Those silly British citizens just plain surprised the world with that vote to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Now, it appears at least 1.5 million of them want a do-over. They want another chance to reverse what a majority of Brits said they wanted. They’ve reportedly signed their names to petitions being circulated throughout Britain.
A part of me wishes a do-over election was feasible and reasonable. I dislike the idea of Britain exiting the EU. I fear for the future of this stellar alliance of nations and what its potential disintegration might mean to us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
But in reality, the decision ought to stand and the British government should play the hand its been dealt.
Were it possible to grant electoral mulligans, Americans might have sought such a thing after the 2000 presidential election when Al Gore collected more popular votes than George W. Bush but lost the Electoral College by a single vote when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the hand-counting of ballots in Florida; Bush had 537 more votes in Florida than Gore when the counting stopped, so he won the electoral vote by one more that he needed to be elected.
Our constitutional system worked.
The British referendum delivered a clear message, meaning that the British electoral system worked, too.
My hope — which is not exactly my expectation — is that the world financial markets will settle down eventually. Maybe it will settle down sooner than we think at the moment. That’s the one element of this tumult that upsets me … as a semi-retired American citizen.
A do-over on this referendum — which, incidentally, was a non-binding vote? It won’t happen. Nor should it.
The British government now must deal wit the harsh reality of re-creating an old relationship with the rest of Europe.