Professional politicians ask the questions they hope will provide the support they want.
The voters seize these opportunities to make statements on issues that matter to them.
Once understood that there is no direct connection between their questions and our answers, if we want to understand the meaning of a vote, or of an election, we better look at who the constituents are, pros and cons.
1. Social answers to the Brexit Vote
Local authorities are placed on a two columns scale according to their average level of [education, income, density, median age, proportion of foreign-born people, and proportion of unmarried].
It shows that…
- the less educated,
- the less urbanite,
- the poorer,
- the older,
- the more alone you are
- and the less foreigners you have around you
the more likely you have been to vote for leaving the European Union.
These are angry people who are most likely to suffer from losses of social status, income, social services as well as from blurring of traditional standards whilst having a minimal if any experience of European Union. So why not use this opportunity to say they are discontent?
2. Regional answers to the Brexit Vote
Remain voters are in blue, leave ones are in red.
Some geographical data (the country – metropolis divide for instance) are redundant with the previous “social” analysis.
But here we find specific regional concerns.
Scotland has always felt mishandled by England. Therefore it wants to stick to Europe, partly due to its traditional strategy of reverse alliance.
The boundaries between Eire and Northern Ireland has been blurred by their common belonging to EU. Catholic voters were therefore motivated for things to stay that way which could progressively lead to a de facto reunion. Similarly, educated, urbanite and wealthy protestants don’t object now that peace is back.
3. False debates
Racism, sovereignty, financial balance have been raised by politicians.
Such topics are no more than an easy ways to trigger applauses but they do not manifest deep roots in the electorate.
Abusive words of course can be dangerous, especially during phases of anomie.
However, the Brexit was less about immigration or debt than about a lack of vision and leadership in UK and Europe.
4. Why are we in such a situation?
Because Europe which was about “union” has been built as a “market” which means an open field for mercantile competition.
5. What can we do?
We may hope to turn this disastrous Brexit into an opportunity to do so more thoroughly.