What would you like a referendum on? New Political Party based on Referendums

(10 Posts)
poshbird1 Thu 05-Jul-12 17:54:33

I'd really like to see a lot more true democracy in the UK. One paltry vote every 5 years for parties that seem to offer very little and regularly break promises is really not doing it for me.

So I'd like to propose a new party based on regular referendums, once a month where the people of the country could start referendum questions online. If a question got enough votes, it would then be put to the electorate.

To enact such a change, would require power of the Houses of Parliament so this party needs a few hundred MPs....

Anyone up for the challenge? Anyone want to be an MP?

In the meantime what would you like to have a referendum on? Here's some just to get us going:

1) Europe - yes or no? In or out?
2) Immigration - should we have a 5 year holiday from immigration where no one else is allowed in?
3) Paedophiles - chemical castration compulsory and a life sentence as minimum and life should mean life. Yes or no?
4) Prison sentences to be completed fully with no one 'let out early'. Yes or no?
5) Porn online must be op-in, not op-out.

Anyway, I could go on and on.

PS, I think plural of referendum is with an s, not an a... I had a look on wikipedia but please feel free to correct me smile

TheCraicDealer Thu 05-Jul-12 18:20:45

I don't know....it's a good idea in principle, but where do you draw the line? Would we have a referendum on the budget? Because I'm not sure how many people would really be able to make a truly informed choice around complicated issues re fiscal policy.

I would also been concerned that it would attract extreme views on fairly mundane subjects- how many people would be arsed to do it every week? It would be a certain type of person that would do it religiously. You know, like the ones that do Trip Advisor reviews for every restaurant they go to.

There's also the matter of the impact media would have on day-to-day decisions made by our government (would there be a government?!), but I have to go have my tea now. Interesting question!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 05-Jul-12 18:47:22

Good decision-making rarely boils down to a simplistic either/or choice.

MrJudgeyPants Thu 05-Jul-12 22:10:26

I'd worry more about the tyranny of the majority. Whilst individually we can be rational beings and make good decisions, collectively we can be proper arseholes!

Just of the top of my head, these are some laws which may not have been enacted had the majority view been taken yet which are now accepted as being part of the fabric of modern Britain.

1) The abolition of the death penalty.
2) Numerous pieces of race relations legislation.
3) The creation of Civil Partnerships which will probably eventually lead on to homosexual weddings.

I'm sure there are many other laws I could think of which may have flowed against the will of popular opinion (or at the least, laws which the most of us aren't that arsed either way about but which a vocal minority would vociferously oppose and possibly decide the debate).

Meanwhile, once the electorate cotton on to the fact that they can award themselves more and more of other people’s money, I think the economy would be screwed up pretty soon after.

tuckchop Tue 31-Jul-12 12:25:38

It would only work with LIMITED referendums But politicians like power; so we aint gonna get it

niceguy2 Tue 31-Jul-12 13:12:12

In theory I like it. In practice it would never work.

The public have incredibly short memories and are easily influenced by biased media reports.

Plus often the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do. So take for example austerity. We need it. It's obvious we do. But turkey's don't vote for christmas so there's no way I think the majority would have voted for draconian budget cuts.

stargirl1701 Tue 31-Jul-12 13:16:32

People don't vote as it is. Constant referenda will not improve this. People need to feel that voting has an impact on their lives - which they don't seem to at the moment.

I think we need to strengthen the link between constituents and MPs. If you knew your MP well - and could contact them easily (email, Twitter, text, etc.) - that might lead to more engagement.

I do think there should be a constituency recall function though.

somebloke123 Tue 31-Jul-12 13:53:57

I think one problem is that it puts an awful lot of power in the hands of those who choose the question. Often the question can be chosen in order to determine the outcome.

And the electorate is not a single entity that has a "will".

For many years, opinion polls asking people whether they were in favour of proportional representation delivered results in favour. But at the same time opinion polls asking people whether they were broadly in favour of the electoral system as it stood also returned majority yes votes.

Unfortunately we cannot summon "the electorate" to face cross examination to defend its seemingly self-contradictory responses.

grimbletart Tue 31-Jul-12 15:24:34

Also, although economics and common sense dictates a country cannot go on spending beyond its means and intellectually everyone seemed to accept it a couple of years ago, as soon as life gets difficult through austerity (and it would have even if Labour had won) the whinging starts. So a lot of people don't seem to have the stomach to take the medicine they appeared to think was necessary. Do we really want to leave government in the hands of a populace that appears to be so fickle?

SwedishEdith Tue 31-Jul-12 15:30:15

God, no, it sounds like facebook politics. Are you from the People's Pledge party by any chance?

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