bookmark_borderPolitics is best served by avoiding referendums

Hvad skal man vælge…
Originally uploaded by HC Seidelin

Nearly three years ago, I wrote a blog posting about my dislike for referendums.

Now Peter Kellner of YouGov has written something similar. He starts out by analysing how people answer the same question differently depending on what additional information you give them, and he concludes:

That’s the trouble with referendums: you ask one question and end up getting the answer to another. Which is why I personally [… believe] that grown-up politics is best served by avoiding referendums altogether. Parliament should have decided this issue […]

I very much agree. Calling a referendum is often a cowardly politician’s way of making unpopular decisions, and it would have been healthier if the LibDems had either got another voting system as part of the coalition agreement or got something entirely different instead, instead of getting a referendum that could very well end up giving them nothing.

Anyway, the referendum has been called, and I recommend voting Yes to AV.

bookmark_borderA prolonged murder mystery dinner

We’ve just come back from a week in Keith (between Inverness and Aberdeen) with all of Phyllis’s family.

One of the nights we decided to play a murder mystery game for eight players called Death by Chocolate that we had bought in the Agatha Christie shop in Torquay (Devon) last summer but never got round to playing.

The instructions for the game claimed it would last 2½–3 hours (including dinner), so I decided to start it at 5.30, so that there was plenty of time to finish it before the kids’ bedtime at 9 o’clock.

That plan didn’t work at all. The first half hour worked fine, but then the kids joined us, and it became impossible to role-play, and one or two of us had to keep leaving the room for various reasons.

In the end, we stopped playing and didn’t resume till all the kids were asleep (apart from Amaia, who decided to join us instead) and we then played until bedtime.

The game itself was quite good fun, but I thought it was too scripted at times – rather than being given dialogues to perform, I’d rather have been given the facts, told to memorise them and then been allowed to improvise for the rest of the game.