27 June 2016

Ten post-hoc rationalizations for holding a new EU referendum

1. Since turnout was 70%, the 52% that voted to Leave didn't actually represent a majority of voters. [This is not how this works. This is not how any of this has ever worked.]

2. 52% is in the margin of error. [Polls have margins of error. Elections and referendums count actual votes. There is no margin of error.] See also: people lied to the pollsters.

3. A woman was interviewed on TV and said she had regrets about voting to Leave! [So? Voter regret has never been a valid reason for having a new election or referendum. This is not how this works. This is not how any of this has ever worked.]

4. 106 people on Twitter said something mean or racist! They're no different than Trump voters! [So?]

5. The stock market went down! [Yes, it did. You also noticed, perhaps, that the market was steadily increasing before the vote in the expectation of a Remain win. In fact, the FTSE is 10% higher than it was in February and higher than it was when the referendum was announced.]

6. Old people voted to take away the rights of the younger generation! [Generally, votes are not weighted according to age. Did you know many of those older people were the same ones who voted in 1975 to join the EU? You probably weren't alive then, or if you were, you probably couldn't vote then. If you did, you're one of those old people. Exactly how much should your vote be worth?]

7. 2 million people signed a petition! [Yes, 2 million online people did. Most of those two million people were probably among the many millions who already voted to Remain the first time. Many more of those people weren't eligible to vote anyways, or were trolls. Even so, the petition is worthless and is now being investigated for fraud. Even if 100,000 actual voters sign it, Parliament will debate the EU relationship starting today, which should be plenty to satisfy you.]

8. But Nigel Farage promised money to the NHS! [Yes, he did make a vague promise of returning money pledged to the EU; and yes, the Leave camp took this and ran with it and plastered it on the side of a bus; and yes, Farage later said he couldn't guarantee it. For reference, Farage represents UKIP, which has exactly 1 MP. Either way, if elections and referendums could be invalidated because of broken promises by politicians...]

9. Technically, the referendum wasn't binding! [Yes, you're right. How willingly would you embrace this argument if you were on the other side? If the people had voted to Remain yet Parliament voted to Leave?]

10. The UK government should renegotiate a new deal with the EU and then put it up for another referendum! [Have you been following the news? This was the basis for the first referendum. Anyways, the EU has said it won't deal again.]

Unspoken 11th post-hoc rationalization for holding a new EU referendum: We are enlightened and know better than the (pick one or more of the following:) old/racist/uneducated/ people who voted to Leave. Therefore we will do whatever it takes to undermine the legitimacy of the vote and do whatever it takes to justify overriding the will of the people; see #'s 1 through 10.
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