Referendum Quotes

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We, gays, can get married in Canada. We let heterosexuals too, but that was a huge thing, we had to have a referendum and a vote, it’s crazy! But then we were like, if they want to get married.. that’s cool. That’s gonna destroy their relationships, but.. Heterosexuals deserve the same rights as homosexuals.
Tegan Quin
I have been told by the third grade teacher that my daughter Poppet is reading at middle school level. Yet if I leave Poppet a note in block letters telling her to feed the dogs I will come home to find the dogs have been ... given a swim in the above-ground pool, dressed in tutus, provided with hair weaves. What I will not find is that the dogs have been fed. 'I thought you wanted me to free the dogs,' says Poppet whose school district is not spending quite what D.C.'s is, thanks to voter rejection of the last school bond referendum.
P.J. O'Rourke
You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them. Even the history of lapel pins is far from innocent. In Nazi Germany in 1933, people wore lapel pins that said "Yes" during the elections and referendum that confirmed the one-party state. In Austria in 1938, people who had not previously been Nazis began to wear swastika pins. What might seem like a gesture of pride can be a source of exclusion. In the Europe of the 1930s and '40s, some people chose to wear swastikas, and then others had to wear yellow stars.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
But if one's dreams having to come true was the only referendum on whether they were beautiful, or worth dreaming, well then, no one would wish for anything. And that would be so much sadder.
David Rakoff (Half Empty)
Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
All Socialism is Democratic Socialism. Socialist nations take away civil liberties by referendum.
A.E. Samaan
It is difficult to understand these people who democratically take part in elections and a referendum, but are then incapable of democratically accepting the will of the people.
José Saramago
Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
A final irony has to do with the idea of political responsibility. Christians are urged to vote and become involved in politics as an expression of their civic duty and public responsibility. This is a credible argument and good advice up to a point. Yet in our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron.
R.C. Sproul (What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics)
Alabama, the last state to do so, did not throw out its law against intermarriage until the year 2000. Even then, 40 percent of the electorate in that referendum voted in favor of keeping the marriage ban on the books.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Democracy is not a form of government. It is a tool of government. Case in point, Stalinist USSR was a "democracy".
A.E. Samaan
Important decisions that will affect a nation’s fate or humanity’s fate cannot be left to the referendums! Because such decisions require good knowledge of history; they require a sound reason and a powerful logic and masses often do not have such characteristics!
Mehmet Murat ildan
You might object that people were asked ‘What do you think?’ rather than ‘What do you feel?’, but this is a common misperception. Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights – or perhaps any voting rights. There is ample evidence that some people are far more knowledgeable and rational than others, certainly when it comes to specific economic and political questions.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
South Carolina did not overturn its ban on interracial marriage until 1998, and even then 38 percent of voters opposed the referendum.
Dorothy Roberts (Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century)
Watching Nigel Farage rudely insult fellow members of the European Parliament today - the first occasion they were all assembled in Brussels since the tragic 'Brexit' referendum result - made me feel utterly ashamed to be British. Let it be known that Nigel Farage is the very epitomy of a narrow-minded 'Little Englander' who does not represent the vast majority of outward-looking people from Great Britain. His shameful and unofficial campaign to convince the British electorate to leave the European Union was peppered with lies and deceit. His populist and xenophobic rhetoric has also subsequently contributed to ugly scenes of racial abuse and hate crime directed at Eastern European nationals and ethnic minorities living and working in the UK, in the wake of the referendum result. Fellow Europeans, world citizens, let this be a wake-up call. Deny your own domestic peddlers of populism and nationalism the opportunity to follow the example of this unelected, disrespected maverick, intent on making a name for himself, for he has unwittingly unleashed a wrecking ball on Britain's future economic prosperity, cultural diversity and social harmony.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
By the time this book is published, I am confident that there will have been a second referendum. After all, only 1,269,501 more people voted to Leave than to Remain. No serious mathematician would consider that any kind of ‘majority’.
Titania McGrath (Woke: A Guide to Social Justice)
Turtles don’t have nations. Or flags. Or strategic nuclear weapons. They don’t have terrorism or referendums or trade wars with China. They don’t have Spotify playlists for their workouts. They don’t have books on the decline and fall of turtle empires. They don’t have internet shopping or self-service checkouts. Other animals don’t have progress, they say. But the human mind itself doesn’t progress. We stay the same glorified chimpanzees, just with ever bigger weapons. We have the knowledge to realise we are just a mass of quanta and particles, like everything else is, and yet we keep trying to separate ourselves from the universe we live in, to give ourselves a meaning above that of a tree or a rock or a cat or a turtle.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
LENIN = "Revolutionary Social Democracy" American Socialists = "Democratic Socialism". What is the difference? The USSR held democratic referendums too; all of which increased the power of the central planners and reduced the individual to nothingness.
A.E. Samaan
Quanto ai cristiani, sarebbe stato proprio lo scossone della sconfitta nel referendum sul divorzio a costituire il principio del loro risveglio; più tardi Iddio avrebbe fatto alla sua chiesa l'immenso dono del papa polacco: un papa di nuovo 'pietra' e 'roccia' finalmente
Eugenio Corti (The Red Horse)
The army could not have been happier. The result of the referendum was a repeated slap to the faces of those liberal powers who thought they could change the country. The army never wanted change, not with so many interests, businesses, and powerful people involved. It was a system sixty years in the making. Removing Mubarak didn’t even touch the deep state that he was a disposable face of. The Muslim Brotherhood were never serious about the revolution either. They used it simply to come into power. They had no problem with the old regime as long as they were on top of it. One
Bassem Youssef (Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring)
You know," he added reflectively, "we've got a much easier job now than we should have had fifty years ago. If we'd had to modernise a country then it would have meant constitutional monarchy, bicameral legislature, proportional representation, women's suffrage, independent judicature, freedom of the press, referendums . . ." "What is all that?" asked the Emperor. "Just a few ideas that have ceased to be modern.
Evelyn Waugh (Black Mischief)
The euro and the ECB were designed in a way that blocks government money creation for any purpose other than to support the banks and bondholders. Their monetary and fiscal straitjacket obliges the eurozone economies to rely on bank creation of credit and debt. The financial sector takes over the role of economic planner, putting its technicians in charge of monetary and fiscal policy without democratic voice or referendums over debt and tax policies.
Michael Hudson (Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy)
He accused republicans in his own party of conducting a “proxy war” against Howard. He threw into the mix Churchill, Pétain, Charles de Gaulle, the failings of the Weimar republic and the rise of Hitler. In the Sydney Morning Herald at that time I set him some homework:   Clearly explain how an Australian head of state with powers as proposed in the referendum could bring to office in Canberra a local equivalent of the most vicious dictator of the century?   He never justified the Hitler slur to anyone.
David Marr (Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott [Quarterly Essay 47])
remedy. The issue of Europe, he suggested, should be taken out of the hands of governments and parties, and put directly to the people in a referendum. Such a vote would be constitutionally new, but then so was signing away power to a European body. It could be justified on the grounds that the issue affected the rights of every citizen. From Labour’s point of view, there was the advantage that it would make it possible for non-partisan front-benchers to avoid any outright personal commitment, or contradiction of earlier positions – without loss of face.
Ben Pimlott (Harold Wilson)
Support for getting rid of the Queen was at 57 per cent but the nation was divided on the kind of republic that should replace her, a division that proved the death of the proposal. This was minority politics – the power of the passionate minority to hold the line – played at a level of genius by Howard and with inexhaustible passion by his lieutenant Tony Abbott. The republicans have never recovered. Abbott can claim a good measure of credit not only for wrecking the republican hopes in the 1999 referendum, but also for keeping them off the agenda ever since.
David Marr (Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott [Quarterly Essay 47])
Built up by the middle classes to hold their own against royalty, sanctioning, and, at the same time strengthening, their sway over the workers, parliamentary rule is pre-eminently a middle-class rule. The upholders of this system have never seriously maintained that a parliament or a municipal council represent a nation or a city. The most intelligent among them know that this is impossible. The middle classes have simply used the parliamentary system to raise a protecting barrier against the pretensions of royalty, without giving the people liberty. But gradually, as the people become conscious of their real interests, and the variety of their interests is growing, the system can no longer work. Therefore democrats of all countries vainly imagine various palliatives. The Referendum is tried and found to be a failure; proportional representation is spoken of, the representation of minorities, and other parliamentary Utopias. In a word, they strive to find what is not to be found, and after each new experiment they are bound to recognize that it was a failure; so that confidence in Representative Government vanishes more and more.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
We are unlikely to face a robot rebellion in the coming decades, but we might have to deal with hordes of bots that know how to press our emotional buttons better than our mother does and that use this uncanny ability to try to sell us something—be it a car, a politician, or an entire ideology. The bots could identify our deepest fears, hatreds, and cravings and use these inner leverages against us. We have already been given a foretaste of this in recent elections and referendums across the world, when hackers learned how to manipulate individual voters by analyzing data about them and exploiting their existing prejudices.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Focus on What You Want to Say, Not on What You Think the Audience Is Thinking Many people pay too much attention to how others perceive them, and this puts too much power in the hands of the listener and not enough in the head of the speaker. There is not enough bandwidth in your brain for you to concentrate simultaneously on your point, your delivery, and what you think your listener might be thinking based on his or her facial expressions. Guessing the engagement level of your audience will create excess anxiety that speeds up your pace. In reality, you can never know what’s going on in someone else’s head. Facial expressions aren’t a referendum on your performance.
