Brexit is what happens when millennials don’t vote

As you probably know, the United Kingdom voted last night to leave the European Union.

When you look at the numbers, it’s quite fascinating. The youngest voters wanted to stay in wide margins, and the oldest voters wanted to leave.

And that’s the exact opposite of who turned out to vote. Older voters turned out, younger voters did not. So it didn’t matter if the overwhelming majority of millennials preferred to remain in the EU, they simply didn’t vote to express that opinion.

Check out these two tables. First, support for Brexit:

Support for Brexit.

Now, check out who actually turned out to vote — those who wanted to leave, and older voters:

by default 2016-06-24 at 11.33.03 AM by default 2016-06-24 at 11.33.38 AM

The Financial Times has more. FT claims the relationship between age and turnout is “far from clear cut.” Then they post a chart that makes it as clear cut as it can get. Look at that chart. You’ve got two groups — 20 to 38 or so, with lower turnout; and 40 to to 50 with much higher turnout.


Then there’s this chart, that shows turnout by age group in each of the last five elections in the UK:

by default 2016-06-24 at 11.08.49 AM

What we see is that old people turned out far more than younger people.

Some young Britons are now complaining that old people are to blame — hardly:

Brexit feedback by youth

Brexit is what happens when young people — or anyone, for that matter — fail to turn out to vote. You think your side has a guaranteed win, so you don’t vote, and then you lose.

Everyone should keep that in mind, lest they plan on not voting this fall, or just as bad, voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. You might think your vote doesn’t matter — and that is what’s going on if you’re voting for a third party, in your heart of hearts you “know” that your vote won’t really get Trump elected. Well, you might want to talk to some British millennials right about now.

by default 2016-06-24 at 11.36.22 AM

In other words, Brexit is Britain’s Ralph Nader. Good luck with that.

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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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87 Responses to “Brexit is what happens when millennials don’t vote”

  1. Steve says:

    From a Leave voter’s point of view that implies the youth vote is dangerous/stupid and thus it might actually be a good thing most of them don’t participate in politics. If they had turned out in greater numbers and even swung the outcome to remaining, right now the UK would continue in a situation I feel is in the grand scheme of things worse for the country’s long-term prospects.

    I’m fairly certain that my voting decision was by a wide margin better informed than many of the vocal remainers, if their spiel is anything to go by.

  2. Opinionated Cat Lover says:

    If you are Conservative, and would never vote for Hillary, by all means, vote for Johnson over Trump. ;)

  3. RedMint says:

    I would suggest that the division was not by age but rather is between the takers and the producers. The producers won the vote because the takers were all sitting somewhere waiting for their checks to arrive.

  4. MACV says:

    The reason the GOP controls both houses of congress …. THE YOUNG DID NOT VOTE!
    These OLD RACIST GEEZERS have poisoned the water and the planet along with the food and air and don’t give a damn about you, or your children’s future. As G.W. Bush said “… who cares, I’ll be dead by then” … and you’ll be alive to live the nightmare these reprobates leave for you. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE (and then VOTE again … your lives depend on it)

  5. Sarita La Cubanita says:

    I keep hearing that the Brexit vote was divided by age, and that “LEAVE” were old, while “REMAIN” were young. I’ve seen the photos and videos of people celebrating and not celebrating (young and old in both). I’ve seen the interviews with experts for LEAVE and for REMAIN, and both are young and old. I found out that the truth is that in both camps are young and in both camps are old.
    The one difference might be college kids.

    Post Brexit, I got into an e-mail conversation with a young Remainer, a female college student from the UK, who assured me that remaining would have been the “only way” for people from all races to “learn to love one another,” the only right thing to do.
    I am not religious woman, but I thanked God that day that I happened to be communicating via e-mail and not face-to-face, or I might have rudely burst out laughing in front of her and insulted her with my inability to control my mirth.

    So Brexit, to her, meant, “learning to love one another.” That was perfect!!! It was spoken with the perfect childlike optimism, idealism, and hope for a world where everyone is fair, where nobody is a greed-monger, where everyone can be trusted implicitly, and where all people love one another and notice no differences.

    I’m from the U.S., and in the U.S. college students are fed in colleges and via the social media, Internet news, and WSJ, the same idealistic set of inanities – am open-border world where everything is fair, lovely, beautiful, and everyone loves everyone.

