I was reading today that Nigel Farage agreed with Gina Miller the EU Referendum was only advisory and felt that as a consequence the law should be changed to make them binding.
By and large people who vote in referenda are not qualified to vote. The issues that come to referendum are horrendously complex. Take the EU – people make their entire careers understanding one small part. Yet people come home from work, read what Mr Murdoch or whoever wants them to think and then go, “got it, 10 minutes well spent; I now know all the issues and how to vote”. It’s NUTS.
Fundamentally the problem is ego. We might be willing to accept that the other guy is an idiot who doesn’t know all the issues, but not me – hey I know what it’s about. The very epitome of head up the arse syndrome. If we assume that everyone is capable of understanding the issues that STILL doesn’t make people qualified to vote. A genius who doesn’t take the time to look at the data behind the headlines is no more qualified than anyone else.
Of course even suggesting that maybe people are not informed enough is a great way to lose friends. People hear “you calling me stupid?” rather than thinking “are all my opinions from newspapers or have I checked the real story?”. The standard reply is:
“Don’t you believe in democracy?”
To which my answer is:- imagine you are a passenger on a plane with 300 passengers and the pilot has a heart attack and dies. Do you ask everyone on the plane which button to press, take a vote and go with it…..or do you try to contact an expert on the ground and get them to advise you and then follow their advice?
If you think that no you do not call the expert and listen to them then yes you believe in referenda……but if you would prefer not to die in a fiery (metaphorical) plane crash then maybe you will agree with me that having them legally binding is not the best idea?