Bill McGowan (Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time)
Among them was a middle-aged man supported by two broken sticks. His legs were bent permanently beneath him by accident or disease, and it took him five minutes to cross the room, collect his ballot and shuffle into the booth in front of me. It was painful to watch; as he edged forward I became aware that my heart was racing. Finally - finally - the referendum really was under way. What would happen next? Could Eurico and Basilio have more support than I had assumed? How could the violence of the last seven months fail to have an effect? I should have looked away, but I watched, and saw the man on sticks painstakingly mark his cross in the lower of the two boxes, the one rejecting continuing association with Indonesia. Then he folded the paper, turned his legs around, and began walking slowly towards the ballot box.
Richard Lloyd Parry (In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos)
In late 1998, the inhabitants were invited to become Australia’s seventh state and roundly rejected the notion in a referendum. It appears they quite like being outsiders. In consequence, an area of 523,000 square miles, or about one-fifth of the country, is in Australia but not entirely of it. This throws up some interesting anomalies. All Australians are required by law to vote in federal elections, including residents of the Northern Territory. However, since the Northern Territory is not a state, it has no seats in Parliament. So the Territorians elect representatives who go to Canberra and attend sessions of Parliament (at least that’s what they say in their letters home) but don’t actually vote or take part or have any consequence at all. Even more interestingly, during national referendums the citizens of the Northern Territory are also required to vote, but the votes don’t actually count towards anything. They’re just put in a drawer or something. Seems a little odd to me, but then, as I say, the people seem content with the arrangement. Personally,
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
However, for better or worse, elections and referendums are not about what we think. They are about what we feel. And when it comes to feelings, Einstein and Dawkins are no better than anyone else. Democracy assumes that human feelings reflect a mysterious and profound “free will,” that this “free will” is the ultimate source of authority, and that while some people are more intelligent than others, all humans are equally free. Like Einstein and Dawkins, an illiterate maid also has free will, and therefore on election day her feelings—represented by her vote—count just as much as anybody else’s. Feelings guide not just voters but their leaders as well. In the 2016 Brexit referendum the Leave campaign was headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. After David Cameron resigned, Gove initially supported Johnson for the premiership, but at the very last minute Gove declared Johnson unfit for the position and announced his own intention to run for it. Gove’s action, which destroyed Johnson’s chances, was described as a Machiavellian political assassination.4 But Gove defended his conduct by appealing to his feelings, explaining, “In every step in my political life I have asked myself one question: ‘What is the right
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Extract from 'Quixotic Ambitions': The crowd stared at Katy expectantly. She looked at them - old women in black, exhausted young women with pasty-faced children, youths in jeans and leather blousons chewing gum. She tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come. Then, with a sudden burst of energy, she blurted out her short speech, thanking the people of Shkrapova for their welcome and promising that if she won the referendum she would work for the good of Maloslavia. There was some half-hearted applause and an old lady hobbled up to her, knelt down with difficulty, and kissed the hem of her skirt. She looked at Katy with tears rolling down her face and gabbled something excitedly. Dimitar translated: ‘She says that she remembers the reign of your grandfather and that God has sent you to Maloslavia.’ Katy was embarrassed but she smiled at the woman and helped her to her feet. At this moment the People’s Struggle Pioneers appeared on the scene, waving their banners and shouting ‘Doloy Manaheeyoo! Popnikov President!’ Police had been stationed at strategic points and quickly dispersed the demonstrators without any display of violence, but the angry cries of ‘Down with the monarchy!’ had a depressing effect on the entertainment that had been planned; only a few people remained to watch it. A group of children aged between ten and twelve ran into the square and performed a series of dances accompanied by an accordian. They stamped their feet and clapped their hands frequently and occasionally collided with one another when they forgot their next move. The girls wore embroidered blouses, stiffly pleated skirts and scarlet boots and the boys were in baggy linen shirts and trousers, the legs of which were bound with leather thongs. Their enthusiasm compensated for their mistakes and they were loudly applauded. The male voice choir which followed consisted of twelve young men who sang complicated polyphonic melodies with a high, curiously nasal tenor line accompanied by an unusually deep droning bass. Some of their songs were the cries of despair of a people who had suffered under Turkish occupation; others were lively dance tunes for feast days and festivals. They were definitely an acquired taste and Katy, who was beginning to feel hungry, longed for them to come to an end. At last, at two o’clock, the performance finished and trestle tables were set up in the square. Dishes of various salads, hors-d’oeuvres and oriental pastries appeared, along with casks of beer and bottles of the local red wine. The people who had disappeared during the brief demonstration came back and started piling food on to paper plates. A few of the People’s Struggle Pioneers also showed up again and mingled with the crowd, greedily eating anything that took their fancy.
Pamela Lake (Quixotic Ambitions)
Opinion polls suggested the Scottish referendum on independence on September 18th was now too close to call. The three leaders of Britain’s main political parties rushed to Scotland to urge voters to say no, and offered the promise of new tax and spending powers. Many big companies, including Royal Bank of Scotland, warned that they would move their operations to England if Scots vote to secede from the United Kingdom. Jean-Claude Juncker, the new president of the European Commission, announced
Anonymous
The constitution which emerged from the Assembly after six months of debate—it was passed on July 31, 1919, and ratified by the President on August 31—was, on paper, the most liberal and democratic document of its kind the twentieth century had seen, mechanically well-nigh perfect, full of ingenious and admirable devices which seemed to guarantee the working of an almost flawless democracy. The idea of cabinet government was borrowed from England and France, of a strong popular President from the United States, of the referendum from Switzerland. An elaborate and complicated system of proportional representation and voting by lists was established in order to prevent the wasting of votes and give small minorities a right to be represented in Parliament.*   The wording of the Weimar Constitution was sweet and eloquent to the ear of any democratically minded man. The people were declared sovereign: “Political power emanates from the people.” Men and women were given the vote at the age of twenty. “All Germans are equal before the law … Personal liberty is inviolable … Every German has a right … to express his opinion freely … All Germans have the right to form associations or societies … All inhabitants of the Reich enjoy complete liberty of belief and conscience …” No man in the world would be more free than a German, no government more democratic and liberal than his. On paper, at least.
Anonymous
In the end, the majority of Egyptians overwhelmingly approved the proposed constitutional amendments. Of the more than 18 million Egyptians who voted on the 19 March 2011 referendum, more than 77 per cent voted in favour of the amendments, paving the way for the parliamentary elections. It was a major success for political Islam in general, and the Brotherhood in specific.
Tarek Osman (Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak)
The danger is that if we invest too much in developing AI and too little in developing human consciousness, the very sophisticated artificial intelligence of computers might only serve to empower the natural stupidity of humans. We are unlikely to face a robot rebellion in the coming decades, but we might have to deal with hordes of bots that know how to press our emotional buttons better than our mother does and that use this uncanny ability to try to sell us something—be it a car, a politician, or an entire ideology. The bots could identify our deepest fears, hatreds, and cravings and use these inner leverages against us. We have already been given a foretaste of this in recent elections and referendums across the world, when hackers learned how to manipulate individual voters by analyzing data about them and exploiting their existing prejudices.33 While science fiction thrillers are drawn to dramatic apocalypses of fire and smoke, in reality we might be facing a banal apocalypse by clicking.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
In the wake of the Brexit vote, eminent biologist Richard Dawkins protested that the vast majority of the British public – including himself – should never have been asked to vote in the referendum, because they lacked the necessary background in economics and political science. ‘You might as well call a nationwide plebiscite to decide whether Einstein got his algebra right, or let passengers vote on which runway the pilot should land.’3
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Irrespective of the result of the General Election, I believe it will be possible to argue that Scotland has voted for more democratically accountable control over Scottish affairs. Scotland's inalienable right to self-determination includes the right to decide how to exercise that right. In the General Elections of October 1974, May 1979 and I believe in the forthcoming contest, and in the referendum on the Scotland Act, the Scottish people will have expressed the wish to remain in the United Kingdom, but with a substantial measure of Home Rule. Mrs. Thatcher would have no right to ignore that expression. Repeatedly stated, it would be the clear wish of the majority of the Scottish people. To deny it would be to say that of all the nations of the world today we had no national right to self-determination.