    While I’m all in agreement that children and young adults should be optimistic, and I feel that they may as well postpone the eventuality of real life, harsh as real life is, I do feel that young people have been brainwashed in colleges, and via social media, Internet news, and market propaganda artists into believing that The Starship Enterprise should be their noble goal – a place where everyone is equal, where they come from all backgrounds and loves one another, and where the starship simply floats around bringing peace to the universe.

    And that is why young kids are pro-Remain. They haven’t crashed into the real world yet. But they will. And in the future they will be very grateful that others voted to LEAVE the Matrix CPU otherwise known as European Union.

    Now the rich, the powerful, banks, markets, and all others who have made profits hand over fist thanks to the EU, while the rest suffered, have united to fight and delegitimize the Brexit leave vote via propaganda. They have been inundating the media, the Internet, and everything with lies and propaganda. Their view is, “Those LEAVE voters voted wrong!! We will make sure they learn to vote REMAIN even if we have to put it up to a vote over and over or ignore the vote!” It’s truly the most heinous thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and it is the biggest amount of propaganda. Even more propaganda than I see in my own country. Lies of every sort.

  6. ksimms says:

    First, the older people didn’t vote “badly” any more than the younger people voted “correctly”. They voted for their own self interests and perhaps nostalgia for a pre-EU time which anyone younger than 40 wouldn’t know anything about. No one ever asked the millennials to “save” older voters from their bad decisions, just to vote for their own self interest. Not hard. Show up.

    Second, Yes, there are several reasons behind any loss in an election. Rain in London cannot be controlled. Deciding not to vote because it’s raining can, and is a pathetic reason for not voting. 57,000 people were purged from voting in Florida in 2000. Some may have been correctly purged, others may not have even tried to vote, some may have voted for Bush. But 97,000 Floridians voted for Nader. There are reasons and there are major reasons.

    Third, I agree it’s not wise to shame young people for not voting. But it’s not wise to shame older people for showing up. And sorry, one of the examples of a Leave voter regretting their choice most seen in the news, was a young, ethnic woman. Watch John Oliver. Definitely a dud.

    Fourth, Maybe you’re too young to remember, but poor white uneducated people have always been shamed for voting against their own interests. Minorities were regularly criticized for low voter turnout until the 90s when numbers started to increase. Blacks were criticized as recently as Ferguson for not showing up to vote. So maybe you only notice young (white) people getting criticized because that’s who you happen to be. Maybe take your advice and look at things from other people’s perspective. You may learn something from people who have been there done that.

  7. hiker_sf says:


    Have a nice evening.

  8. AmehcaFirst! says:

    Screaming “Deaf Elitists!!!” completely ignores the cold hard fact that manufacturing jobs haven’t been stolen by Mexicans, but by machines and computers.
    Plus whining “Mommy they called me a racist … so unfair!”, DOES TOO ignore the very really racism and xenophobia of rightwingers, Trump voters, conservatives, Repubes and Brexiters.

    You want us to believe in some fairy Disney land, where racism is a thing of the past, only unfairly used by blacks to get things they dont deserve…… while untold buckets of racist crap is being pored over blacks everyday on social media and the internet.

    That just won’t fly and you’re delusional if you think that denying the OPEN racism of Trump and hidden DOG WHISTLING racism of Paul Ryan are not noticed. That’s just racism again: you think blacks and women are too stupid to notice that they are being discriminated against. Guess what: THEY NOTICE!

  9. AmehcaFirst! says:

    you wish!!! Millenials will get organized and get registered to vote in even higher numbers.

  10. AmehcaFirst! says:

    you’re a big fat racist against whites if you think Obama didn’t get any of the white vote…
    Let’s dispel with the notion that rightwinger serve anyone but Big Corp and whites.
    The left cares about the poor. The Repubs take food stamps from the starving.

  11. honoredcitizen says:

    Ah the young… always tooooo busy or tooooo independent to vote. This is why old farts like me decide who wins elections. In the USA, Democrats shouldn’t bother trying to persuade conservatives about anything, but instead should make sure some young person they know actually votes on November 8. (Many will forget… or have much more important things to do… or be preoccupied all day diddling their devices.)

  12. Just Say No says:

    With millennials it’s easy, just promise them free college tuition and the occasional free concert from Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend or Mumford & Sons and they’ll turn out to vote.

  13. Just Say No says:

    Losing by 8 million votes or 1 vote is losing.

