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Friday, August 31, 2007

good old keith vaz

We always said he was a great guy.

Actually, while his backing for a referendum is nice to have, the ludicrous combined-in-or-out-vote-plus-general-election fudge that he is proposing isn't really fair.

The Electoral Commission has warned the Government against holding a combined poll. It has said, “We believe that referendums on fundamental issues of national importance should be considered in isolation. Cross-party campaigning on a fundamental referendum could cause significant confusion amongst the electorate if combined with normal party election campaigning. There is a risk that the dominance of the referendum issue would influence other polls to an extent that may compromise the electorate's will in those other polls” (Electoral Commission policy statement, 19 July 2004)

When the Government introduced the bill for a referendum last time round (2005) it suggested that they were minded to hold a vote on the same day: Their Regulatory Impact Assessment on the European Union Bill, said “In general, combination would be expected to produce efficiency and cost savings.” (p.3)

The question the government proposed last time was “Should the United Kingdom approve the Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union?”

The Electoral Commission recommended a different question to that tabled by the Government. It said: “The commission believes that it is important to refer to the name of the treaty in the referendum question. The commission notes that the proposed question is a modification of the treaty title, rather than the exact title, which is a Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe” (Business, 6 February 2005).

Fun as Vaz's suggestion is, no-one serious is likely to support a bogus in-or-out vote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any views on Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's piece in the Telegraph today?


He's pushing in your direction, surely.