Thursday, December 09, 2004
Who would trust the government to draft a "simple and straightforward question" in a referendum on the Constitution? The supported draft amongst the politariat is quoted here:

Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?

In the accompanying spin surrounding this question, the Herald has presented the above phrase as a victory for the Plain-Speaking brigade versus the Cabinet Europhiles who wish to draft a more skewed question for the referendum.

Except that this question is also wrong. The United Kingdom would not "approve", it would ratify the new Constitution. This requires a stronger question in order to inform the public that the European Constitution is a change of governance. Even this construction, described as neutral, would serve to confuse as some will vote Yes because they do not fully read or understand the issue, which this adminsitration hopes to neuter.

Any referendum question will be difficult to accept and politically contested. However, spin of Brownite battles with the Europhiles should be rejected, since no government can be trusted with such a vital duty.


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