Thursday, 19 June 2008

Referendum Unreliability

Recently the Irish voted "No" on the new European Treaty of Lisbon. It has been suggested that this wasn't so much a vote against the Treaty as a condemnation of all the prior silliness, injustices and perceived domination by Eurocrats: all those little rules that prevent grocers from selling a pound of potatoes and ensure that our cucumbers are the right shape! In short, there's a risk that votes are "off topic" - a potential problem for all referendum and Interactive Democracy!
However, I contend that by making referendums frequent, people are more likely to vote "on topic", knowing that there will soon be opportunities to pass judgment on other, separate issues.
Moreover, if voters are given the opportunity to set the agenda for referenda, through the ePetition system, "off topic" protest votes are even less likely.

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