The British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that a second vote to decide Britain’s exit from the European Union was going to happen as “it would be a betrayal of democracy and trust.” What does this mean as an event and in terms of democracy?
In 2016 British voters decided to leave the European Union, a decision that would be similar to Alaska leaving the USA or Tasmania leaving Australia – basically deciding to go it alone because it might be better. The problem is that, like any “divorce,” it is messy, expensive and not everyone gets what they want except the lawyers.
There are many who now think it wasn’t a good move and, if it was re-voted on, the decision would be reversed. Hindsight is a great skill but not one that should lead to political changes or there may be a lot of changes around the world.
Australia has a relatively easy way of changing Prime Ministers, and last week a group of about 50 individuals – admittedly all elected to office – decided to do this and thus they have their fifth occupant of the role, although one was removed and returned later. If the rest of the world had this easy option, how many leaders would be looking over their shoulders with fear?
Democracy, like any political system, has its strengths and flaws; but it is probably the best approach for most people and therefore democratic decisions have to be supported even if they are unpopular or in hindsight are seen as flawed.