Tories face three-line whip on EU poll motion – UK Politics, UK – The Independent
Sunday October 23, 2011 1:03 pm Leave a comment
Every now and then a story emerges which illustrates just how hostile politicians – of all parties – are even to the pretence of real democracy.
The current panic in Parliament results from their naive invitation to sign e-petitions on the website run by the current batch of elected dictators. The deal is that – if at least 100,000 sign the petition – MP’s are entitled to propose the topic for debate in Parliament. Not obliged to do anything about it, just entitled to suggest it as a topic. A tiny tiny step towards democracy.
The fun comes when an issue passes the 100k barrier and one such MP actually acts on one of the petitions – as David Nuttall has on the question of whether or not the British people should be given a chance to decide whether or not to stay part of the EU on current terms, to leave altogether or to renegotiated the terms.
Personally, I’d vote in favour of staying in. I’d prefer different terms but nothing like the ones the politicians would consider (eg the introduction of true democracy across the community and the abolition of elected representatives) but even present terms are better than getting out.
I say this to make it clear that I have no vested interest in promoting a referendum on this issue myself. The democratic conclusion would almost certainly be opposed to my preference.
Nevertheless, the politicians, who are as confident about the outcome as I am, are more united on their opposition to democracy and allowing such a referendum to set a dangerous precedent – than on ANY other political issue. As a result, we can be confident that there will be no such referendum during this parliament.
I wonder how many million would have to sign such a petition to scare the politicians into submission…