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Friday, January 27, 2017

Brexit and Calexit: Excessive Democracy?

Ordered by Britain’s Supreme Court to get the state’s Parliament’s approval for the state to secede from the Union, the Prime Minister, Teresa May, faced the prospect of debate, amendments, and the votes themselves in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In the latter chamber, May’s Conservative Party did not at the time have a majority. Some in her party “suggested that she should quickly appoint enough new lords to give her the votes she needs. But few say they expect that to be necessary: with little democratic legitimacy, the 805 lords are unlikely to dare to block” the referendum outcome favoring secession.[1] I submit that the democratic criterion is ill-fitting to the House of Lords.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

1. Katrin Bennhold, “Ordered to Seek Approval on ‘Brexit,’ Teresa May Does So. Tersely,” The New York Times, January 26, 2017.