Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why I Think Brexit Will Win

Polls are not providing much insight into whether voters will opt for a Brexit tomorrow. The Leave campaign's surge was upended last week with the slaughter of Labour MP Jo Cox by a deranged constituent outside a Leeds library.

If an edge exists, the Leave camp still has it, but it is modest. And if you are one of those who like to "follow the money," then you might want to pay attention to the jump in exchange transactions. Britons are unloading pounds out of fear that the currency will take a significant hit when Brexit triumphs.

My own non-rigorous interpretation gives great weight to the big win for the Five Star Movement in Italy's mayoral election Sunday. Thirty-seven-year-old beauty Virginia Raggi is the first woman and the first member of the Five Star Movement (M5S) to be Mayor of Rome. A super-historic achievement (she won over two-thirds of the vote!) and a huge blow to politics as usual as personified by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

Think of Renzi as a Paul Ryan of the center-left. Someone that party leaders believe breathes new life into their corpse-like organization. It is hard to think of a Democrat -- young, confident, telegenic -- in the United States who is a peer to Renzi. Julian Castro? Not even close. For a while Renzi seemed to have a little pep in his step. He was able to achieve a rollback of Italian labor law (of the type Hollande's Socialists are presently attempting with the El Khomri law). But because of the success of Raggi in Rome and another M5S upset in Turin, Renzi appears to be a politician well past his sell-by date.

Granted, Italy is not the UK. But if voters in Rome overwhelming support a non-traditional leader --and M5S advocates an Itexit -- I think it means something, and it augurs ill for the status quo.

Also, I don't think Juncker lecturing Britons that "out is out" is going to win any votes for the Remain campaign. And there is the hope that the UK will lead the way with the right choice as Parliament did when it voted against bombing Syria in the summer of 2013.

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