Contributor Perspectives

What the Brexit and Ebola Crises Have in Common

Luc De Keyser
Board of Contributors
Jul 6, 2016 | 08:04 GMT
The challenge of forecasting worst-case scenarios
UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks at a press conference in London on July 4. Even the Brexiteers seemed unprepared for the outcome of the British referendum.
(JACK TAYLOR/Getty Images)

Nearly two weeks ago, British voters chose to leave the European Union, sending a shockwave of uncertainty throughout the world. Since then, the media has pelted readers with analyses and reviews, slicing and dicing distributions of demographics, social classes and attitudes in an attempt to explain what seemingly simple "yes" and "no" votes really meant, and why they had been cast. No one seemed prepared for the outcome Britain got, not even, apparently, the Brexiteers themselves. And indeed, it is perplexing to realize how different today's discussions would be if the "remain" camp had won. Its opponents breached the 50 percent requirement for a win by a mere two points -- a slim margin, but more than enough in this case to make a world of difference. But perhaps the most surprising thing to come out of the Brexit vote is the surprise itself, among British voters, European leaders and observers...

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