So tomorrow (I am writing this on Wednesday at 4 PM Pacific), Thursday, British voters would choose to remain or leave the European Union. I think it should leave. I don’t think it will.
The reason I think it should leave is summed up in this piece over at HumanProgress.org: Britain’s Democracy is a Sham. Reason I think that it will remain is that I don’t hold voters (all voters, not just British) in very high regard. They are generally ignorant, myopic and gullible.
Ignorance, like mortality, is universal. All of us are mortal, all of us are ignorant. We are necessarily ignorant because the amount that is collectively known exceeds the capacity of any individual to know by several orders of magnitude. Each of us probably knows about 10 billionth of what there is to be known. My claim about voters being ignorant, though, has a different emphasis.
I think voters are ignorant about the specific issues that they are usually asked to indicate their preferences through their votes. Some of the smarter voters understand that they don’t understand the issues. That is they are not ignorant of their ignorance.
Richard Dawkins falls into that group. He confessed that he is not qualified to vote on the EU matter: “I don’t have a degree in economics. I’ll try to make up the deficiency by reading. But in a representative democracy we pay MPs to do such detailed homework for us. There may be simple issues for which a plebiscite is appropriate (fox hunting, perhaps). But why does anyone think an issue as complex as membership of EU is one of them?”