One of the most surprising things about the referendum was not the result itself, but the reaction to it from the ‘losing’ side. Anger was no longer directed at the opportunistic politicians who led the way towards Brexit, but at the voters themselves and a system that allows anyone who disagrees to have a say. June 24 saw democracy in action, followed by an outcry about the democratic result on June 25.

 

Within hours of the result being announced there were petitions on social media calling for a second referendum, MPs were urging to ‘bring this nightmare to an end’ by disregarding the result and the First Minister of Scotland threatened to veto it. All sorts of reasons were given: people being manipulated, ill-informed; that they were using their vote to send the establishment a message, rather than actually wanting to leave the EU. There was a definite air of supremacy from the losing side; that we should ignore the 17.5 million who voted to leave because they simply got it wrong. Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff stated that sometimes democracy means making sure the people ‘avoid making uninformed decisions with catastrophic consequences’. In his opinion, it is democratic to go against the clear will of the majority if we think they’re stupid.

People began claiming that we should never have had the referendum in the first place. It was irresponsible of Cameron to hand such an important decision (which clearly only had one right answer) to the masses, who know nothing. The same people who ordinarily claim to be supporters of democracy, when faced with a democratic decision that they don’t like revert to saying that citizens should never have been given a chance to voice their will in the first place. It would have been interesting to see what the response of the Leave side would have been if the result went the other way round. If they chose to have the same howl against democracy, I wonder what Remainers would be saying about them.

Young people took out their anger on the older generation who ‘screwed them over.’ The young have an obnoxious assumption that their vote is somehow more important — being overwhelmingly in favour of Remain — than a pensioner’s who may have voted to leave. Yet they forget to target their anger also at their own peers, who apparently were too lazy to even turn up at the polls. Whilst it is tempting to sympathise with the 18-24 age group, who do as has been correctly noted, now have the longest to live with a result which they were predominately against; we must also note that turnout from this age group is estimated to have been around 33 per cent. How then can the young be angry with democracy, when the majority of them aren’t even utilizing it?

It seems that many people have lost faith in the system of democracy having witnessed its full potential. The lesson: you don’t always get what you want. In the eyes of the Remainers, those who choose to disregard the opinions of experts and those in the establishment can only produce a vote of stupidity. By this logic, the best form of government would simply be  one with a board of experts telling the rest of us, simpletons, what to do. This way, you cut out the politically ignorant public and end up with what’s best for the country — isn’t that right?

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