  14. Ron Ruggieri says:

    The fact is the British ruling class political establishment – including its stock market- was betting on a REMAIN vote. Since when should the ” white working class ” heed the advice of its class enemies ? And that is true here in the USA.
    Can Hillary Clinton win the presidency mostly with the support of the black bourgeoisie and jaded bourgeois feminists ?
    Why should ANY working class person support neo-con Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall St. and the Pentagon ?( who says so ? THEY say so ! )
    I commend the good sense and the class instinct of the British working class.

  15. AmehcaFirst! says:

    On the whole, the white working class in both the UK and the US were sold a bunch of lies, and voted against their best interest. Car manufacturers are now gonna leave the UK, and they won’t be able to sell their milk at a good price anymore. French farmers say thank you.

    If you buy into the racism of Trump and Blo Job, you deserve all the job loss you get.
    Farage promised to now spend the EU-contribution on the NHS their health care, but within 24 hours of the vote HE ADMITTED IT WAS A TOTAL LIE.

  16. AmehcaFirst! says:

    since he banned me for un-Americanism, forget about it.

  17. Ron Ruggieri says:

    On the whole the working class of Great Britain voted to LEAVE the European Union after years of seeing how it did not serve their class interests. Naturally they do not respect ruling class opinion. Connecting this to the U.S presidential election, it was a big plus for Republican Donald Trump and big minus for Status Quo Hillary.
    Here in the USA the young people prefer ” socialist ” Democrat Bernie Sanders to ” Wall St. Hillary “.
    I doubt if they will flock to Hillary Clinton.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    This was removed and censored becasue I advocated LGBT unity.

    In the US, as well as the rest of the capitalist world, right wing parties and cults rule by utilizing the strategy of divide and rule. They’re very good at it.
    In 2007 Quisling Barney Frank viciously and deliberately excluded transpeople from ENDA and accused them of being spoilers becasue they wanted the same rights as other Americans. For most of Obama’s first term he pandered to the christer right by opposing our right to marriage. Then, after the GayTM slammed shut in his face and he was the subject of bitter criticism at the National Equality March in October 2009, he put the christers on the back burner and just before the 2012 election rebranded, discovered marriage equality and begged us for votes and money. (BTW, whatever happened to the violent bigot Leah Daughtry, Obama’s pick for the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention Committee. She seems to have been purged.)
    The Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual and Transgendered communities are different, have some different goals but the truth is that the LGBT communities and movements are integrally connected and have overwhelming interests in common.
    We are our own best allies, not corporations and especially not politicians.

  19. Demosthenes says:

    I don’t run the site. I’m a moderator only. The poster in charge is Aristotelian1. You should ask him.

  20. UncleBucky says:

    Further, anyone who votes for Trump or for the GOPers in his/her state and district, is uneducated, probably racist and definitely anti-American.

  21. Moderator4 says:

    No, sorry, we cannot do anything about other Disqus websites. We are all separate, and we are not in charge of Disqus.
    We can only ban, unban, and delete on the AmericBlog website.

  22. UncleBucky says:

    Seems that voting is not mandator in the UK. That should be changed, along with voting day being as much of a holiday as it possibly can be.

  23. AmehcaFirst! says:

    In general, this is right, but I don’t know if it was right this time too. The young people I talked to were pretty motivated to go vote.
    I haven’t seen conclusive evidence for lower youth turnout.
    There are some causes
    – students are sometimes not registered in the place where they study.
    – students might work so much that they didn’t have time. pensioners have nothing to do all day, so….

    But in general, this could be right.
    It annoys me to no end to never see Black Democrats stressing the importance of voter drives and getting registered. YOU, as people of color, KNOW it is gonna be extra hard for you to go vote or get registered, the best reaction is then to work harder to get it. Not to whine and do nothing.

  24. Blogvader says:

    I really do miss the voice of reason on this website.

  25. AmehcaFirst! says:

    Samantha Bee addressed this most beautifully in her show

  26. AmehcaFirst! says:

    It seems you’re victim blaming both Clinton and Remainers.
    Why would non-racist Brexiters be so surprised at being called racists, when it’s pretty clear that main motiviation for many is just racism and xenophobia.

    It’s sad for the non-racist Brexiters, but surprise is the wrong emotion.

  27. AmehcaFirst! says:

    Hi, I hate to bother you with this here, but it seems as if I am banned on the Brighter Lights Channel because of my opinions, can you unban me?
    There’s no other way to contact you. Again, sorry.

