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Sunday, May 29, 2016
This June will see three momentous decisions taken by voters. June the 23rd will see voters in a referendum in the United Kingdom decide whether they want to remain in the EU club, or whether they prefer to leave and go it alone.
This is a highly extraordinary consideration for a country that prefers tradition to change. There are people in Britain who still prefer to conduct all their communications through the snail mail of the Post Office. They are being asked to vote their opinion on whether to continue life as it is, or whether to jump off a cliff to see what happens after that.
Scotland recently went through a referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or to stand alone. That country decided that tradition ruled. At this point there simply is no way for anyone to have confidence in a prediction of how it will turn out. Fundamentally, there are two sides to the question, and both sides are entirely reasonable. On the one hand there is the economic and security case that states that Britain is much better off in staying where it is.
As members of a club, presumably there are benefits to be had for being a club member in the first place. In Britain's case there are. The club consists of 500 million people with whom to trade. Britain is an important member of the club and enjoys preferential treatment. It seems that the cost of membership must be worth it, otherwise I would have expected Britain to have quit a long time ago, were it not so. The people who take the position to stay in are mainly the elite ruling class.
The other position is social and personal. Britain continuously finds Brussels interfering in it's affairs. Unelected officials constantly stand in the way of the British way of life causing outrage throughout the country. What we see is a clash of cultures and complete, and some say, deliberate misunderstanding of how the British prefer to do things. This comes at the same time as Britain has to absorb immigrants from the former colonies which is placing enough strain on the English man and woman in the street. Voters in this group find the whole question highly emotive and may not be thinking all that clearly if they are being guided by their emotions.
One of the very big questions is should Britain decide to elect the Out option, what will happen to those people from the Continent who are in Britain at the moment, and, of course what will happen to the millions of Brits who are on the Continent. For those countries that host British pensioners who receive money from Britain, I imagine they will not be so keen to see them return to Britain, nor will they want to see their own nationals sent back.
One prediction that will most likely come true is that voting will see a very high turn out.
On June 26th, voting will take place again in Spain to try and form a government. We tried that last November and it ended with a hung system. The old system of interchange of the two dominant parties was broken because of corruption within the system that seems to have been ever present. That led to a disastrous situation for the country, and gave rise to the young warriors who want the old guard gone. The court system is clogged with so many political cases of corruption it is easy to see what they mean.
The country has been without an active government since it first tried to put in place a governing party, and in spite of several attempts to form a coalition that has not been possible. So, if at first we didn't succeed, we need to try again; and if not then, we will try yet again.
The third important vote will take place in my own country of Bermuda on June 23rd, where the referendum will decide whether to respect the right of gay people to happiness by being married to one another, either in church ceremonies or in civil unions. This is just as important as the other two decisions to be made as we live in a modern world of live, and let live.
There are some countries where gay people are killed. That says nothing about the gay person but a whole lot about the killers, nothing of which is good. Bermuda is, in so many ways a country to be envied. The literacy rate is near 100% and a great number of people live very well. A lot of people argue the case against gays and lesbians by citing the bible, but if God is responsible for creating mankind, if some of mankind have a sexual orientation toward one another, then that's the way God made them. Enough said!
The reason I'm thinking about these three significant voter exercises is that for one reason or another I either cannot, or am not allowed to vote in any of the exercises, but at least in two of the three the outcome will have a direct impact on my life.
That's sort of like having taxation without representation.
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