first vote was close, now see repeating chaotic result, so why not use the tool
you have and revote-- Britons might say "stay" and would end the
Article originally published in The Independent (UK)
By Robert Weiner and August Clarke
Americans wonder from across the pond, why will your Parliament issue a snap election and not a second referendum? A second referendum vote would better reflect what the public wants from its leaders. Much like our 2016 Presidential race, voting for the Prime Minister comes at a highly precarious cost. Do you vote for an unpredictable and irresponsible conservative populist like Mr. Johnson who has shown he can only govern with his political fervor by ramming through legislation and illegally suspending Parliament? Or do you go with Mr. Corbyn, an establishment socialist whose policies seem skeptical and vision is unnerving?
This December election only reassures the U.K. and the EU of one thing: Prime Minister Johnson's ego-centered self. The election is nothing more than a motivator for his conservative impasse to continue their unflinching dominance on the political to-do list; with withdrawing from the EU sitting high at the top of it. PM Johnson having a vote on himself is a temporary stall to the unending political chaos that has been plaguing your politics for years. Unfortunately, this fire is too big to put out and a quick fix snap election would be like pouring gasoline over the log that started it.
Instead, the people of the U.K. should vote on Brexit for themselves. An election would further enable PM Johnson and his conservative party's to push their scheme of pulling out of the EU without any political cost. The first referendum vote was extremely close. With a General Election on board the Brexit ship, repeating political indecision will still guide it to nowhere but open water. So why doesn't Parliament and Johnson use the tool they have and re-vote? Certainly, Britons might say "Stay," and that vote would end the confusion and the chaos.
Boris Johnson seems the most probable to win the election. On December 2nd, The Telegraph reported polls showing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party - Johnson's main opposition trailing by nine points. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is remarkably unpopular which shouldn't be shocking due to his confusing stance on Brexit. Contradictory, he's willing to negotiate a new deal, yet he backs another referendum.
The Labour's platform is trying to please both Brexit supporters and opponents, which will turn out unsuccessful. Amid such polarization and a "once-in-a-generation" election, it would be smarter if the Labour party were thorough "Remainers" fighting back against Johnson and his Brexiteers. If Johnson wins, which is most likely, then Corbyn will almost certainly lose his position as a leader and any chance of a second referendum would be almost off the table. If Corbyn won, promising an immediate second referendum once he assumed leadership should be the first thing he does as prime minister. He should make certain not to advance on negotiations or set any deadlines until the public have voiced whether they want to leave or remain.
Johnson and the conservatives are staking their political fortunes on the promise of delivering Brexit by Jan. 31 even without a deal at hand which they believe they can pull off by December 2020. In the three years since the U.K. voted by a narrow margin to quit the bloc, the debate has gone far beyond the superficial promises of Brexiteers like Mr. Johnson, who painted a rosy and starry-eyed picture of Britain outside the Union. During that time, greater awareness of the true complexity and cost of Brexit has not silenced the passion of those who despise the very idea of sharing independence with Europe.
The Christmas election speaks less about what the people want and more about what Johnson wants. It is a disguised political maneuver that reflects PM Johnson's interests over the populous who may just want to remain in the EU now that they see the chaos and division that goes with getting out. Johnson and former PM Theresa May have done everything but give people a new voice on the issue and with a shaky Corbyn as the beacon of liberal hope it is clear that Conservatives decade-long dominance may continue to reign, bringing with it corruption, chaos and a possible EU-free future.
In America, we're not lucky enough to have your national referendum option. You are the ones who perfected democracy. All we are left with for our Boris Johnson act-and-look alike Donald Trump is impeachment, which will happen soon in the House but will not get the super-majority in the Senate. So, we will be stuck with him until the 2020 election but at least we have a legislative process where our appropriations can block his "wall" and we can get other things done. You, on the other hand, have a referendum process - we don't understand why you don't use it.
The US will look back at the UK's self-inflicted wounds will have damage our most important partner.
Robert Weiner was a Clinton and Bush White House spokesman, spokesman for the House Government Operations Committee, and senior staff for Congressmen John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper, Ed Koch, and Sen. Edward Kennedy. August Clarke is Policy Research Analyst at Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change in the USA.