  28. Demosthenes says:

    I wish I could upvote your more than once!

  29. Demosthenes says:

    An excellent post, Mr. Aravosis. Millennials not voting means they lose the ability to impact our government, just like they blew it this week in the UK.

  30. Jeff Ryan says:

    A novel concept. Getting less votes than your opponent in a two-person race isn’t losing. Yeah, that’ll work.

  31. 2karmanot says:

    Patriarchal Oligarchical rule is karma waiting to adjust.. I just hope the whole edifice of globalism is eventually undone and discredited.

  32. 2karmanot says:

    Sorry that is not so or Obozo would actually be the populist liberal he pretended to be while campaigning. His half hearted, thoroughly compromised policies and mediocre compromises were issued out of duped people who showed up.

  33. 2karmanot says:

    I disagree. The denigrating term ‘protest votes’ is much like the shaming meme of ‘Godwin’s Law.’ A vote for Nader, Jill Stein or even writing in Bernie for President is an act of pure democracy. I respectfully suggest a rereading of Thomas Paine .

  34. 2karmanot says:

    Beginning with Reagan Democrats and the full blown center right shift of Billo Clinton.

  35. 2karmanot says:

    It’s muddled, unfocused message are the direct consequence of having driven the last nail in the New Deal and Great Society’s coffins and obfuscating what the Democratic Party has become in truth: an oligarchical tool of late stage capitalism called somewhat euphemistically….Neo-liberalism.

  36. 2karmanot says:


  37. 2karmanot says:

    A vote for Nader was democracy in its purest form.

  38. 2karmanot says:

    ‘of which you are capable.’

  39. 2karmanot says:

    I’m 70 you can converse and sit by me anytime

  40. 2karmanot says:

    Over 8 million votes isn’t losing and I would caution the Hillary Hairballs intent on dissing Sanders supporters will only make her potential margin of winning/losing that much more critical.

  41. 2karmanot says:

    I just love it when you talk rationally!

  42. 2karmanot says:

    Note to Milleninials: Suck it up tots, get a visa and stop whining.

  43. hiker_sf says:


  44. Jeff Ryan says:

    That is depressing.

  45. Jeff Ryan says:

    Funny, I thought that was what I said.

    You might consider that sloganeering is a particularly weak form of argument.

  46. Moderator3 says:

    Your problem has been addressed.

  47. Jon Green says:

    I am 25.

  48. TheAngryFag says:

    They haven’t been hunky dory since just after WWII. Our country fucking sucks right now.

  49. hiker_sf says:

    Once again, you have violated Disqus rule by using my name and once again you are guilty of slander – I’ve never worked against anyone moving into my building. Nor am I racist.

    Thankfully, I’ve documented every instance for liability purposes. All of your posts have been deleted at SFIST.

  50. TYAvenger says:

    racist gary should think about his own anti asian racism before talking about things he know nothing about and is. gary oliver lead attack against asian people moving into his building.

  51. TYAvenger says:

    how did asians vote?

  52. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s a non-political comment and adds nothing to add to the political discussion.

  53. Jeff Ryan says:

    Power to the people, man! And now, read what you wrote out loud to yourself, and discover what insufferable and naive rhetoric you are capable of.

  54. Jeff Ryan says:

    Only someone who was never 25 or under could write this. No one else could rationalize and obfuscate with such aplomb.

    And they wonder how Bernie lost…

  55. Jeff Ryan says:

    And people wonder why Bernie didn’t get the nod.

    Millennials! First to whine, last to vote!

  56. RepubAnon says:

    If the voters aren’t turning out to vote, the fault would seem to be with the political parties, not the voters.* It’s the political party’s job, after all, to convince people to: (a) vote, and (b) vote for that party.

    *Absent voter suppression tactics, of course.

  57. jtrevino79 says:

    If you didn’t vote, you have no right to complain. Yes, the older generation made the decision for you because you couldn’t be bothered getting off Snapchat to spend a moment of your precious time at the polls.

  58. Houndentenor says:

    But they aren’t getting away with it. The majority of governors are Republicans. In 23 states the GOP controls the legislature (both houses) and the governor. Democrats only have that in five states. Democrats are losing overall. Just because Democrats have won the presidency a couple of times doesn’t mean things are all hunky dory. They aren’t.

  59. TheAngryFag says:

    They can get away with lousy messaging because they don’t have to be better. If the Libertarians, Green Party, and any others were stronger contenders, then they’d be forced to be better at it.