George Galloway (Radical Scotland, April / May 1983)
It may seem strange to call this slow collapse invisible since so much of it is obvious: the deep uncertainties about the union after the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament the following year; the consequent rise of English nationalism; the profound regional inequalities within England itself; the generational divergence of values and aspirations; the undermining of the welfare state and its promise of shared citizenship; the contempt for the poor and vulnerable expressed through austerity; the rise of a sensationally self-indulgent and clownish ruling class. But the collective effects of these inter-related developments seem to have been barely visible within the political mainstream until David Cameron accidentally took the lid off by calling the EU referendum and asked people to endorse the status quo. What we see with the mask pulled back and the fog of fantasies at last beginning to dissipate is the revelation that Brexit is much less about Britain's relationship with the EU than it is about Britain's relationship with itself. It is the projection outwards of an inner turmoil. An archaic political system carried on even while its foundations in a collective sense of belonging were crumbling. Brexit in one way alone has done a real service: it has forced the old system to play out its death throes in public. The spectacle is ugly, but at least it shows that a fissiparous four-nation state cannot be governed without radical social and cconstitutional change.
Fintan O'Toole (Scotland the Brave? Twenty Years of Change and the Future of the Nation)
I’ve written at length about Trump’s racial history, and the picture is hideously below the mark of what America deserves in a president; he’s an awful, dark stain on our history. What the first term makes abundantly clear is that it’s not an act, it’s not a strategy, and it’s not something the American people can bear. It is exactly who he is: a fucking racist. The referendum on Trump’s racism will play out in 2020, and well beyond, costing the GOP seats, status, and support for generations. They have no one to blame but themselves. IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE Which leads us to what he looks like in a second term. Cognitive decline is an ugly, hard reality for millions of Americans. As the Silent Generation slips into their final years, and the oldest Boomers join them, families all over America confront Alzheimer’s and many other tolls of aging. For many afflicted with a loss of memory and ability, this decline is a sad, steady reduction in the joys of life. For Trump, it’s part of the reality show, though not one he wants to focus on. Comparing Trump now with video clips from a decade ago is chilling. The slippage in his verbal acuity is marked. His rages and explosions of temper aren’t part of an act; they’re no longer controlled or controllable. The nearest contemporary parallel was the second-term decline of Ronald Reagan. Americans sensed the terrible gravity of Alzheimer’s pulling at him, but he was still surrounded by largely competent people and was, on the whole, a healthy man. For all the disagreements Democrats had with him, Reagan could never be considered an impulsive narcissist with a hair-trigger temper and no concern for others. Reagan actually bothered to understand nuclear weapons and the risks they posed, unlike President Missile Parade. Trump’s lack of knowledge should terrify you as much as it does me, especially as his cognitive decline continues apace. Given his hold over the cabinet, there’s no workable solution for this president’s combination of apparent mental infirmities and uncontrolled urges and racist fuckery, suggesting a second term will be more dangerous than the first.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights – or perhaps any voting rights at all.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
The DeVos family spent over $2 million in 2000 on a Michigan school voucher referendum that was defeated by 68 percent of the voters. The family then spent $35 million in 2006 on Dick DeVos’s unsuccessful bid to become the state’s governor. In
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
It was awful luck that my pot-hobbled spermatozoa had managed to rally themselves for one last mad fallopian adventure, and that five years’ worth of love, good companionship, and the exhilaration of sneaking around should come in the end to a referendum on my fitness as a father, but there it was.
Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys)
In 2011, Boris Johnson, then London’s mayor, saw the downside when the capital’s fringes went on the rampage for several days, smashing up shops and burning cars, looting what they could not have. Five years later Britain’s left-behinds vetoed London’s economic interests in the Brexit referendum.
Edward Luce (The Retreat of Western Liberalism)
That November, German authorities held parliamentary elections (without opposition) and a referendum (on an issue where the “correct” answer was known) to confirm the new order. Some German Jews voted as the Nazi leaders wanted them to in the hope that this gesture of loyalty would bind the new system to them. That was a vain hope.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
Soames is a pompous old bore whose blind Europhilia would make Juncker blush. The only thing he and his fine ancestor have in common is their waistline.
Arron Banks (The Bad Boys of Brexit: Tales of Mischief, Mayhem & Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign)
8 In a speech at the opening of the European Research Institute in 2001, Tony Blair summarised ‘the history of our engagement with Europe’ as ‘one of opportunities missed in the name of illusions – and Britain suffering as a result’.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Heath's politics had been forged in the decade before 1945, when war in Europe had brought the continent to the brink of destruction. As a student in the 1930s, he had travelled through Germany and witnessed a Nazi rally at Nuremberg. He had visited Spain during the Civil War, witnessing at close hand the bombing of Barcelona. During the Second World War he had fought in France and Belgium, before ending the conflict in the shattered city of Hanover. European unity, he believed, was not only an economic necessity but a moral imperative. ‘Only by working together’, he wrote later, could nations ‘uphold the true values of European civilization’.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Yet the ‘post-national’ ambitions of the new Community should not be exaggerated. The European Community was fundamentally a creation of national governments. Every step was the work of national politicians, engaged in a process of national reconstruction, for which they were responsible to their own domestic constituencies
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
The genius of the European project, expressed first in the ECSC and subsequently in the EEC, was that it harnessed cross-border integration to the pursuit of national self-interest, rather than setting these forces against one another.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Heath had never pretended that the terms of membership were ideal, for the United Kingdom was a late entrant to a club designed by and for the interests of its existing members. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) had been settled in the 1960s, under the shelter of the French veto, as had a budget mechanism that would weigh disproportionately on the UK. In Heath's view, it was simply not realistic to think that Britain could rewrite these arrangements from the outside; the priority was to get a seat at the table, so that it could influence the Community from within.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
The argument was summed up by the Labour MP Roderick MacFarquhar, a leading constitutionalist who later taught at Harvard: While the people elect their representatives to exercise supreme powers on their behalf, they do not elect them to concede some of those powers in perpetuity to a superior outside body. Therefore, if those powers are to be diminished by entry into the Common Market, the British people must give their consent, and that consent can be given only in a referendum, because only through a referendum can the issue be isolated.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Chi si occupa di Storia si spoglia di simpatie e preconcetti. Ha un solo dovere: documentarsi e documentare. Si pone domande, scava negli archivi, se si imbatte in carte che non conosce le interroga e ne ascolta la voce, pronto a mutare parere se esse gli dicono parole nuove; infine propone risposte attendibili: non sue elucubrazioni, di cui nessuno saprebbe che fare, ma riflessioni fondate su dati inoppugnabili. Lo storico non ha sentimenti né inclinazioni. Ragiona.
Aldo A. Mola (Declino e crollo della monarchia in Italia: I Savoia dall'Unità al referendum del 2 giugno 1946)
As Peregrine Worsthorne argued in the Sunday Telegraph, British democracy did not require governments always to do what the people wanted; it simply required them to face the judgement of the people for the decisions they had made. This, he argued, not only promoted more considered government – for ministers would take the blame for failed policies at an election, however popular they might have been at the time; it also protected democracy itself from opprobrium.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
The danger was that referendums might promote irresponsible government, in which ministers promised referendums for party purposes while disclaiming responsibility for the results. ‘The new doctrine’, Thatcher complained, was ‘to pass the buck to the people’.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Democratic Socialism is simply Totalitarianism that allows you the illusion of a voice in the matter.
A.E. Samaan
As he put it in 1975, Labour was ‘neither in favour of being in Europe on principle, or being out of the Common Market on principle’.130 Unable to commit either to membership or to withdrawal, Labour had contained its contradictions within what might be termed ‘Schrödinger's Cabinet’: a body that was simultaneously pro-Market and anti-Market, until such time as the wave function of Wilsonian ambiguity was collapsed.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Anziché insegnare ai morti ciò che avrebbero dovuto fare, lo storico deve sforzarsi di capire perché lo fecero.
