Tag Archives | Referendums

To solve the Catalan crisis, pay homage to Britain

The Catalonian campaign for independence is a phenomenon of our times,  like the Scottish. They both claim they are ancient entities enjoying sufficient cohesion to go it alone and find their own balance between globalisation (the great big world now closer to all of us than ever) and self sufficiency ( provided it comes under more…

Trouble with Referendums: who is accountable for its delivery?

Nick Cohen makes a point I shared privately with several Leave friends during the EU Referendum campaign last year: Vote Leave dissolved as soon as the contest was won. The referendum thus dispensed with the most basic democratic requirements. The winners were not accountable for the promises they made. In their history of the campaign, more…

An answer to Rentoul. Referendums like terrorism can shape events, but not always in the ways expected

Alerted by Mick on the thoughts on referendums by the Independent’s political commentator John Rentoul, I took in his part 2 “Should Referendums be banned?” This is a rhetorical question which is really in  support of Rentoul’s  contention  that they make very little difference to the course of political  events. His pieces prompted my following more…

Scottish-Referendum

David Cameron and the problem of setting real political choices

David Cameron’s referendums were regarded as reflections of ‘the will of the people’.  But is that true?  Here Peter Emerson of the de Borda Insitute questions that assumption then proposes a better methodology. 2011 Referendum on the Electoral System. Cameron’s first problem?   “Those damned Lib-Dems and the voting system!”  Hence the first ‘which’, to more…

Calm down, dears…

Wilful or otherwise, there’s been a degree of misrepresentation of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apparently unscripted, and qualified, comments at the MacGill Summer School yesterday – you can read the official version of his speech here. As the initial reported quote demonstrated, his focus was not on preparing for the prospect of referendums on a united more…

Taoiseach on Border Poll: “There are much more serious issues to deal with in the immediate terms and that is where our focus is.”

Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, was, rightly, quick to dismiss Sinn Féin’s attempted distraction predictably opportunistic call for a border poll following the EU referendum result.  Here’s what she told Radio Ulster listeners “The Good Friday Agreement sets out the conditions under which I am required to call for a border poll – more…

“‘New language’, my arse!”

At his Broken Elbow blog Ed Moloney has some fun with the same Detail report that Brian noted in his recent post – “another important waypoint in SF’s bewildering, extraordinary journey“. I have read this piece several times. It is based on a speech given by SF MEP Matt Carthy and no matter how I hold it – more…

Martin McGuinness: “We now wait to see if SDLP will stand by the principles of the Good Friday Agreement or follow the UUP into opposition…”

The response of Sinn Féin’s new MLA for Foyle, Martin McGuinness, to being upstaged – at the moment of his re-appointment as Northern Ireland deputy First Minister – by the UUP leader Mike Nesbitt’s announcement that his party had unanimously agreed to go into official opposition in the NI Assembly, betrayed a confused, or forgetful, party more…

Sinn Féin’s partitionist approach to united Ireland referendum(s)…

… or an attempt to avoid ‘stupid’ questions about the party’s stated commitment to campaign against the fundamental principle of consent – that it is for the people of Northern Ireland to exercise their right of self-determination.  Those are the options from a comparison between the commitments on Irish unity Sinn Féin presented to the people more…

ire

#uniref: what are mechanics of a border poll?

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke is reporting on an opinion poll that says that a majority of people want a referendum on a border called. David has already sketched out some ideas of what a Yes campaign might look like, but what are the actual mechanics of holding such a referendum? The calling of more…

#IndyRef, #Out and the blind faith of Referendum campaigns…

Ian Parsley as part of the Stratagem series of guest blogs, lays out why the No campaign arrived at currency as its king card in the #IndyRef debate… Why is the focus on the currency? Throughout the campaign, polls have shown around 45-50% of people certain to vote No, and 35-40% certain to vote Yes. more…

After devolution, referendums and possible succession[s], what’s happening to our politics?

Janan Ganesh is an outstanding new talent in the UK political press. His columns for the FT are fresh and sit outside the niggly media bubble of Westminster. A few days back he outlined an apparent effect within the political political system currently more pronounced on the Tory side of things, but which may also have echoes elsewhere. He more…

Why a #BorderPoll ill-serves the cause of a united island

“I live in terror of not being misunderstood.” From The Critic as Artist, by Oscar Wilde So, what is a reasonable, even a Nationalist, objection to the calling of a Border Poll in the next parliamentary term north and south? The most obvious is that from what we know of the current public will in more…

How to win a Scottish Referendum – ten iron laws…

Leaving aside the politics of the upcoming referendum, for a moment, however hard that is, let me explore the ten iron laws of referendum campaigning: Referendums are not elections – they encapsulate issues and ideas in theory, rather than people and personalities; that is why political parties find them so hard – because parties are more…

Would Ireland really need a Referendum on Treaty change?

Paul doesn’t like themdoesn’t like them, but there is some limited evidence (according to the Spectator this week) that populations which are regularly consulted and feel part of the political process are happier than those who are not. In Ireland the population is so rarely consulted (and her politicians so rarely called upon to publicly more…