  60. Houndentenor says:

    Agreed. Not voting is a vote for apathy. It shows those in charge that you don’t care and that they don’t need to do anything for you.

  61. Houndentenor says:

    No, the problem with Democrats doing lousy messaging has nothing to do with the two party system. It’s about having a muddled, unfocused message and being slow to respond to lies spread by Republicans.

  62. Houndentenor says:

    Agreed. I’m not convinced that people who voted for Perot or Nader wouldn’t have just stayed home on election day. In fact, none of the people that I knew who were Perot supporters had voted in years.

  63. Bill_Perdue says:

    In all cases that I can remember or have read about the collapse of the Ancien Régime was accelerating long before any form of revolutionary resistance was organized. The internal collapse of the imperial regimes was quite advanced before Sarajevo and when that inter-imperialist war was over the German and Austrian empires were gone. Happily, the czar was living the final days of his life in the USSR. The British and French empires were on a slippery downslope. Only the American and Japanese empires were left to duke it out and the Japanese would lose definitively.

    The same circumstances of advanced rot were found here before 1775 and 1859, in France and elsewhere.

    It was only after prolonged periods of oppression that forms of the new society began to emerge. It took years to develop the minutemen and John Adams revolutionary formations in Boston and elsewhere. It took unimaginable oppression to radicalize the French sans-culottes and peasants. The same is true of Russia in 1905 and 1917 and of Cuban workers and peasants in the decades before 1959. I raise this becasue the US empire is deep into its decline and the radicalization of American workers is well underway. As it unfolds the DP and the RP will be it first political casualties.

  64. heimaey says:

    Yes, when you disenfranchise people you end up in situations like this.

  65. Bill_Perdue says:

    “If the Dems lose in the fall it’s their fault.” If they win it’ll be a victory for the right and a tragedy for working class people, especially people of color.

    From Black Agenda Report. “Supported by $11.17 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street banks, Mr. Clinton became the first president of the New Democratic Party in 1993. Hillary Clinton was at his side, a de facto minister-without-portfolio. Thus began the couple’s 24-year courtship with Wall Street, to the immense financial benefit of both parties, and it continues to this day.

    “Mr. Clinton became the first president of the New Democratic Party in 1993.” First he attacked the welfare issue, with The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. It fulfilled Clinton’s promise to “end welfare as we know it,” and the punishing effects it set in motion have yet to abate. Since the end of the Clinton Administration, poverty in the U.S. has nearly doubled: “…the number of Americans living in high-poverty areas rose to 13.8 million in 2013 from 7.2 million in 2000, with African-Americans and Latinos driving most of the gains.” … To show how tough on crime he could be, Clinton next guided The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 through Congress. A flurry of prison construction quickly followed, an industry of private for-profit prisons blossomed, 100,000 new police officers took to the streets, harsh mandatory sentences were prescribed.

    When Clinton took office in 1993 the prison population in the U.S. was roughly 855,000. When he left office eight years later it exceeded 2 million. Today it is about 2.25 million, and 4.7 million more citizens are on parole or probation. So our total “Correctional Population” is nearly seven million citizens. Most of them are black, and minor drug offenses are by far the most common. (Terminology and figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

    The welfare and crime laws were passed with Hillary’s support and lobbying efforts. She displayed her enthusiasm indelibly, with her infamous remarks about the “super-predators” and “bringing them to heel.”

  66. Phil in FLL says:

    Compare the results from 2000 with the current polling (images below). 2000 was a very tight race, and the Green Party (Nader) with 2.74% was leagues ahead of the Libertarian candidate, who only got 0.36%. The protest vote for Nader really did swing things toward Bush, as Republican partisans on these comment pages and elsewhere fondly remember.

    The picture is 2016 is radically different. It is not a close race, LOL. Even worse for Republicans, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (with at least 7%) will pull more votes from Trump than Green candidate Jill Stein (with 4.6%) will pull from Hillary. This is disastrous news for Americablog’s resident Republican enthusiasts. From now until November, you will hear the same kind of crying and shrieking from “This user is blocked” and his small circle of admirers that you would hear at a funeral.

  67. heimaey says:

    Really good counter point.

  68. hiker_sf says:

    Brexit happened because the working class has been hammered with lower wages, making them a receptive audience for racist leaders who blame immigrants for their woes and continue to shield corporations, the real culprits.

