few people who have a particular ax to grind, and we’re stuck saying yes or no to whatever solution they provide. Even when they’re well meaning, the solutions they provide are likely to have all kinds of problems because they just didn’t think of all the angles, or they dealt with an immediate problem in a way that creates more problems in the future. When they’re written maliciously, they can obviously be even worse. And in California, at least, once something has been legislated by ballot initiative, it can’t be easily amended by the legislature, so badly written initiatives require further initiatives to fix their problems.
Old Broad In California
The California initiative system also allows badly worded and ill-thought-out laws to get passed by voters who are too lazy to read them. And all kinds of special interests shape the vote with terribly distorted ads.
During the campaign for Prop 8 banning gay marriage, there were commercials about the horrors of elementary schools being FORCED to teach little schoolchildren about homosexuality! (Oh noes!)
@Darkrose: There was also Proposition 14 of 1964 which amended the state constitution to overturn the Rumford Fair Housing Act, thus making housing discrimination legal again. It was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by both the California and US Supreme Courts, though not before giving Ronald Reagan his start in California politics.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
The youngs want a revolution to preserve the status quo. We’re definitely through the looking glass.
Supposedly turnout in London and vicinity was down due to heavy rain and flooding. Couldn’t this result be an excellent argument for vote-by-mail or voting over an extended period?
Surely a vote on a national issue like this should have as broad participation as possible if it’s going to be somehow decided by the people themselves…
I agree with the general view that referendums have a very bad recent history.
@Hunter Gathersq: Malcolm would have had some apt words to encourage them offstage.
As a Swiss voter I feel we’ve done just fine overall with plebiscites.
I’ve thought this same thing all day: Cameron promised this vote as a way to get elected, and looked what he’s done to his country. Maybe I’m not democratic enough, but the Brexit issue is too complicated a question to subject to a public vote. I live in California, and suffered through through Prop 8 as well as other votes that shouldn’t be subjected to the public for a vote (e.g., three strikes). There’s a reason we have representative democracy. Some things are too complicated, and too subject to misinformation, to be subjected to a public vote. Cameron should be run out of Britain. He has harmed it more than anyone since World War II. Also, did the Queen involve herself in this at all? I heard nothing about it if she did. Now her kingdom is likely to lose Scotland and Northern Ireland. It’s amazing.
This is why we do not do direct democracy. Tyranny of the majority and all.
No ill will to “her subject peoples”, but fuck the Queen, fuck her kingdom, and fuck her right of her and her family to be rich forever. How did they gain this godhood? Of yeah, 300 years ago someone ruling the house of Hanover married a daughter to the house of Orange. Totz deserves tumbler. French had right.
@Cacti: “England and Wales voted to hold the EU responsible for 4-decades of Thatcherite domestic economic policy. Who will be left to blame when the previous problems remain?”