Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

What Me Vote?

initiative, referendum, democracy, voting, legislature, illustration

The people, without permission, The New York Times recently explained, in

  • Colombia, rejected a peace deal deemed too soft on the communist FARC guerrillas; in
  • Britain, decided to leave the European Union; in
  • Thailand, ratified a new constitution; and in
  • Hungary, rejected the European Union refugee resettlement plan.

I’ve not perused the Colombian accord. I’m actually not permitted to vote there — though I once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Bogotá. In lieu of moi, who better to decide than the Colombian people?

Brexit, too, was a decision for the inhabitants of the United Kingdom, not me.

Thailand is under military rule. Passage of the referendum was promoted as a pre-condition for moving toward democracy; campaigning against the constitution was outlawed. When a gun is held to your head, there is no democracy.

An unbelievable 92 percent of Hungarians rejected the EU plan to set migration policies for Hungary. But turnout below 50 percent invalidated the result.

“Though such votes are portrayed as popular governance in its purest form, studies have found that they often subvert democracy rather than serve it,” claims the Times report, “Why Referendums Aren’t as Democratic as They Seem.”

Without offering any studies.

The problems with these four ballot questions, to the degree there were any, weren’t caused by democracy, but a lack thereof.

Nonetheless, asensible academics pontificated that people are too stupid to be permitted to vote. A London School of Economics professor said referendums are “risky.” They “range from pointless to dangerous” claimed an Irish political scientist. A hyperbolic Harvard professor posited that referendums are “Russian roulette for republics.”

But which is worse: clueless academics, tyrannical pols, or . . . democracy?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Printable PDF

initiative, referendum, democracy, voting, legislature, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    The voters were apparently smart enough to vote Yes on the Nice II treaty to allow Hungary and other Eastern European countries to join the EU. So it’s difficult to see why they disfavor a popular referendum now. Strange how that works. 

  2. Brian wright says:

    Asensible? Another one to look up. Thanks, Pablo, leading edge ru.

  3. Howie M says:

    Jacob is wrong about Thailand. First of all it is a constitutional monarchy and not a democracy, but Paul Jacob keeps using “democracy” as if he were a hard core leftist.

    No one held a gun to the heads of the Thai people and forced them to vote ‘Yes’. Voting was not mandatory, and there were no penalties for failure to cast a vote. The people could have voted against the proposed constitution, and, in fact, less than a year earlier rejected a proposed constitution, so the government went back to the drawing board and revised it to be more acceptable to the people. While outright criticism of the proposed constitution was prohibited there were a number of avenues for the people to make constructive suggestions.

    Jacob bases his comments on the very left wing “The Guardian” of the UK, which we know loves ‘democracy” in the same sense as Josef Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    What the Guardian doesn’t like is that the military will retain some oversight in the new constitution. The majority of he people like it, however, because they are tired of the corruption and vote buying of civilian politicians. The last I heard, when the majority of the people vote for something, that is pure democracy, so apparently Jacob thinks that corrupt democracy is better than pure democracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2016 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top