    And then we have the lousy campaign by the ‘remainers,’ who, instead of listening to the problems of working class people, screamed that they were racist because they supported Brexit.

    As the vote was somewhat close, telling people who are struggling financially that they are racists for wanting change and ignoring their issues guaranteed that the vote would happen as it did.
    This could have been prevented. And it highlights my concern about the November election. Those who don’t think that Trump is a racist are not going to change their mind about him when the media and pundits scream “racist” every time he opens his mouth. And while her not being Trump may be a key benefit for Clinton, she needs to have a more positive and proactive campaign.

  69. Jon Green says:

    As one might imagine, I have a few issues with this.

    First, to keep this in purely generational terms, “Brexit is what happens when millennials don’t vote” could just as easily be flipped on its head to “Brexit is what happens when old people vote for bad things.” Some quick back of the envelope math will tell you that when you multiply turnout by vote share, a larger raw number of millennials voted to stay in the EU than some if not all other age groups. That being the case, is it fair to blame them for not swooping in to save their elders from themselves? Especially when doing so erases the seven-figure sum of ~responsible~ millennials who did in fact turn out to vote yesterday?

    For that matter, do you have any reason to believe that the millennials whose tweets you embedded didn’t vote yesterday? As the adage goes, if they voted, they’re entitled to bitch.

    Second, responding to my first point, pinning the results of a close election on any one thing is always a dangerous game — that also goes for Florida in 2000, which could just as if not more easily be explained by Jeb Bush’s racially-tinged voter purge than it is by Ralph Nader’s appearance on the ballot. “Brexit is what happens when millennials don’t vote” could just as easily be “Brexit is what happens when it rains in London but not Sheffield on Election Day.” There are lots of reasons why Remain lost yesterday. Each may be sufficient, but none are by themselves necessary, to establish a counterfactual where Remain wins.

    Third, and perhaps most importantly, if you want young people to show up and vote, it is less useful to shame them as lazy, entitled idiots and more useful to address structural barriers that they may have to access the ballot. It’s easier to explain the correlation between a locality’s >65 population and turnout with the fact that the election took place on a workday than it is to explain it by saying that millennials are somehow more likely than older adults to have stupid ideas about politics — plenty of 40-somethings in Britain sounded pretty dumb on TV today, too. Those folks who voted Leave and are now saying that they want a do-over because they didn’t know that it actually meant, you know, LEAVE? Haven’t seen one under the age of 40. Every group has its duds.

    A final point: Young people are the only group we’re ever comfortable blaming for their own low turnout. We don’t shame non-whites or poor people when they don’t show up for a given election because we (rightly) don’t assume that their low turnout is the result of a conscious decision or unconscious apathy on their part. There are barriers to entry in the voting market that serve as an easier, simpler and more actionable explanation — it’s something we can actually fix with a law! We don’t have to admonish anyone to just ~be better~ and hope they listen! The finger-pointing at young people when they don’t vote is especially frustrating because we know that age correlates with a host of other demographic variables that we know are associated with low turnout for structural, not cognitive, reasons — income and mobility being the two that come most readily to mind.


  70. Bill_Perdue says:

    The EU began as a common market effort. Joining with the US and Canada in NATO it became a significant locus of imperialist power. They worked with the US to attack, at a vast cost in civilian lives, a host of ME and muslim nations. They worked with the US to overthrow the government of the Ukraine using Obama’s fascist shock troops, a move that and scared the pants off the Russian capitalists who then took the Crimea as a counter-challenge to NATO, the US and the EU.

    The EU created a federalizing Commission and a Parliament to try to insure labor peace. Part of that effort was an attempt to promote LGBTQ rights.

    Inside the EU banksters promoted moves to aid the largest banks and economies while parasitizing and pauperizing other nations. Everyone expected nations on the periphery of the EU, especially those suffering from the tender mercies of Merkel and the German banksters to get out first. Instead, England bolted first. Now those peripheral EU nations will get a renewed impetus to depart the EU, and that includes Scotland and English occupied NE Ireland who don’t want to be bound by decisions of the English. Their efforts to get independence from the “UK” can be expected to grow. od anc be d

    Most of the economic dislocations in the EU are the result of interest gouging by the central banks, especially the Deutsche Bundesbank and the IMF. They made loan after loan, parasitized victim nations like Greece, Ukraine, Spain, Ireland, etc. and then made more loans to pay off the interest from earlier loans. In Greece, Ukraine and Spain economies are shattered. It’s an old song and Ernie Ford figured it out.

