Move­ments for change around the world

Manila Bulletin - - Editorial -

WHEN the peo­ple of Great Bri­tain voted in a ref­er­en­dum in June, 2016, to leave the Euro­pean Union (EU), it was a de­ci­sion that sur­prised the coun­try’s of­fi­cials led by Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron. He had con­fi­dently sched­uled the ref­er­en­dum, ex­pect­ing a big vote for stay­ing with the EU. But the ref­er­en­dum re­sulted in a 52 per­cent vote for “Brexit” – a Bri­tish exit from EU. It was a close vote but a de­ci­sive one.

Since that un­ex­pected de­ci­sion of Bri­tish vot­ers to leave the Euro­pean Union, for a change in the es­tab­lished or­der and es­tab­lished way of do­ing things, sim­i­lar move­ments for change have taken place in other parts of the world.

In the United States, Hil­lary Clin­ton was ahead in nearly all poll sur­veys. But when the votes in the Elec­toral Col­lege sys­tem of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions were tal­lied, the win­ner and new pres­i­dent was Don­ald Trump, who had never had any govern­ment ser­vice or ex­pe­ri­ence of any kind. He sim­ply rode on a wave of change that swept the US and its pol­i­tics.

In Europe, there are fears that af­ter Bri­tain, five other coun­tries could leave the Euro­pean Union – France, the Nether­lands, Austria, Fin­land, and Hun­gary. Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said there are also de­mands for ref­er­en­dums in Den­mark, Italy, and Swe­den.

Last Fri­day, one of the more col­or­ful lead­ers of France, Ma­rine Le Pen of the far right, said that if elected pres­i­dent of France this April, she will cam­paign for France to leave EU. She called for dis­cus­sions on France’s call for restora­tion of in­tra-Euro­pean bor­ders and on its abil­ity to adopt pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies, af­ter which, she said, she would or­ga­nize a “Frexit.”

We in the Philip­pines have had our own move­ment for change in the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Duterte. We are now see­ing the ef­fects of that change in govern­ment goals and style. We are truly one with the rest of the world in sens­ing the need to move on and try new ways to solve old prob­lems and bring about a bet­ter life for our peo­ple and for all our fel­low in­hab­i­tants of this planet Earth.

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