Aldo A. Mola (Declino e crollo della monarchia in Italia: I Savoia dall'Unità al referendum del 2 giugno 1946)
The combatants, ‘monocled and bespatted’, mounted a horse-drawn carriage and rode in triumph down Constitution Hill, the Mall and Trafalgar Square. Speaking as imperial grand prior of the League, Hamilton reportedly told journalists that the organisation ‘views with unabashed antipathy all forms of democracy, especially the referendum’. ‘We oppose anything that is common, whether it be consultation of the common people or the Common Market.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
The past is a foreign country, which maintains its independence with the same fierce determination as any ‘Brexiteer’.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
They were fighting for the honour of the Eldon League, a student dining club whose motto was ‘forwards into the past’, to determine its position on the European Community.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
The idea that Britain could have led integration in a wholly different direction, had it only shown the imagination, grossly exaggerates Britain's influence, not to mention its ability to override the national interests of other member states. From the Schuman Declaration onwards, the Six were committed to the integration of core industries, a customs union protected by common external tariffs, and common institutions based upon the pooling of economic sovereignty. It was this model, and not some ideal alternative, against which the national interest had to be measured.45
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
In this climate, there were three essential tests against which any economic strategy had to be measured: that it restore exports, so that Britain could rebuild its national wealth and finance its overseas commitments; secure cheap food and raw materials for the work of reconstruction; and husband Britain's scarce supply of dollars, by trading so far as possible in sterling. In the decade after the war, all three considerations pointed towards the Commonwealth, not the Continent, as the focus of its international trade.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
In 1955 Australia and Canada supplied 61 per cent of British wheat imports, while Australia and New Zealand contributed 60 per cent of its meat imports. By contrast, the Six remained a net importer of food until 1958.47 As late as 1960, two-thirds of British exports and perhaps 90 per cent of capital investment went outside Europe.48
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
It was the weakness of the Continent that explains, in part, the determination of successive American governments to push Britain into the leadership of a continental federation. This would certainly have suited US interests, allowing it to take over Britain's world role (and trade) while passing on an expensive and potentially hazardous engagement in western and central Europe. The benefits for Britain were less clear, for it risked being sucked into a defensive commitment that was beyond its capacity to manage, while weakening ties with its most important markets. The Foreign Office warned in 1948 ‘that a federated Western Europe is becoming the battle cry of a new [American] isolationism’, in which the costs of reconstruction and defence would be offloaded onto the UK.50
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
In explaining why the UK was not a signatory to these agreements, the question is not why it turned its back on Europe, but why Britain's own combination of idealism, fear and self-interest produced a different policy calculation – and why that changed in the years that followed.
Robert Saunders (Yes to Europe!: The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain)
Instead, statutory law is a man-made law based on what 51% of those voting can agree on in any given court, legislative body or public referendum. In biblical terms from the Book of Judges, we could say that statutory law is essentially men “doing what is right in their own eyes.
David C. Gibbs III (Understanding the Constitution)
A referendum magnifies the worst aspects of an already imperfect system—democracy—channeling a dazzlingly wide variety of issues through a very narrow gate. It has
Zadie Smith (Feel Free: Essays)
To this day, the story of Darien is one that divides Scotland. During the 2014 referendum on independence, it became a metaphor for both sides. For the nationalists, a parable of how England had always sought to sabotage and oppress Scottish hopes; for the unionists, a lesson in the dangers of abandoning stability in favour of unrealistic ambitions. As a tale, it lends itself to metaphor. I mean, it’s the story of a country turning away from a political union with its closest geographical trading partners in favour of a fantasy vision of unfettered global influence promoted by free-trade zealots with dreams of empire, who wrapped their vague plans in the rhetoric of aggrieved patriotism while consistently ignoring expert warnings about the practical reality of the situation. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything that could be a metaphor for right now.
Tom Phillips (Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up)
Asked on the eve of the referendum how EU membership made them feel, voters were given a list of eight words, four positive (happy, hopeful, confident, proud) and four negative (angry, uneasy, disgusted, afraid) and invited to choose up to four of them. Feelings of ‘unease’ dominated, with 44 per cent selecting this word, as against just 26 per cent who went for the most popular positive term, ‘hopeful’. No other positive word was selected by more than 14 per cent.
Fintan O'Toole (Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain)
Poland was the first country to give Ukraine diplomatic recognition, the day after the independence referendum of 1 December 1991.
Anna Reid (Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine)
The great Marxist historian of England, E. P. Thompson, writing in the Sunday Times in the run-up to the 1975 referendum, gave this disgust an explicitly anti-Common Market turn, brilliantly fusing English puritanism with anti-capitalist politics: ‘It is about the belly. A market is about consumption. The Common Market is conceived of as a distended stomach: a large organ with various traps, digestive chambers and fiscal acids, assimilating a rich diet of consumer goods… This Eurostomach is the logical extension of the existing eating-out habits of Oxford and North London.’8
Fintan O'Toole (Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain)
Returning from a summit in Paris three months after the referendum, Wilson ‘proudly announced that he has saved Britain from the horrors of the “Euroloaf” and “Eurobeer”. “An imperial pint is good enough for me and for the British people, and we want it to stay that way.”’11 Wilson undoubtedly knew that this was nonsense, but he also knew, as Johnson would discover, that it was the kind of nonsense that sold well. The British had an insatiable appetite for every kind of Euromenace to their food and drink.
Fintan O'Toole (Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain)
Yet in our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Europe’s reaction to the UK’s referendum was dominated by the same harsh response that greeted Greece’s June 2015 ballot-box rejection of its bailout package. Herman Van Rompuy, former European Council1 president, expressed a widespread feeling when he said that Cameron’s decision to hold a referendum “was the worst policy decision in decades.” In so saying, he revealed a deep antipathy toward democratic accountability.
Joseph E. Stiglitz (The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe)
What was also clear, if you look at the past, is that people here, as in the rest of Ukraine, are always “for” something, because they want their future to be better than their past. In recent history too, supporters of one side or another always point to a referendum in which people have voted for something they approved of, and then ignore the ones where they have voted for something they do not want.
Tim Judah (In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine)
Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights—or perhaps any voting rights at all. There is ample evidence that some people are far more knowledgeable and rational than others, certainly when it comes to specific economic and political questions.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Buoyed by the EU referendum result, the arch-monarchist Tory MP for Romford, Andrew Rosindell, chair of the All-Party Flags and Heraldry Parliamentary Group, tabled a parliamentary motion on 3 November 2016. This called for the reinstatement of ‘God Save The Queen’ at the end of each day’s transmission on BBC1.
Norman Baker (… And What Do You Do?: What The Royal Family Don't Want You To Know)
Britain has paid more into the EU budget than she has received back in forty-one out of forty-two years of membership (the exception, tellingly, being 1975: the year of the referendum on withdrawal). Indeed, for most of those forty-two years, there were only two net contributors: Britain and Germany.
Daniel Hannan (Why Vote Leave)
All this is merely internal Labour Party politics of course. And Labour Party politics in opposition at that. The real power of the state, as opposed to the skirmishing line of the establishment which is the Labour right, will be deployed later. We have not yet even seen the forces that were deployed to stop Scotland voting Yes in the referendum. There has been no public statement by the banks and the bosses of the supermarkets, no speech by the Governor of the Bank of England, no moment when the politically neutral Queen ‘lets her views be known’~all of which happened during the referendum campaign. Nor, since a Corbyn led Labour Party is still a long way from government, has there been the kind of moment where the governor of the Bank of England tells a Labour prime minister to dump his economic policy, as Lord Cromer instructed Harold Wilson in the 1960s, or where the IMF imposes austerity, as it did on an all too willing Denis Healy in the late 1976s. Anyone who wants an analysis of how this will all work can still do no better than read two books by Ralph Miliband, Parliamentary Socialism and The State in Capitalist Society. Or to read how the left wing rapture for former Nye Bevan supporter Harold Wilson turned to despair there is no better account than the one written by Paul Foot. For a contemporary example of the same disastrous process we need look no further than the defenestration of Tsipris’ Syriza in Greece. These are endgames, not the immediate prospect of the coming months. But they should warn us that we need to prepare alternatives now and not allow the excitement of current advance to blind us to the real dangers ahead. They should also serve to warn us that if we are to avoid these dangers it will be mass movements and political organisations outside the Labour Party which will play a decisive role.
John Rees
55 Wales, 303, 304; devolution, 53, 313–15, 699; DC’s policy on, 313–15; referendum (3 March 2011), 313; St David’s Day Agreement (2015), 313; Gillan removed as Welsh secretary, 389; hosts 2014 NATO summit, 528–32, 698; Tory gains in 2015 election, 577–8 Wall Street Crash (1929), 112
David Cameron (For the Record)
«E quanto alla Brexit… Alcuni sono convinti che i cambiamenti radicali offrano anche grandi opportunità.» «Quindi, secondo te, noi due staremmo meglio se ci separassimo?» «Oddio, no. Stavo parlando del Paese.» Attraversano la strada. «Allora quali sarebbero le opportunità offerte dai cambiamenti radicali di cui parli?» chiede Louise. «Be’, non saremo più impantanati in tutta quella burocrazia. Potremo fare affari per conto nostro.» «Okay, adesso mi sono completamente persa. Non mi va di continuare a parlare del Paese. Sto cercando di capire perché, secondo te, una Brexit coniugale dovrebbe costituire una grande opportunità.» Tom alza le spalle. Ha lo sguardo sfuggente. «Con chi dovresti fare affari, tu? Per quanto ne so, non stai frequentando donne italiane o tedesche. E non credo che potresti avere più fortuna con delle cinesi o delle americane. Mi pare tutta una stupidaggine.» Sono arrivati alla porta di Canyon. «Voglio dire che non deve per forza essere la catastrofe di cui parla il Guardian.» Louise si ferma e lo guarda. Lui evita il suo sguardo, poi alza la mano per suonare il campanello. «Tu hai votato a favore della stramaledetta Brexit! Non toccare quel campanello! Ecco perché ti sei registrato per il referendum. Nonostante tutte le discussioni che abbiamo avuto sull’argomento.» «E ci sono volute due palle così, credimi. Perché tutti quelli che conosco continuavano a insistere che sarebbe stato un disastro.» «Ed è per questo che l’hai fatto? Perché tutti quelli che conosci la pensavano in maniera diversa?» «Era parte dell’attrattiva, sì. Però anche per alcuni complicati, ma molto difendibili, punti di vista socio-economici.» «Prova a difenderli.» «Non ho intenzione di difenderli fuori della porta di ‘Canyon’ un attimo prima della seduta.» Louise alza gli occhi al cielo, sentendogli sottolineare «Canyon». «Difendine almeno uno. Uno piccolo.» «Be’, nessuno è piccolo. Credimi, vorrei che lo fossero. Ma sono grandi. Grandi punti di vista. Grandi idee. Ma soprattutto volevo fare incazzare i tuoi amici.» «Ah, ci sei riuscito. Non ti rivolgeranno mai più la parola» dice Louise. «Non è un argomento di conversazione con gli amici. Come ti ho detto, si tratta di una faccenda privata.» «Come fai a fare incazzare i miei amici, se io non glielo dico?» «Li ho fatti incazzare in quel momento. Mentre votavo. Non voglio sbatterglielo in faccia. La nazione deve andare avanti. Guarire.» «Okay, ci vai tu a lavorare in un ospizio, con il minimo salariale, per rimpiazzare tutti quelli dell’Europa dell’Est che abbiamo perso.» «Sono pronto a fare la mia parte. Anche se non sono di grande utilità, quando c’è di mezzo la morte. O le malattie. O qualunque altra cosa abbia a che fare con un gabinetto.»
