Monday, 16 November 2009

Golwg article - Kick the politicians

Lists are not one of my things. But if one was to draw up a list of the most unpopular people in the eyes of the public almost certainly politics and politicians would be near the top. Undoubtedly after this Summers  scandal on allowances they're unlikely to be moved from the top of the list for some time.
Consequently, we all like to prod them as often as we can. And that's the problem . It's impossible for them to ask us any question without the temptation on our part to kick them up the backside.
And that's the danger with a referendum. Its not the question that tends to  be answered but the public vote to punish the politicians asking the question.
Now that David Cameron has declared that he won't veto a request for a referendum on more powers if the National Assembly request one. Its highly likely that a referendum may be held early after the next general election despite Peter Hain's best efforts.
The electorate may well be fed up with a referendum campaign on more powers so they may use their vote to have their say and give the politicians a kicking.
If that happened it would create a rather interesting situation. If they electors voted down law making powers were would leave the Assembly. For  what is the Assembly at the moment but a law making body. Granted its a complicated system and wasteful in both time and money, but nevertheless it is a law making system. So if the principle of law making is rejected by a referendum the Assembly would have to go back to first principles and surely the question would arise as to  whether we need an Assembly at all.
No, it would be foolish to have a referendum with only one question. Especially as most ordinary people think that the Assembly pass laws already.
In my opinion the only way to stop this continues discussion about constitutional matters is to have a multiple choise ballet paper. And the type of question? Independence or not? Powers over taxation? And yes, should we scrap the Assembly?
We need to put an end to the endless constitutional nonsense once and for all, and start addressing the questions that the punters want answers to. Such as economic policy, poverty, housing, health, education etc. If politicians don't answer these their stock will continue to remain low.

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