First published on the Fabian blog
A referendum is in so many ways just like any other elections. There are polling booths, ballot papers. You win by getting more votes than your opponent. With only two candidates one side needs an outright majority, technically just one would do. The question in the voters mind when casting their ballot is not necessary about the direct choice in front of them. We know general elections are not about selfish interests but a broader national interest. Voter balance good leadership and ability to run the economy. Some parties aim to be ahead on both. This referendum must link the pounds in people’s pockets to a bigger vision about what is best for Britain and her national interest.
At the same time referendums can be totally different. There are no candidates, constituency agents and obvious leadership in given geographic areas. And herein lies the problem. (more…)