Nick Hornby (State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts)
In hindsight, the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum in 2016 were intended to divide the 99%, thus diverting attention from the real authors of human misery… money power and centralised control. Prior to both Trump and Brexit, more people were awakening to the reality of centralised power but since then, the “99%” have turned on each other. Meanwhile, the trajectory towards one world government and the new world order continues. Trump is not his own man and Brexit is an illusion and theatrical distraction; the UK’s military, financial, legal, social and legal arrangements are being woven ever tighter into the dictatorship of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.
Clive Menzies
Though most of our problems are systemic, most of our public debates are referendums on personality. Not many people can be neutral on the subject of Trump, so we wave him at you all day long. Meanwhile, a vast universe of systemic issues is ignored. We’ve been steadily narrowing that field of view for decades, particularly in investigative reporting.
Matt Taibbi (Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another)
Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights – or perhaps any voting rights. There is ample evidence that some people are far more knowledgeable and rational than others, certainly when it comes to specific economic and political questions.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Theologies and political dogmas rot on the vine when left in isolation too long.
Stewart Stafford
Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
the price people are prepared to pay for a piece of a company tells you how much money they think that company will make in the future. In effect, stock markets hold hourly referendums on the companies whose shares are traded there: on the quality of their management, on the appeal of their products, on the prospects of their principal markets.
Niall Ferguson (The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World)
And California, long a bellwether for national trends in the United States, has tilted the balance further in favor of voter over party preferences: it agreed by popular referendum in 2011 to have all primary candidates appear on a single ballot, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the general election regardless of party.
Moisés Naím (The End of Power)
But because it seldom happens people forget that a caucus in the British parliamentary system can remove a leader, including a prime minister.
Chantal Hébert (The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was)
Markets are voting machines; they function by taking referenda. In the new world money market, for example, currency values are now decided by a constant referendum of thousands of currency traders in hundreds of trading rooms around the globe, all connected to each other by a vast electronic network giving each trader instant access to information about any factor that might affect values. That constant referendum makes it much harder for central banks and governments to manipulate currency values.
Walter B. Wriston
Over the next period, the majority for Brexit will slowly vanish. In the three years between the Brexit referendum and the European Parliament elections in 2019, 1.26 million British citizens over 65 will die and 2 million will reach the voting age of 18, according to Age UK. Given that 70 per cent of young voters were in favour of Remain and 64 per cent of over-65s voted to Leave, the pro-European camp will increase by 1 million and the Brexit camp go down by 756,000.
Denis MacShane (Brexit, No Exit: Why Britain Won't Leave Europe)
I also hold a settling of questions by the referendum to be an unsatisfactory procedure, because there are no simple political questions which can be answered merely by Yes and No. The masses are also more prone even than Parliaments to be led away by heterodox opinions, and to be swayed by vigorous ranting. It is impossible to formulate a wise internal or external policy in a popular assembly.
Theodor Herzl (The Jewish State)
To be clear, the dispute over executive amnesty is not between President Obama and Republicans in Congress; it is a dispute between President Obama and the American people. The Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections largely over the prospect of the president’s executive amnesty.  President Obama was correct: His policies were on the ballot across the nation in 2014. The elections were a referendum on amnesty, and the voters soundly rejected it. There was no ambiguity. Undeterred,
Ted Cruz (TED CRUZ: FOR GOD AND COUNTRY: Ted Cruz on ISIS, ISIL, Terrorism, Immigration, Obamacare, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Republicans,)
Il referendum annessionistico non rifletteva realmente le vere aspirazione del popolo siciliano.
Angelo Lo Verme (La mafia, la Sicilia e Leonardo Sciascia)
You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them. Even the history of lapel pins is far from innocent. In Nazi Germany in 1933, people wore lapel pins that said “Yes” during the elections and referendum that confirmed the one-party state.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
David Cameron did indeed resign about four hours after the result of the referendum became clear, which was the only honourable thing for him to do. Like a gambler on a lucky streak, he had stayed at the table for one too many hands and lost it all.
Ken Clarke (Kind of Blue)
„»Ja, ja. Ein Referendum. Wenn das Volk ›ja‹ sagt, ist alles klar. Sagt es aber ›nein‹, hat es nur schlecht nachgedacht. Und soll sich die Sache bitte schön noch mal überlegen.«
Dmitry Glukhovsky (Metro 2033 (Metro, #1))
We’re not just going to win this thing. We’re going to win it in a landslide!” Watching this exceptional group of young people — we called them “the twenty-sevens” because no more than a couple were over thirty — shouting, yelling, laughing, screaming, celebrating, talking about their victory, about what they had accomplished, I have to admit I got a little emotional. My eyes started to well up. I snuck out the back door, into the same alley where a few hours earlier I’d received the news that my political career was finished. Quite the contrary. An entirely new chapter was just beginning. In the end, the Liberals had been right to fear us for all those years, because not only did we win in Outremont by a margin of 4,441 votes over the Liberal candidate, but two-thirds of self-identified Bloc supporters voted for us. These were people who might have voted Yes in the last referendum because they wanted Québec to be respected in the Canadian federation, or else they were progressives for whom voting Conservative was not an option but who refused to vote for the scandal-ridden Liberals. Although very multicultural, Outremont is a majority francophone riding. French-speaking Québecers, including many passionate federalists, are rightly preoccupied with preserving their language, culture, and identity.
Tom Mulcair (Strength of Conviction)
Having a ballot referendum on an important issue is a farce if a federal judge can throw out the results and impose his or her own will in place of the will of the people.
Ben Carson (A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties)
Parizeau had initially planned to go into the referendum with a harder question, one that would not have involved a future association with Canada. What the premier had in mind was a divorce, pure and simple, possibly, but not necessarily, on amicable terms.
Chantal Hébert (The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was)
Make no mistake: Sunday’s referendum will mark a defining moment in Greece’s modern history and a decisive turn for Europe’s neoliberal project. The choice is very clear. Five years after the people of Greece first rose up against the anti-democratic imposition of the Troika’s austerity measures, they have finally been given the chance to decide upon their own destiny: either they will vote yes to a lifetime of austerity within the eurozone, or they will roar back at the creditors’ inhumane demands with a proud and resounding “NO!” — thereby opening the way for a thousand yeses to a new, democratic and socially just Europe, freed from the shackles of debt servitude, the noose of a deflationary single currency, and the tyranny of an unaccountable financial technocracy. The stakes have never been higher.
Anonymous
At any rate, since the rise of mass democracy no political leader has seriously proposed to use the ‘ignorance’ of the voters – any more than their level of education or the lack of taxable property – as excuses to restrict the right to vote at national or local elections. From the viewpoint of democratic theory, therefore, the arguments of integrationist leaders and their academic supporters against ratification by referendum, are flawed. In refusing to meet the requirements of modern mass democracy, pro-integration leaders are conditioned by a political culture in many respects similar to that prevailing before the great reforms of the franchise in the nineteenth century, when policy was considered a virtual monopoly of cabinets, diplomats, and top bureaucrats. In this as in other respects the political culture of old-regime Europe still influences the supposedly post-modern system of governance of the EU (Majone 2005: 46–51).
Giandomenico Majone (Rethinking the Union of Europe Post-Crisis: Has Integration Gone Too Far?)
