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Plebiscite follies

Cry ‘havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war

Peter Bridgman writes:

‘Brexit started out complex, but the injection of race, immigration and British nativism and false notions of independence made it worse.

‘Both campaigns were built on lies and ambition: “Leave” on myths, emotion and hyperbole; “Remain” on weak pleas to reason and shouty politics. The folly of the plebiscite let slip the dogs of war. The regrets tell us a lot about the folly that people are somehow spontaneously wise and thoughtful.

‘All this gives us a chance to reflect on a plebiscite of our own, the one promised by Tony Abbott to delay and defer a political decision, and adopted by Malcolm Turnbull to manage internal constituencies: another complex, vexed and divisive issue: same sex marriage.’

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