I wouldn't waste the shoe leather to vote in a private referendum

I'll make my views clear to everyone to start off with. I am something of a sceptic over Europe. I don't mind the principle of the EU, not at all. In the same way as I think Communism is, in principle a lovely concept. However, the EU is deeply flawed, has far too many things wrong with it, is deeply mistrusted by a high percentage of this country (okay, I know UK politicians are too, but at least we choose them) , has too many bureaucrats interfering in things that are not broken, and EU rules are not applied equally across EU states, leaving a deep sense of injustice. Oh and before people say "you must be the only Lib Dem who holds such views", I know it is not common, but believe me, I am not the only one.

So my view is clear about any attempt to drive through a "Referendum Lite" in the UK, in that if the UK government wants to strengthen the UK population's relationship with the EU it needs to sell the EU to the British through a referendum. Labour had promised this in the past, but the new version of the referendum seems to be getting the thumbs up that it will just be passed by Parliament without need to consult the population. This is wrong and will only serve to make people distrust the EU more.

You would imagine therefore that I would be delighted at plans announced by a group of anti EU politicians and businessmen to have a private referendum on the EU constitution ? No. No I wouldn't.

A private referendum is self serving, almost self selecting as it would not be in any way shape or form binding or if any importance and the people calling the referendum would know the result before hand.

People who support the EU constitution simply wouldn't bother to vote because there vote will make no difference whilst all the UKIP's would come out in their drove to vote in order to let off steam. It is difficult enough getting young people to vote in real elections, and polls always show that young people are more pro Europe than the older generation, so a "mock" referendum would likely see very few young voters turn out too.

So whilst I would like to see a full referendum, a binding one called by the government, I wouldn't waste the shoe leather to vote in a pretend one.


Tristan said...

I don't think the fact that its self-selecting is a problem, since any vote which is not mandatory is self-selecting.

Your other points are fair enough though.

Anonymous said...

The statement that young voters are more pro Europe than older ones is in my opinion wrong.
I read many articles on the internet and in newspapers that tell me young people are more interested in the Eu and it's drawbacks.
They know what is involved in the EU constitution and don't like it.
This by the way is echoed in other European countries. It's only the unelected commissars that are fully for it. Visit the following for more info:-

Anonymous said...

However, younger voters from UK are less hostile to the EU than older at the voting site www.FreeEurope.info.