In 1863 West Virginia was admitted to the Union as a separate state, with the proviso that it abolish slavery. A popular referendum then approved a plan whereby all blacks born after July 4, 1863, would enjoy freedom. By the end of the war, complete emancipation had been enacted.
Eric Foner (Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877)
Well, no,” I told him. “But all the referendums freak me out. I used to try to understand them, then one year I voted for one and found out after that I voted the wrong way because they made the language purposefully confusing so you thought you were voting for one thing and you weren’t. I went back and read and reread it and there was no way I knew what I was voting for. That’s dirty business, so I decided that I should vote only on things I totally understood instead of making another mistake like that because, well, you know, these things affect people’s lives and you shouldn’t screw up something that important. As none of the referendums make a lick of sense to me, I concentrate on the candidates and hope they’ll take care of the referendums.
Kristen Ashley (Raid (Unfinished Hero, #3))
We have inherited a tradition which has associated religion and politics in a way that has excluded some of our fellow citizens … When we become legislators, though, as we do when we vote in referendums, we legislate for all our fellow citizens. We do not vote as members of this or that church or faith. Of course we cannot leave our religiously based moral convictions outside the polling station, but we do need to remember the difference between civil and religious law. We also need to remember that it is possible to have deep and passionately held convictions without seeking to have those convictions imposed by the state on fellow citizens who do not share them and may have opposite convictions which are equally deep and passionately held.
Fr Iggy O'Donovan
One way in which the referendum could be overturned is the following way.  If the MPs (Members of Parliament) forced a general election and a party campaigned on a promise to keep Britain in the EU, got elected and then they claimed that the election mandate topped the referendum one.
Brendon Rogers (#Brexit The whole story in simple words)
The difference between a referendum and a plebiscite is a fine one. Both pertain to collective decisions made by the direct vote of all qualified adults. The referendum, which derives from Swiss practice, involves an issue that is provisionally determined in advance, but that is then ‘referred’ for a final decision by the whole electorate. This
Norman Davies (Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe)
perhaps as profoundly as the original had in 1688.2
Iain Macwhirter (Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum but Lost Scotland)
Thus, both Mountbatten and Nehru stipulated that the ultimate fate of Kashmir should be settled ‘by reference to the people’, and on 2 November Nehru broadcast on All India Radio that ‘we are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have a referendum’.
Katherine Frank (Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi)
Nehru reiterated this pledge in a telegram to the new Pakistani Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, and added ‘we have agreed to an impartial international agency like the United Nations supervising any referendum’.
Katherine Frank (Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi)
Now, twelve years after the 1995 referendum had brought the country to the brink of breakup, the voters in a francophone, nationalist riding dumped the Liberals and abandoned the Bloc, signalling their willingness to return to the Canadian conversation.
Tom Mulcair (Strength of Conviction)
In 1995, the result of the PQ-mandated second referendum on Québec independence was such a close call that in many other countries it might have degenerated into civil conflict. But that didn’t happen. Why not? Maybe because on all of those occasions we kept talking, since we know in our heart of hearts that what we’ve got is worth keeping.
Tom Mulcair (Strength of Conviction)
Divorzio e referendum sul divorzio. La norma religiosa nello spazio pubblico
Alberto Savorana (Un'attrattiva che muove: La proposta inesauribile della vita di don Giussani)
Divorzio e referendum sul divorzio. La norma religiosa nello spazio pubblico Il secondo punto che avrei voluto discutere con Giussani riguarda un episodio raccontato nel libro, che merita a mio avviso una riflessione più profonda, più dettagliata, perché ha un significato più che storico. Riguarda, infatti, la posizione della religione nello spazio pubblico, allora e oggi. Si tratta del coinvolgimento di CL nel referendum Fanfani del 1974, che cercava di abrogare la legge che permetteva il divorzio. CL, guidata da Giussani, sosteneva il «Sì» seguendo fedelmente le indicazioni della CEI. C’era qualche voce dentro il movimento (vedi a pagina 458) che consigliava diversamente, e non per ragioni di principio ma di opportunità politica. Come sappiamo, la proposta abrogativa fu sconfitta clamorosamente. All’indomani del voto Giussani ha reagito in modo assai militante, quasi amaro. Ma in dieci anni il suo pensiero è diventato più sottile. Cito da pagina 459: il referendum «portò alla ribalta una situazione fino ad allora non da tutti chiaramente percepita; e soprattutto poco percepita all’interno della Chiesa istituzionale, dove spesso si continuava malgrado tutto a credere che l’Italia fosse un paese ancora incontestabilmente e largamente cattolico. […] Valutando la questione a posteriori penso di poter concludere che una presa di coscienza della situazione così chiara ed inequivocabile, anche se brutale, fu meglio per la Chiesa di quel che altrimenti sarebbe potuto accadere: che cioè il declino della presenza cattolica nella società italiana continuasse in modo strisciante, ed inavvertito da molta parte della Chiesa istituzionale». Se avessi avuto la possibilità di discutere con Giussani, gli avrei domandato: «Secondo lei, se la situazione sociale in Italia fosse stata diversa, cioè se il Paese fosse stato ancora incontestabilmente e largamente cattolico, sarebbe stata una giustificazione per votare “SÌ” all’abrogazione?». A mio umile avviso, anche in queste condizioni sarebbe stato un errore votare «SÌ», perché in questo modo si nega la volontà di Dio e, se ho capito bene, anche l’insegnamento del Concilio Vaticano II sul rapporto fra la religione e il potere coercitivo dello Stato. Come ha spiegato con chiarezza e coraggio Benedetto XVI davanti al Bundestag, esistono norme religiose che, pur essendo religiose, sono spiegabili nei termini della semplice ragione di cui Dio ha dotato tutti gli esseri umani. Il monito: «Non uccidere» si trova nei Dieci Comandamenti, parole rivelate direttamente di Dio. Ma anche senza questa rivelazione sarebbe giustificabile davanti ai credenti e ai non credenti. La sua coincidenza con la rivelazione può aggiungere un’ulteriore motivazione per il credente, per il quale uccidere non sarà solo un reato contro la legge e contro le norme morali e l’etica generale, ma anche un peccato davanti a Dio. E il credente, senza alcuna esitazione, può mobilitarsi perché diventi legge generale applicata e tutelata dallo Stato con tutto il suo potere coercitivo. Ma l’indissolubilità del matrimonio cattolico è una questione diversa. È, infatti, espressione del concetto di matrimonio «sacramentale» (la parola non ha alcun significato nel vocabolario dello Stato non confessionale), che distingue lo sposo cattolico non soltanto dai suoi concittadini non credenti, ma anche dai credenti di altre religioni (come Protestanti, Ebrei e Musulmani che, pur avendo il matrimonio sacramentale, prevedono la possibilità del divorzio). C’è un elemento molto particolare nel matrimonio cattolico (che secondo tanti è un elemento molto nobile), perché esso è concepito come un’unione che coinvolge tre parti, i due sposi e Dio, che assegna a tale unione un valore addirittura sacramentale, che assegna una certa santità (un’altra parola che non esiste nel vocabolario dello Stato non confessionale) al matrimonio e che ne spiega e giustifica l’indissolubilità in termini religiosi. Il matrimonio civile, però, è del tutto diverso. Per la mia
Alberto Savorana (Un'attrattiva che muove: La proposta inesauribile della vita di don Giussani)
the biblical King both reigns and rules. And He carries out His rule not by referendum but by His personal sovereignty. AN
R.C. Sproul (Does God Control Everything? (Crucial Questions, #14))
The Supreme Court did not overturn these prohibitions until 1967. Still, some states were slow to officially repeal their endogamy laws. Alabama, the last state to do so, did not throw out its law against intermarriage until the year 2000. Even then, 40 percent of the electorate in that referendum voted in favor of keeping the marriage ban on the books.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Democratic newspaper editors and stump speakers, far more than any Northern Republicans, began turning the election into a national referendum on slavery, race, and equality in the very broadest sense—often in the ugliest possible terms. A St. Louis newspaper charged flatly that the principle of “negro equality” lay behind the entire Republican ideology. A Texas paper referred to Lincoln as “the candidate of the niggers.”32 And almost every anti-Lincoln paper in the country consistently referred to the “Black Republicans,” just in case any inattentive voter might somehow miss the point.
Adam Goodheart (1861: The Civil War Awakening)
It’s June 2018, and I’m in Washington to testify to the U.S. Congress about Cambridge Analytica, a military contractor and psychological warfare firm where I used to work, and a complex web involving Facebook, Russia, WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign, and the Brexit referendum.
