The rise of antiestablishmentarianist discontent among voters is not unique to America this election year. In Europe the same wave of sentiment is on the rise, and this is all thanks things like Boaty McBoatface.
As you have certainly by now heard Boaty McBoatface was the winning name of a British government sponsored public polling contest for a new arctic research vessel. “Boaty” beat out more serious contenders like Shackleton, Endeavour, Falcon, Discovery, Triumph…. (boooooring!).
Now Britain has a $287 million polar research vessel named R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface. Except they don’t. Against the wishes of the voters they have (perhaps wisely) chosen to name the research vessel the R.R.S. David Attenborough.
Obviously this is a much better name and a fine tribute to a great scientist/educator. The catch however is that this choice was not the Democratically chosen winner. Yes, letting the “people” make decisions has it’s faults as “Boaty” proves. But that’s how democracy works. Unfortunately in the New European Union this is not how Democracy is practiced.
One example is a recent referendum where the Dutch people rejected an EU trade agreement with the Ukraine. By law every European Member States approval was needed. When Dutch leaders went to Brussels with their “NO” result they were told to their faces that their referendum didn’t matter. Brussels’ message to the voter was loud-and-clear. Vote all you want, just don’t bother us with your results. This type to thing happens time and time again in the EU.
While “Boaty” may be a rather innocent example, it illustrates perfectly the true nature of the “New Democracy” in the EU.