No, I’d never heard of the Condorcet Paradox either but as Justine Greening has come out for another referendum with three choices listed and to be voted on in order of preference it is perhaps something we should be more familiar with.
Fortunately Jonathan Portes has a full explanation (though his article was actually written before the last (binary) referendum). Broadly, he explains that a personal preference does not, when added to other personal preferences, equate to a popular will, and that a democratic election for a person and representative democracy – for all the faults of the current electoral system – is a more logical way to operate. When that referendum was, as it was, so imprecise, it is even more the case and I’m sure the Irish could teach us a lot on the conduct of referendums. But, nonetheless, Jonathan Portes’ explanation shows that a referendum asking for ‘preferences’ would be equally flawed.
But we are in a very ‘flawed’ place so I’m still of the view that the damage that has been done by referendum has to be undone by referendum. It is far from ideal, but I fear that with Parliament almost paralysed, there is no other solution.
My mother, a lifelong Conservative, and 98 and a half years young, has told me she will never vote Conservative again (so I suppose that’s a plus!) but she also says she hopes she will not live to see the UK leave the EU.
Again, I agree.
Parliament persists in voting for various preferences and strategies but there is no reason why the EU 27 would feel obliged or even encouraged to accept them. Parliament, including the Remainers, who are after all in the majority, is living in a Brexiter’s fantasy. Theresa May is helping that – seemingly just because she enjoys the trappings of being Prime Minister, for she has virtually none of the power usually associated with the office.
I see no alternative to another referendum.
I’d ban any campaigning – we now know all too well the (disastrous) possibilities of Brexit.
So we need a quick resolution.
And if we go in with our eyes now opened I very much doubt we will vote to leave.
But if we do then British suicide, which has taken two years so far, would at least be speedy.