Monday, 8 February 2010

Power To The People?

Waugh notes today that:
"David Cameron today just unveiled plans to ensure that any petition of 100,000 people would be eligible for debate in Parliament. Any petition with 1 million signatures would result in a bill being tabled in Parliament."
Now I wonder which anti-democratic organisation he got that idea from? As Waugh rightly points out:

Heck, this could even be a UKIP wet dream. Imagine a simple "In or Out of Europe" referendum bill. Despite Mr Cameron's enthusiasm for more 'power to the people' today, the party business managers may suddenly find that there is not a lot of Parliamentary time for such a troublesome item.

Of course, rather like the EU Citizen's Initiative, the actual process will be made as difficult as possible. There will be no bill on a referendum on the UK's membership because Cameron has already said he won't hold one as he knows that he will lose:
I don’t want an ‘in or out’ referendum because I don’t think out is in Britain’s interests.”
Still, it creates more 'power to the people' type headlines and more evidence that we're changing one 'useless New Labour headline obsessed government' for another.

Update: ConservativeHome has its take here. I agree with ConHome that the devil's in the detail and if Cameron goes ahead it will be a brave decision. Personally I think the suggestion will never see the light of day again but in these internet times it's far more difficult not to be held to account.

1 comment:

  1. There will be a catch, because the first petition will almost undoubtedly be, as you surmised, a referendum on the EU and there's no way he'll want that on his hands.