Christopher Wylie (Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America)
The most dramatic consequence of the new constitution [of 1901] was the one most desired by its drafters, the sudden and dramatic decline in voting. [...] What makes the 1901 suffrage provisions even more significant is comparison with the state's first constitution. Otherwise one might assume that the operative principle in Alabama public policy had always been anti-democratic. Actually, the opposite was true. The 1819 constitution, which ushered Alabama into the Union, was a projection of the towering presence of Thomas Jefferson and the democratic aspirations of the American Revolution. Delegates to that convention had pointedly refused to restrict suffrage based on literacy, ownership of property, or even church affiliation. Any white male 21 years of age or older could vote, whether or not he could read, write, owned property, belonged to a church or even believed in God. But the democratic assumptions of that first gathering of founding fathers at Huntsville in July 1819 were not shared by their successors in Montgomery in the summer of 1901. Nor was the democratic assumption of Alabama's own past the only principle violated in 1901. So was the dominant democratic thrust of the 20th century both in America and throughout the world. It was the federal government and not the state of Alabama that enfranchised women in 1919. It was the Supreme Court that demanded that every vote count the same by compelling reapportionment after the Alabama legislature refused to do so for six decades. It was Congress in the 1965 Voting Rights Act that finally enfranchised Alabama blacks. And it was the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 that ensured the right to vote for all the state's poor of whatever color when it struck down the poll tax. If the century-long wail for states' rights by Alabama's white elite struck many Americans as hollow and hypocritical, perhaps it was because that otherwise noble ideal for restricting tyranny was so often employed in Alabama on behalf of tyranny. For in Alabama, the constitution did not empower the people; it empowered the legislature. Without recall, initiative, referendum, or home rule, power was vested was vested in government, not in citizens. Democracy was forfeited to the federal Congress and to federal courts.
Wayne Flynt (Alabama in the Twentieth Century)
makes me think that we should get up a referendum asking Hollywood to give us all a break and put their money on new ideas.
Kevin Murphy (A Year at the Movies: One Man's Filmgoing Odyssey)
The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions—even when that is exactly what they have announced that they will do. Revolutionaries sometimes do intend to destroy institutions all at once. This was the approach of the Russian Bolsheviks. Sometimes institutions are deprived of vitality and function, turned into a simulacrum of what they once were, so that they gird the new order rather than resisting it. This is what the Nazis called Gleichschaltung. It took less than a year for the new Nazi order to consolidate. By the end of 1933, Germany had become a one-party state in which all major institutions had been humbled. That November, German authorities held parliamentary elections (without opposition) and a referendum (on an issue where the “correct” answer was known) to confirm the new order. Some German Jews voted as the Nazi leaders wanted them to in the hope that this gesture of loyalty would bind the new system to them. That was a vain hope.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
By the time that Donald J. Trump was elected to the Presidency, the elections which chose the President had transformed from referendums about who would best administer the international slave trade into contests about who’d get the chance to reduce illiterate Muslims into pulpy masses of intestines. The people who’d voted for Trump went nuts because they’d won and had no idea what to do with their impossible victory. The country’s political liberals went nuts because Trump put them in the position of facing an undeniable and yet unpalatable truth. This was the truth that the political liberals could not deny and could not face: beyond making English Comp courses at community colleges very annoying, forty years of rhetorical progress had achieved little, and it turned out that feeling good about gay marriage did not alleviate the taint of being warmongers whose taxes had killed more Muslims than the Black Death. You can’t make evil disappear by being a reasonably nice person who mouths platitudes at dinner parties. Social media confessions do not alleviate suffering. You can’t talk the world into being a decent place while sacrificing nothing. The socialists didn’t go nuts. They were the people who’d thought about the complex problems facing the nation and decided that an honest solution to these problems could be achieved with applied Leftism. But don’t get your hopes up. Despite being correct in their thinking, the socialists were the most annoying people in America. When they spoke, it was like bamboo slivers shoved under a fingernail. I don’t know why. It was the single biggest American tragedy of the last one hundred years. Here was the difference between the priestly castes, many of whom had opinions on deadline for money, and everyone else: sane people shut the fuck up, nodded their heads, and did what they needed to survive in a toxic political landscape. In an era when public discourse was the bought-and-paid property of roughly twenty companies, and the airing of an opinion could subject a person to unfathomable amounts of abuse and recrimination, the only reasonable option was to be quiet. So when you next fawn over someone’s brave public thoughts, repeat the following: The contours of discourse are so horrendous that one thing has become certain. Any individual offering up a public opinion necessarily must be either hopelessly stupid or insane. I am engaging with a product of madness and idiocy.
Jarett Kobek (Only Americans Burn in Hell)
Peace cannot require Palestinians to acquiesce to the denial of what was done to them. Neither can it require Israeli Jews to view their own presence in Palestine as illegitimate or to change their belief in their right to live there because of ancient historical and spiritual ties. Peace, rather, must be based on how we act toward each other now. It is unacceptable for a Palestinian to draw on his history of oppression and suffering to justify harming innocent Israeli civilians. It is equally unacceptable for an Israeli to invoke his belief in an ancient covenant between God and Abraham to justify bulldozing the home and seizing the land of a Palestinian farmer. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which proposes a political framework for a resolution to the conflict in Ireland, and which was overwhelmingly endorsed in referendums, sets out two principles from which Palestinians and Israelis could learn. First “[i]t is recognized that victims have a right to remember as well as to contribute to a changed society.” Second, whatever political arrangements are freely and democratically chosen for the governance of Northern Ireland, the power of the government “shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions and shall be founded on the principles of full respect for, and equality of civil, political, social, and cultural rights, of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, and of parity of esteem and of just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos, and aspirations of both communities.” Northern Ireland is still a long way from achieving this ideal, but life has vastly improved since the worst days of “the Troubles” and it is a paradise on earth compared to Palestine/Israel.
Ali Abunimah (One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse)
The 2020 election will be a referendum on capitalism versus socialism, on life versus infanticide, on gender sanity versus insanity, on equal opportunity versus forced equal outcomes, on color blindness versus race-baiting, on free speech versus censorship, on freedom of thought versus political correctness, on American sovereignty versus open borders and globalism, and on liberty versus authoritarianism.
David Limbaugh (Guilty By Reason of Insanity: Why The Democrats Must Not Win)
Frustrato, Doug tentò un’altra strada. “Ascolta, supponiamo che la maggioranza voti per la Brexit e noi...” “Scusami se ti interrompo,” disse Nigel. “Supponiamo che la maggioranza voti per cosa?” “Brexit.” Nigel lo guardò sbalordito. “Come mai salti fuori con questa parola?” “Non è così che la chiamano tutti?” “Credevo che si dicesse Brixit.” “Cosa? Brixit?” “Noi diciamo così.” “Noi... chi?” “Dave e tutto il gruppo.” “Tutti dicono Brexit. Da dove viene Brixit?” “Non lo so. Pensavo che si dicesse così.” Di nuovo prese un appunto sul taccuino. “Brexit? Sei sicuro?” “Sicurissimo. È una parola composta. British exit.” “British exit... Allora dovrebbe essere Brixit?” “Be’, i greci l’hanno chiamata Grexit.” “I greci? Non sono usciti dall’Unione europea.” “No, ma hanno valutato la possibilità di farlo.” “Noi non siamo i greci. Dovremmo avere una parola che sia unicamente nostra?” “Ce l’abbiamo. Brexit.” “Ma noi continuiamo a dire Brixit.” Scuotendo la testa, Nigel continuò a scrivere. “Sarà una notizia bomba nel prossimo consiglio dei ministri. Spero che non tocchi a me comunicarlo.” “A che ti serve avere una definizione se sei sicuro che la cosa non succederà?” gli domandò Doug. Nigel sorrise felice. “Naturale... hai ragione da vendere. Non succederà e quindi non ci serve definirla.” “Ecco, vedi.” “Dopotutto, tra un anno, nessuno si ricorderà più di questa stupida faccenda.” “Esattamente.” “Nessuno si ricorderà che qualcuno voleva la Brixit.” “Proprio così. Però, sai, alcuni di loro...” Si chiese come dovesse metterla. “Sono personaggi da prendere sul serio, no? Boris Johnson, per esempio. Un vero peso massimo.” “Non infierire sul suo aspetto fisico,” disse Nigel. “Anche se Dave è molto arrabbiato con lui.” “Non si aspettava che si pronunciasse a favore dell’uscita?” “No, non se l’aspettava.” “Gira voce che la sera prima che il ‘Telegraph’ andasse in stampa, Boris avesse preparato due articoli – uno in cui sosteneva l’uscita e l’altro in cui si dichiarava favorevole a restare nell’Unione europea.” “Non ci credo per niente,” disse Nigel. “Boris avrebbe preparato tre articoli: uno per uscire, l’altro per restare e il terzo perché non riusciva a decidere. Gli piace essere sempre pronto.”“E poi c’è Michael Gove. Un altro attaccante che si è pronunciato a favore dell’uscita.” “Lo so. Dave è arrabbiatissimo con Michael. Per fortuna rimangono molti conservatori leali e di buon senso che apprezzano i benefici di restare membri della UE. Credo che tu vada a letto con una di loro. Ma prova a immaginare cosa pensa Dave di Michael e di alcuni altri. Insomma, è andato a Bruxelles, è tornato con un accordo assai vantaggioso, e questi non sono ancora contenti.” “Semplice: a molti non va giù la UE,” disse Doug. “Pensano che non sia democratica.” “Sì, ma uscirne sarebbe un male per l’economia.” “Pensano che la Germania comandi a bacchetta su tutti.” “Sì, ma uscirne sarebbe un male per l’economia.” “Pensano che dalla Polonia e dalla Romania siano arrivati troppi immigrati che spingono i salari al ribasso.” “Sì, ma uscirne sarebbe un male per l’economia.” “D’accordo,” disse Doug. “Credo di avere appena capito quali saranno i tre punti strategici della campagna di Dave.” Adesso era il suo turno di prendere appunti. “E come la mettiamo con Jeremy Corbyn?” Nigel inspirò con un lungo sibilo e sobbalzò visibilmente. “Jeremy Corbyn?” “Se il quadro è questo, lui dove si colloca?” “Preferisco non parlarne.” “Perché no?” “Perché no? Perché è un marxista. Marxista, leninista, trotzkista, comunista. Maoista, bolscevico, anarchico, di sinistra. Un socialista fondamentalista, anticapitalista, antimonarchico, pro-terrorismo.” “Ma è anche uno che vuole rimanere nella UE.” “Davvero?” “Così dice.” “Allora, naturalmente, saremo felici di averlo a bordo. Ma non credo che Dave sarebbe pronto a condividere alcunché sul piano politico.” “Non sarà necessario. È Jeremy il primo a respingere un accordo di questo tipo.” “Bene.
