“I don’t think you can truly be a believer in democracy unless you accept that the people, collectively, are smarter than you are.”
I’m not sure this is quite right. Democracy isn’t the search for a truth or a stable market price. And in this particular instance large swathes of people voted for something that was never on the table: a combination of protectionism and economic growth. (Since the result there has been a sudden outburst of honesty from the Leavers: Farage on the £350m ad, Hannan’s appearance on Newsnight regarding freedom of movement and so on.) Ultimately, what many of those Leave voters want is first world incomes in exchange for skills that don’t hold those values on the global market. But to try and find some sort of solution to what is a massive and hugely intractable issue, would require some accurate input data. Surely it’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. The conditions in which collective wisdom could flourish simply weren’t there in the Referendum. It was the wrong question, terribly framed, leading to a nonsensical answer. And at some point Boris, or someone else holding this particularly poisoned chalice, is going to have to explain it to an appalled electorate.
I believe in Parliamentary democracy. I also believe that this was a spectacularly dumb outcome.