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September 07, 2007



Spot on.



You've had it explained to you often enough why referedums (referenda? I never know) are farcical and undemocratic, so why do you now adopt the position that offering Citizen's Juries and not a referendum is somehow hypocritical?

You normally avoid low blows. Are you trying for a job at one of the dead trees as a columnist?

Mark Wadsworth

Spot on.

Steve Massey

Referendums may be farcical, but surely they cannot be called undemocratic. They are democratic by definition.

Philip Hunt

If referendums are farcical, they are a lot less so than Gordon "I love Thatcher" Brown's knobbled citizen's juries.


Referendums "are democratic by definition"?

Is there a planet of the fuckwits somewhere in the universe where this is true?


Well I'd like to elect my local Police chief, and I'd like to vote on the EU "Treaty" too.

yours, Dipper, Planet Fuckwit

Bob B

Does anyone seriously believe all that New Labour guff about consensual policies?

If so, please remind me, exactly when and how did we reach a consensus by consultation on the following?

"The big increases in education funding since 1999 have not been put to good use, the government’s statisticians said on Tuesday."

"A string of government policies aimed at boosting pre-school children's educational achievement in England has had no impact, research suggests."

"The proportion of young people in England who are not in education, training or work appears to have gone up, despite government efforts."

"Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced."

"The UK has the worst standard of care for stroke victims in western Europe, with thousands of patients dying unnecessarily every year, a senior doctor said today."

kay stern

Spot on! I remember this being the preferred method of college staff meetings.When a staff survey failed to produce management's desired result they then wanted to do it all again - to'ballot us into submission' as one witty staff member commented.At least they had the grace to laugh,rather shamefacedly,along with the rest of us.

Steve Massey

"Democratic" describes political systems wherein citizens vote on things. Referendums are things on which citizens vote. Maybe on your planet, Paulie, this seems like it comes from "Planet Fuckwit"?


""Democratic" describes political systems wherein citizens vote on things."

No it doesn't.

Let's look at Wikipedia as it's easy to get at:

"Democracy describes a small number of related forms of government. The fundamental features of democracies include government based on majority rule and the consent of the governed, the existence of free and fair elections, the protection of political minorities, respect for basic human rights, equality before the law, due process, and political pluralism."

Representative democracy does not provide scope for citizens to 'vote on things'. It provides for citizens to vote for people who then legislate on their behalf.

Is this news to you?


Haven't you shifted your ground there, Paulie?

No one was arguing that referendums are a necessary part of all democratic systems.

Steve Massey said referendums are by definition democratic, not that democracies by definition require referendums.

You called him a fuckwit for saying that. But this just makes you look rather silly and shrill, and your post doesn't alter that. Refendums may be undesirable, but to call them undemocratic is the stance of a fucknut.

Paul Evans


Having written more (by a factor of about five) on why this kind of direct democracy is profoundly anti-democratic, I'm just a bit reluctant to do it again, that's all.

Referendums are, by definition, anti-democratic. They empower demagogues and are rarely used to express an public view on the question that is being asked. They allow for no weighting of preferences and .... oh, fuckit, I'm losing the will to live here.

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