Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Politics 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.

2 thoughts on “Politics is best served by avoiding referendums

  • Lars Clausen

    I wonder if the same arguments hold for democracy as such.

  • I don’t think so. That said, I often wonder whether it’d be a good idea to test voters on a few current-affairs questions before allowing them to vote.


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