Brexit exposes the inadequacy of UK political structures and culture

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      Spanish Devil
      • Total Posts: 56

      … Many people regret that the Brexit vote happened, believing it somehow unleashed undemocratic, unfair or ill‑judged views… Of course both sides abused the referendum process, but the pressure valve released a lot of pent-up fury, and it has allowed us to deal with that. We shouldn’t run from this demand for change: we should run towards it. More than anything, the change demands a new form of democracy, not just a change of government.

      That’s because if the old mechanical levers no longer work, it doesn’t matter that much who pulls them. And if the system no longer allows us to solve economic or climate injustice, then the doom loop is complete, as people either give up entirely or look for populist and authoritarian answers… The complexity of today’s society, of power that is both digital and global, demands a politics of collaboration, not competition… Representative democracy will only be buttressed if other forms of democracy, direct and deliberative, are put in place. That is why many people… have called this week for a Brexit citizens’ assembly. It’s a simple and compelling idea that could break the logjam of a parliament that isn’t built to represent the ways in which the UK now divides, allowing instead for a form of reasoned politics to get us out of this mess…

      … A citizens’ assembly is therefore a solution to the Brexit impasse. But, just as important, it could lay the foundations for a new form of democracy that allows more meaningful participation. Calm, reflective and empathetic, it is everything our politics currently isn’t. Because this isn’t just about new democratic structures but a new political culture where it’s safe for politicians to say “I don’t know”, “it’s too complex”, or “I need help”. Our awful, adversarial and macho political culture is simply no match for a world that is complex, grey, nuanced and paradoxical.

      The democratic genie of the 21st century is out of the bottle, and it isn’t going back. Brexit exposes the inadequacy of our political structures and culture. Whether we leave or remain really matters; yet what matters more is how we do any of it. The way out of this mess has to be more democratic that the way in.

      … I predict that Scotland (as well as Irish) issues, also, will force onto the UK agenda what the pols will call a “complete overhaul” of the UK’s “Constitutional Arrangements and Parliamentary Procedures”… perhaps even of the role of the Monarchy itself. They’ll probably make a complete Brexit of it. 

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