On the 14th January 2019, I circulated a message advocating a second referendum because, as human beings, we can make mistakes. Well, I am here now – as a human being – to concede my error on further reflection.
The purpose of my message still stands, and I believe it encapsulates some of the most important reasonings behind remaining in the European Union, personal to me. But I have now come to issue a warning regarding anyone who is urging or wishing for a second referendum. It is easy to foresee such a move being hijacked by the far-right, so that we are given a “second referendum” but not with the option to “remain”. It will more likely be manipulated into a choice between deal or no deal, which I believe would offer a further malign aspect to something I already view with contempt. So, what can be done?
I have a solution – in the making, but a solution none the less. It is a compromise, one which relies on a decision to extend Article 50. However, this extension has a much larger backing in the House of Commons than what has (I believe rather condescendingly) become known as a “People’s Vote”. I want to know how people feel about the following option, and particularly what such an option would mean and – even more so – what rejecting such an option would mean democratically-speaking: what if a “referendum” was offered, but only for those who were not yet of voting age during the first referendum? What if, however diabolical this might sound, there was a statistical way to remove the votes made by those that have “departed” since?
I have made some calculations, and at the very least the result would be a perfectly equal split, and with slightly more consideration I believe these changes would result in the following estimated results:
– 49.7% Leave – 50.3% Remain
These statistics have been based on the number of young people who have reached voting age, who are registered to vote, who would turn out for a referendum and who would vote either way, and the number of over 65s who have died since the time of the vote, who were registered to vote, who had turned out for a referendum and discounting their votes either way. The figures are based on what I have assessed to be reliable outlets, both referring to the statistics of the first referendum itself and on predictions regarding the outcomes of a further referendum (with the added knowledge that predictions can be wrong).
Without undermining this slightly less biased method, there are also arguments relating to changes in opinion since the vote, the increase in registered voters since the referendum, the increased number of young voters between now and a potential second referendum, the increased chance of voting remain considering the trends seen in the voting statistics, and even aspects of health (slightly tenuous, but interesting to consider). So what am I asking?
I ask you to air this argument wherever you can, to think on it as much as I have and to encourage others to do so. Most importantly, discuss it with people from all sides of the debate. Who knows whether this is a valid and practicable method of addressing the current political situation, but it is a concept which asks the question: are the votes of people who are alive more important than those of people who have deceased? Very macabre, but do not pass this off without thought. No citizen’s vote is being devalued or doubted in a full-scale second referendum. The legislature is still under debate. Young citizens get a vote. And even without this sinister move, there is still the isolated prospect of a referendum for those aged 18 to 20 years old.
You will remember, at the time of the first referendum, there was a call for 16 to 18-year olds to be allowed a vote. It was refused on the basis of it being an “administrative nightmare” or something along those lines. Well, now the “administrative nightmare” that a second referendum would entail could be diminished by a vote on a far more manageable size, by people who are currently (perhaps not legally, but conceptually) disenfranchised.
Please, then, what do you think of an 18-20 Referendum?