In 10 years of studying political theory I found no argument in Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Paine, Hamilton, Madison, Berlin, Rawls, Dicey, Hare, (or even Nozick FFS!) that could justify the idea that holding a vote to review an earlier decision could be deemed undemocratic.1/
Even Rousseau, with his weird democratic totalitarianism, did not exclude either the General Will or the Will of All changing. Even the constitutionalists agree there should be provision to amend the constitution.
The utilitarians did not believe that a utility calculation at one point was fixed for eternity. It could change as likely consequences changed. 3/
The Athenian assembly in the 5th century BCE could and did reverse its own decisions. Our own Parliament now is never bound by the decisions of a previous one. 4/
You can argue it’s a bad thing, or that you don’t want it, or that you fear the consequences of it, but arguing that a vote to review an earlier decision made by the same method is undemocratic is nonsense. 5/
It’s the kind of deliberate Double-Speak beloved of dictators and despots citing an individual moment in time as fixing a spurious Will of the People for all eternity in their favour. 6/
The people feeding us this Orwellian double-speak are very well educated, and many of them are PPE graduates who have come into contact with these thinkers and their ideas.
Let’s not mince words. They know exactly what they are doing when they do it. 7/
To (probably mis-) quote @davidallengreen, a decision can be, in principle, democratic or irreversible. It cannot be both.
PS, I don’t mean to imply that @davidallengreen is in favour of a referendum, which I gather he has severe doubts about in general and in this case in particular for other reasons. Just citing his view on democracy and reversibility of decisions.
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