It’s an old concept I grant you, but nonetheless worth restating. If you want to know what people really think and feel about an issue, have them vote on it, have a referendum. It’s a principle we might want to hang on to in Canada, if it comes to changing how we vote. But for now the most firm illustration of its wisdom is the just-known results of the Brexit referendum.
The often-ignored, sometimes quite rudely deplored British people have spoken and, to the horror of enlightened opinion, respectable party leaders, the ever-guiding liberal intelligentsia, have decided they don’t want “in” the European Union. The vote comes as a mighty shock to broad-minded continentalists and supranationalists everywhere, but particularly the high elites of British politics. The Guardian’s readership will need special help — grief counsellors are already overwhelmed.
The EU vote is the most dramatic illustration to date of how the “guiding elites” of many Western countries have lost the fealty and trust of their populations. Of the gap between ordinary citizens, facing the challenges of daily life, and the swaddled, well-off and pious tribes of those who govern them, and increasingly govern them with a mixture of moralistic superiority and witless condescension...
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