Anyone observing the EU Referendum tussle in the U.K. will probably have recognised the dilemma facing the Remain camp. Their attempts to persuade sceptical voters to support Remain have been falling on deaf ears because one of the main planks in the Leave camp’s platform has been to cast doubt on expert opinion. So the more that economists and others argue that Brexit will lead to harmful economic consequences the more Leave campaigners dismiss those claims as the opinions of a self-interested and remote class of elite individuals.
I thought I’d take a look at one aspect of this problem using drama theory. Here’s one model of part of it:
In this model Remainer has a Persuasion Dilemma with Voter over the option ‘vote Leave’.
Of the various ways of dealing with this, one is improbable: that Remainers will abandon their Position or say they don’t care how Voter will choose! Instead Remainer has two other possible approaches:
- (And this seems to have been the one chosen) Remainers have reacted in a directly confrontational way stressing (in a cold and determined manner) the benefits of Remain or else the hidden costs of a Leave strategy. The trouble with this approach is that it might either harden Voter’s opposition to Remainer or even if Voter does claim that it has changed its mind, Remainer will find it hard to believe that a genuine change has occurred.
- A more conciliatory stance would be to look behind Voter’s arguments for voting Leave and to suggest some sort of compromise. However for this to be believed it would have to be offered with positive emotion and would have to be consistent with ‘facts on the ground’ Unfortunately for Remainer, present EU constraints seem to limit what Remain can credibly offer
This is a real challenge for Remain and it will be interesting to see what will be pulled out of the bag during the coming week.