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Brexit has shown up the key flaw in our representative democracy—MPs don’t represent the people

There is a need for profound reform to make sure that those often left out of politics—including the young and non-university educated—are given a voice

By David Runciman  

Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

The Brexit referendum poses a double challenge to parliamentary democracy. First, how to reconcile the brute fact of a majoritarian plebiscitary decision with the complex process of negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU. Rival claims to speak for “the people” during this ongoing process—from the government, parliamentarians and unelected Brexiters—have made this question acute. Second, though, there is the problem of how to bridge the divisions between different sections of the voting public that the referendum revealed and reinforced. The problem our parliamentary democracy struggles…

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