One is surprised and one isn’t. During difficult periods of history, folding back has occurred, and we are at a difficult moment in history.
However, given that the results of the Brexit vote were very close and that the “leave” vote was followed by a wave of racist comments directed at Muslims and at members of the Polish population of Britain, I wonder whether or not Britons want to leave the European Union.
The reaction of many Britons brings to mind Donald Trump’s hasty determination that ISIL terrorists were the perpetrators of the Orlando Massacre. It appears the LBGT were targeted even though the suspected killer was an American citizen of Afghan origin.
Canada: The Clarity Act
Quebec has held referendums regarding a possible separation from the rest of Canada. For all practical purposes, the answer to the last referendum was both a “yes” (49.42%) and a “no” (50.58%). (See Quebec Referendum, 1995, Wikipedia.) As a result, the Clarity Act was passed by the House on 15 March 2000, and by the Senate, in its final version, on 29 June 2000. (See Clarity Act, Wikipedia.)
During the political campaign that led to the election of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Mulcair, the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, asked the current Prime Minister of Canada what his number was regarding the Clarity Act, or Bill C-20. Mr Trudeau waited a little and then answered that his number was 9. “Nine Supreme Court justices said one vote is not enough to break up this country.”
Back to Britain
I realize that British prime minister David Cameron is opposed to another referendum, but it would be my opinion that the results of the British referendum are inconclusive. Nearly half of Britons voted against leaving the European Union and it turns out that among those who voted in favour of leaving, several misinterpreted the question. (See United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016, Wikipedia.)
The Brexit question was not whether or not Britain should exclude Muslims and Poles from entering their country. If “leave” supporters misread or misunderstood the question, democracy may not have been duly served.
The refugee crisis is a destabilizing factor in Europe, particularly in those countries that have yet to recover from the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Moreover, there have been dreadful terrorist attacks. One lives in fear of another. But Muslim refugees are the victims of terrorists and autocrats.
In short, if Britain leaves the European Union, Britons would be making a numerically democratic choice, but if nearly half of Britons voted not to leave and if the “leave” vote reflects a perceptible degree of racism, it could be that the results of the referendum are both too close and too tainted for Britain to act.
I am not suggesting that the United Kingdom pass a “clarity act,” but if it is ascertained that racism played a significant role in the “leave” vote, it could well be that the tail is wagging the dog.
Love to everyone ♥
© Micheline Walker
28 June 2016