Jonathan Coe (Middle England (Rotters' Club, #3))
Com’è il morale? In generale”. “Il morale è... eccellente,” disse Nigel, deglutendo con forza. “È un periodo interessantissimo, naturalmente. La Gran Bretagna è a un punto di svolta e noi siamo proprio nell’epicentro... nell’epicentro del turbine che sta... trasfigurando la realtà politica, indirizzandola verso uno sviluppo... decisamente sismico in cui... le placche tettoniche della nostra storia nazionale si stanno spostando, con il risultato di provocare una trasformazione... e io, in qualità di testimone...” All’improvviso si interruppe. Il suo sguardo si perse nel vuoto. Le spalle si afflosciarono. Per un minuto o due rimase a fissare la superficie schiumosa del suo caffè. Alla fine tornò ad alzare gli occhi e le sue successive parole furono le più sincere che Douglas avesse mai sentito uscire dalle sue labbra. “Siamo fottuti.” “Prego?” “Siamo completamente e irrimediabilmente fottuti. È un caos. Corriamo di qua e di là come polli decapitati. Nessuno ha la più pallida idea di quello che sta facendo. Siamo... siamo fottuti.” Rapidamente Doug tirò fuori il cellulare e cominciò a registrare. “È ufficiale?” chiese. “Che importa? Siamo fottuti, perciò che senso ha sapere se è ufficiale?” “Che tipo di caos? Chi corre di qua e di là come un pollo decapitato?” “Tutti. Nessuno escluso. Chi si aspettava un esito simile? Nessuno era pronto. Nessuno sa cosa sia la Brexit. Nessuno sa come attuarla. Un anno e mezzo fa tutti la chiamavano Brixit. Nessuno sa cosa voglia dire Brexit.” “Pensavo che Brexit significasse Brexit.” “Divertente. E come dovrebbe essere questa Brexit?” “Una Brexit rossa, bianca e blu, come dice la May,” citò Doug e di nuovo si dispiacque per Nigel, così infelice. “Ma di sicuro ci saranno frotte di consiglieri... esperti?...” “Esperti?” disse Nigel con amarezza. “Non crediamo più negli esperti. La catena di comando è semplicissima. Ciascuno riceve le sue direttive da Theresa, e Theresa le riceve dal ‘Daily Mail’. E anche da un paio di think tank così fanatici del libero scambio che non li lasceresti...” “Questi think tank...” disse Doug incuriosito. “Non mi dirai che una di loro è l’Imperium Foundation, vero?” “Mio Dio,” disse Nigel, la testa tra le mani. “Sono dappertutto... dappertutto. Sempre pronti a indire riunioni. A bombardarci di tabelle. Dimenticati della volontà del popolo. Sono questi i pazzi che hanno preso il potere.” “Cameron avrebbe saputo fronteggiarli meglio, secondo te?” “Cameron?” disse Nigel con una smorfia. “Un fesso di prima categoria! Un moccioso! Un coglione fatto e finito. Se ne sta nel suo capanno del cazzo a scrivere le sue memorie. Guarda che disastro si è lasciato alle spalle. Tutti pronti a pugnalarsi alle spalle. Gli stranieri vengono insultati per la strada. Aggrediti sull’autobus. Invitati a tornarsene da dove sono venuti. Se uno non riga dritto, ecco che subito diventa un traditore e un nemico del popolo. Cameron ha demolito questo paese, Doug. L’ha demolito ed è scappato.
Jonathan Coe (Middle England (Rotters' Club, #3))
Food wasn’t there to satiate hunger, to fuel activity, or to enjoy. Instead, it became emotionally and morally laden. A slice of cheddar cheese became a referendum on my willpower, work ethic, character. A bite of ice cream was a moment of weakness. One scoop was cause for concern; two scoops called for an intervention.
Aubrey Gordon (What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat)
They’ve literally tried to secede from New York City and form their own city or join New Jersey. In June 1989, the New York State legislature gave Staten Island residents the right to decide on secession, and in November 1993, 65 percent of voters voted yes. Governor Mario Cuomo insisted that the referendum be approved by the state legislature, where it was defeated,
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)
The biggest threat Parliament faces is democracy. It's been a necessary evil for centuries, and for the most part we've been able to use it to our advantage. But one fucking referendum later and it's like someone gave a loaded gun to a drunk toddler.
Mick Herron (London Rules (Slough House, #5))
One of the unwritten rules of a democracy is that referendums can be overturned if a sufficient number of rich celebrities demand it.
Titania McGrath (Woke: A Guide to Social Justice)
The great French historian Ernest Renan in the late 1880s denied that a nation was based on ethnicity and language or blood-and-soil nationality. His argument was that a nation consists of people who have a collective shared sentiment and that sentiment is based on myth and history and a series of symbols and markers of identity. There is a constant referendum going as to whether that sentiment still exists in the union. Renan’s concept of a nation is that it can be ephemeral; it’s not there forever, it is not a permanency as it varies according to circumstances. This is a very intriguing parallel with what’s going on in the UK today.
T.M. Devine
April 21, 2002, the "No" vote on the European referendum, the riots in the suburbs and the social movement against the CPE (first employment contract). Confronted with their own objectives (when they exist), they are insignificant - the zero degree of an impossible revolution. But if we interpret them on a global level, in the framework of this global antagonism, then they become "micro rogue-events," an almost instinctive abreaction, no matter what their ideology, to the deregulatory machine of world power. In some ways, the "No" on the referendum, the illogical and unexplainable "No," or the revolts in the suburbs come from the same demand. It is not a demand to be "integrated." On the contrary, it is a demand not to be integrated at all, or tethered or annexed or taken hostage by any model (especially an ideal one!), because it always hides an absolutely deadly totalitarian arrangement, an unquestioned fundamentalism. And in this sense, maybe they are "less-dead-than-others." Wherever this global confrontation will lead, nothing is yet decided and the suspense remains total.
Jean Baudrillard (The Agony of Power)
In South Wales racist attacks went up 77 per cent after the referendum vote. I’m not certain whether to be appalled at their racism or admire that they managed to keep such a tsunami of hatred inside until they thought it was allowed.
Frankie Boyle (The Future of British Politics)
Lucy understood it now. The referendum was giving groups of people who didn’t like each other, or at least failed to comprehend each other, an opportunity to fight.
Nick Hornby (Just Like You)
Is Gay Political? Ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK, the actor Sir Ian McKellen was interviewed about which way he was planning to vote. The interview’s headline quote was ‘Brexit makes no sense if you’re gay.’ In the piece Sir Ian – who has done an enormous amount to advance fundamental gay rights over the decades – said that, looking at the vote from a gay perspective, ‘there’s only one point, which is to stay. If you’re a gay person, you’re an internationalist.
Douglas Murray (The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity)
Democracy?’ said the landlord. ‘Democracy’s finished. It’s a dead duck. I look at it this way. I was a socialist. Now I run a pub. I’m a conservative. Why? Self-interest. What sort of a bloody system’s that? No, I’d abolish democracy tomorrow if it was me.’ ‘How?’ said Reggie. ‘Referendum,’ said the landlord.
David Nobbs (The Return of Reginald Perrin (Reginald Perrin, #2))
But now, except for a county in Alabama where the citizens voted no on a referendum, I believe the poor goy cannot elude the bagel anywhere in America.
Philip Roth (Sabbath's Theater)