When did not accepting an election result become the norm?
The world has seen a shift in political thinking lately. 2016 saw two election results which have sparked fury, widespread debate and among some, a refusal to accept the result. No results of a public vote have divided opinion more than Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President of the US.
In both the UK and the US we have a right to free speech. A right I would always agree with but the commentary, demonstrations and hatred from some with regards to these results is a worrying trend which could ultimately lead to all out anarchy. There is a world of difference between having an opinion on the outcome of a vote and a complete refusal to accept the result. The demonstrations and protests we have witnessed over these two election results go beyond a difference of opinion. What we are witnessing now is a faction who at best can be described as sore losers throwing a tantrum and at worst are rabble rousers on the verge of sparking a riot.
It wasn’t only in 2016 when we started to see this trend, this goes back to 2014 and the Scottihs Independence result where some nationalists have turned very nasty to anyone who disagrees with them.
There are some things I find worrying about the extent of the current demonstrations we are seeing.
When it comes to Brexit, the remain camp accuse anyone who voted to leave Europe as being racist, xenophobic, little Englanders and that we are just generally an uncaring part of society. If we listen to some of the accusations flying around, leave voters are full of hatred and don’t care about refugees or human rights. I’m not hearing the same level of abuse being thrown the other way. Is the irony lost that most of the time the demonstrators complain that leave voters behave in a certain uncaring way, however, the torrent of abuse and hatred is spilling out of the remain demonstrators towards those who voted to leave. They think their voice is not being heard because the vote didn’t go their way and question why anyone could have dared to vote to leave the EU and that all who did vote to leave couldn’t have made an informed decision and if we vote again people will change their mind.
Sorry but like most leave voters, I am ordinary working person who just wants the best for myself and my family and I believe that will be better achieved outside of the EU. That doesn’t make me a hateful racist. It means I am entitled to my opinion and voted in exactly the same way as everyone else did. The difference is that if the result had not gone the way I wanted, I would have accepted it, moved on and got on with my life. What I wouldn’t have done is take to the streets or Twitter and let hatred spill out towards people who didn’t agree with me.
We are all entitled to an opinion, we won’t always agree but that’s the point of democracy – everyone has a view, we vote and a majority decision is made. A different view is not an open invitation for abuse. We have a result – let the Government negotiate the best deal for the UK and if that turns out to be good and works for the better – how many remain demonstrators wil admit they were wrong and that their lives have improved? My guess is they will then be silent.
What also infuriates me is politicians also telling us we didn’t know what we were voting for and we would change our minds if there was a second vote. Sorry Mr Blair – you don’t speak for me. I made an informed decision and I don’t appreciate your arrogance in saying I didn’t know what I was voting for. I don’t think I really need to take advice from an ex Prime Minister who led us into a disastrous war, oversaw the worst recession in decades and was the Prime Minister who gave Scotland devolution, the back door to independence if ever there was one – what a resounding success all of those things have been. So, no Tony I don’t need or want your advice on what I knew or didn’t know ahead of the vote.
It’s not just Tony Blair. Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are using the Brexit result to push on with their independence crusade at all costs. The hypocrisy of the argument that Scotland can’t be dragged out of Europe as the majority voted to remain – well sorry Nicola, the majority voted to stay in the UK in what you described as “once in a generation” vote and you won’t accept that result. That was of course said when they thought they would win. Now, we have a leader in Scotland who will scream – reason for triggering another referendum at every turn. Scotland voted to remain in the UK – accept that and get on with governing Scotland and stop all the uncertainty that another referendum would trigger. Do I believe the latest call for a referendum to be about remaining part of the EU? No – I truly believe it is more about a reason for another attempt to leave the UK – that is the raison d’etre of the SNP after all isn’t it?
It’s another example though of a refusal to accept a result. I have seen first hand the hatred that can spill over from a losing Nationalist, having been on the receiving end of it. There are still divisions in Scotland from the first vote and now they want to do it all over again. Why would anyone complain that they were ruled by people they didn’t elect in Westminster and practically beg to be let into the EU? It’s an embarrassment and don’t get me started on their Ode To Joy stunt in the Commons.
We aren’t alone, the US presidential election is the same, if not worse. President Trump hadn’t even been inaugurated when the demonstrations started and people needed a “safe space” to cope with it all. He could be the best President in history and still his opponents will criticise his every move and decision. Only history will tell if he is a success but the point I am making is – give him a chance. He won a democratic vote, give him the chance to implement what he said he would. If he fails – then criticise but give him the chance to try. His press conference last week is a prime example and he even called it himself when he said it would be reported that he was ranting and raving. I watched the full press conference, there was no ranting and raving. What I saw was someone in control responding to the fact that some media outlets are fuelling the fire for the demonstrations and protestors.
What is worse than the protest against Trump in the US are the demonstrations here in the UK. We aren’t American citizens. We didn’t have a say in the vote and yet still some think it is their right to wade in and demonstrate against the result of an election in another country. You don’t live there, it wasn’t your vote – let it lie.
What we have witnessed with Brexit and the US election are two results where ordinary working people have been given a voice and have been able to say – enough, I want to speak my mind, I don’t want to continue down a route of liberal political correctness.
It’s a silent majority movement against the established norms and the opposing losing side can’t handle it so instead of reasoned debate we have demonstrations, protests and abuse.
We are all entitled to an opinion. I think my opinions are right but that is what they are – an opinion. The world would be a much better place if we accepted that and respected each other’s views, accepted results and got on with our lives.
Wait and see the outcome of these results before weeping and wailing that it’s a total disaster and the end of civilisation as we know it. Complain about the actual outcomes if they are a disaster, not the perception that the demonstrators believe will be the case.
Love Polly. xxx