Referendums are seen as a device of getting to know the public opinion on a single issue. Right, but who is the PUBLIC? Whose opinions are the governments looking for? Who actually decides how to vote (i.e. what is the best for everybody?). The view that referendums give an accurate opinion is, unfortunately, far from truth. Let’s see why…
Official figures published yesterday by the Electoral Commission show that the supporters of the electoral change (referendum on AV) spent 1.25m pounds less than the people for a NO vote. This disproportion is not big enough to have a deciding impact on the results (67.9% voted against) but the percentage could be totally different and could possibly allow further debate on this issue.
Let’s get a bit deeper in the finances of both campaigns. The ‘NO’ campaign could afford to fund TWO NATIONAL MAILSHOTS(!), while people ‘for’ could have sent letters to selected addresses only. As written in the Independent today: “The No team could also afford national poster campaigns, including controversial images claiming that the money used to move to AV would be better used to save babies' or soldiers' lives.”
The evidence above show, that there are people who have power and others, who are even more powerful. Would the outcome be different with the same funds for both sides of the argument. Possibly, but there are, of course, many other factors affecting the final results. Let’s keep that in mind and don’t allow others to think FOR us J.
That’s what I think,