    The markets, which are suffering shock after shock, may recover some of their value but the political situation in the EU is unraveling. That process will continue and with it capitalism on the global stage will continue to destabilize. Nationalism, always a prelude to attempts to destroy unions and other instruments of working people, is on the rise. At the same time the potentially much more powerful leftward march of unions and workers will push forward as well as independence groups like SF in Ireland.

  71. Hue-Man says:

    Let me put a positive spin on this. IF you give young people a reason to vote, they can be persuaded to turn up on election day.

    ““The participation of voters aged 18 to 24 increased by 18.3 percentage points to 57.1 per cent (from 38.8 per cent in 2011),” Elections Canada noted.”

    “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau openly courted young voters before and during the race using targeted
    ad campaigns and media interviews to reach out to them on issues such as marijuana legalization, employment, post-secondary education, the environment and LGBTQ rights.”

    Elections Canada also opened advanced voting centers on 39 college campuses.

  72. SkippyFlipjack says:

    That first chart starts with some bad information. Your life expectancy 21 is not longer than your life expectancy at 73 (the chart says 90 and 89, respectively). In the UK your life expectancy at birth is 81 and it generally goes up as you age. (It says it’s based on some gov’t pension planner so maybe I’m wrong, but doesn’t seem right.)

  73. TheAngryFag says:

    Yup. It’s a product of our voting system. We get two parties who only have the present the least detestable candidate. Hence why we have a low voter turnout and why a lot of people simply do not care and they do, rightly, say both parties are the same.

  74. heimaey says:

    They also tend to forget just how really crappy Democrats are at campaigning and how uninspiring they are since they concede and compromise before negotiations even begin. That’s why people are leaving the party in droves.

  75. TheAngryFag says:

    It’s because it’s based on a fallacy that people who voted for Nader, just as those that voted for Perot in 1992, would have voted for Gore in 2000 and George H W Bush in those respective elections.

  76. heimaey says:

    I love the Nader analogies continuing even when there was no Nader in the Brexit as it was a leave or stay vote. There was no maybe choice. It’s also interesting that the Democratic Party seems to be under the delusion that the voters are here to serve them and not the other way around. The Democratic Party should pick someone who everyone will vote for, not a war hawk centrist that won’t bring out the voters this fall. We all know that HRC supporters will all vote for Sanders while the reverse is not true. If the Dems lose in the fall it’s their fault.

  77. BeccaM says:

    That last one up there is really, really telling: “The others thought they could get away with a protest (vote).”

    This is also what it means to write in Sanders or to vote for Stein or Johnson when it doesn’t take a majority to win an election, but merely more votes than any other single candidate — a plurality. This is how someone who is preferred by only, say, 35% of the voters can win the election.

    This is what protest votes do — produce results which are really the opposite of what people actually wanted. And no, it doesn’t make things better in the next election down the road or the one after that.

  78. Badgerite says:


  79. Quilla says:

    Policy is made by the people who show up.


  80. Badgerite says:

    Well, they were probably listening to that idiot Russell Brand. How’d that work out for them?

  81. goulo says:

    FWIW I heard from a brit today who said he knew many people who said that they didn’t vote because they were apathetic/indifferent and had no particular preference/opinion, apparently feeling that membership or non-membership in EU had no clear effect on their personal lives… not because they supported Remaining but were complacent that it would win for sure.

    In any case, I agree that it’s a bummer more of them didn’t take the referendum seriously (whatever the reason they didn’t).

  82. The third option was staying home, IMHO, and they did. They “knew” the UK would remain in the EU, so they took the risk of not voting, and they lost.

  83. goulo says:

    It seemed obviously very possible that the Leavers would win, so I doubt it was the Remainers thinking that their side “has a guaranteed win” so much as too many of them simply being lazy or apathetic or cynical or something.

    I was wanting to hope that calm rationality & stability would win out over right-wing nationalism and xenophobia, but I pessimistically worried that the Leavers would win. People are easily manipulated by demagogues whipping up anger and fear (as we see with Trump).

    It was still a sad shock to read the news today. :(


    “In other words, Brexit is Britain’s Ralph Nader. Good luck with that.”

    Err… that makes no sense. There was no 3rd option being voted for that took votes away from Remaining in the EU.

    This was voter apathy and stay-at-home-instead-of-voting, not voter idealism actively voting for a 3rd party candidate.

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