Re: Dictionary anyone?
"It's a mistake to portray leave voters as stupid in my opinion, especially when the government itself didn't know initially what leaving would entail."
I don't see why any of them didn't see this coming. As an outside observer, the consequences, overall, were immediately clear when the idea first came up.
I just didn't think that the people living there would be so oblivious to the obvious effects of leaving the EU, so I was quite surprised that the leave vote edged out the remain vote by a tiny margin.
That the government that had shot themselves in the foot by holding the referendum as 'advisory' without clear indications of the results of either decision, and without rules about what margin would indicate the wishes of a majority of the population then went on to treat the result as 'mandatory' says to me that internal party politics played a more important role than national interest.
Anyone with a knowledge of sampling theory knows that a self-selected group (in this case, the ones that voted in the referendum) are more likely than not to differ from the whole population which you are sampling. That's why the gold standard for accurate estimation is a sufficiently large and truly random sample.
The difference in the stay and go votes is so small that it is almost as likely that a greater part of the population wanted to remain as not.
Any referendum proposing this kind of cataclysmic and impactful change should have a minimum of somewhere between 60 and 75% votes for change to consider change approved, either fixed or inversely scaled somehow to the percent of the population actually voting, with a hard minimum well in excess of 50%+1 to approve change.
The rules for leaving the EU, which make just changing your mind after giving notice difficult or impossible, argue for a rather high threshold before any precipitous action.
Again, this whole thing seems motivated from the start by national and party political advantage for particular leaders and would-be leaders, rather than analysis of the issue and the public good.
Rule one for a public referendum or vote - do not count on the people doing what you want and expect. Be prepared for a different result, and be sure you can live with it. Don't hold it to burnish your reputation with a particular interest group and assume that it will have no other effect.