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SATURDAY, December 10, 2022
Far from being ‘direct’ democracy, referendums degrade it

Far from being ‘direct’ democracy, referendums degrade it

MONDAY, April 01, 2019

Re: “Brexit denial marks death of democracy in the UK”, Have Your Say, yesterday.

Can a simple binary question in a national referendum be democratic?
The true situation concerning Britain’s membership of the EU is complex. The outcome of the 2016 referendum really didn’t give a full indication as to what the UK voter wanted. Leave, and adopt an EFTA or WTO framework? Leave, while the UK remains intact or while it splits up? Remain, in what manner?
The level of misinformation during that campaign was so great as to call into question its democratic legitimacy. A lot of the implications were never discussed, hence the endless arguments since. Remember, the majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted Remain and I don’t think the majority in England voted to be poorer.
Ian Martin