Quality of democracy and referendum wrangling (short title)


Quality of democracy regarding a ballot on the negotiated UK/EU "deal"

The Guardian wrote 6 May 2019
"May is opposed to offering a second referendum but parliament could decide to back one if the talks collapse and the government proceeds with a plan for binding votes on what MPs would prefer as an outcome. In that scenario, there could be a binary referendum on May’s Brexit deal or some kind of three-way poll on Brexit with the options of a deal, no deal or remaining in the EU."

INIREF comments:
"Some kind of three-way poll" would be a reckless experiment with a very important public decision. A multi-choice, preference or ranking procedure has never been used in a UK referendum and could confuse many voters. Referendum experts recommend that only two clear alternatives should be presented to voters. Also, the option "leave EU with no deal" has been overwhelmingly rejected by our MPs so if MPs, in agreeing to propositions or questions for a referendum (which they must before such a ballot can be held) accept "no deal" as an option then the House would appear at best insincere, at worst dilettantish and dishonest. So if a withdrawal agreement has been accepted by government, Parliament and the EU, it should be put before the electorate for confirmation or rejection, against the option of keeping the EU deal which we have.

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