Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Nearly 90% vote for an EU Referendum in Thurrock

The Express reports on the outcome of a referendum held by the People’s Pledge organisation at Thurrock in Essex. Of the 48,000 voting papers issued by the Electoral Reform Services 14,600 voted by post or electronically – this represented a 30.4% turnout and topped the number voting in the constituency at the last local elections.

89.9% of those who voted wanted a referendum on our membership of the EU and demonstrates that the stance of those standing in a General Election, on this issue, is likely to impact on the result. The sitting MP is Tory Jackie Doyle-Price – who last year voted in the Commons against a referendum – won with 16,869 votes, snatching a wafer-thin majority of 92 over her Labour rival.

People’s Pledge plan more local referendums this year and 100 more next year with the aim of getting MPs to sign up to having a national referendum. 64 MPs have already backed the campaign along with more 100,000 members of the public.

It really is time to change our current, wholly inappropriately named, system of ‘Representative Democracy’ [based on the way it is operated] so that representatives are obliged to far more closely represent the views of their electorate. Such a change is especially important on key issues and on those where the people are particularly concerned. This would be in marked contrast to the existing practice where representatives invariably obey the ruling elite of the political party to which they belong.

Provided a system was in place for the electorate to express their preferences on forthcoming issues, should less than 60% take the opportunity to vote and there is not an overwhelming majority for any one course of action – then it is reasonable that the representative ignores this information and decides for themselves. However, if more than 60% have voted the representative should conform to their electorates will!

Such a system should be relatively simple to install on the internet with the numbers connected growing at such a rapid rate – provided public internet connection is provided at libraries and other public places. If the systems in place are considered secure enough for internet banking, they should be sufficiently secure for voting at elections and providing the preferences of the electorate.

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