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Call for a People's Vote.

September 2, 2019 1:12 PM

Letter to the Courier

Dear Sir,

We might have a General Election within weeks so it is right that I reply to Mark O'Brien and Tim Jackson's letters in last week's Courier. In essence Mark said that a People's Vote is undemocratic while Tim suggests that only the Conservative Party in East Lothian is capable of delivering "the certainty and stability that people need".

I have considerable sympathy with Mark's point; a UK majority did vote to leave Europe. However, the terms, means and costs of the exit were less than clear. A vote on any deal, or even leaving without a deal, represents more not less democracy. Since 1688 our Constitution has put ultimate power in hands of Parliament as opposed to a Monarch. We can't and shouldn't kick parliamentary democracy into touch just yet as it has been hard earned. That said, constitutional reform is needed including clarification of the place and status of a referendum so that we don't end up with any more botched jobs. There is a strong argument that the two party, first past the post Westminster system needs a radical overhaul not least so that an impasse such as the one facing this government is prevented in future. Cross party co-operation on long term policy and constitutional reform makes sense.

Tim's point is interesting; but sorry, it is hard to find evidence that recent Conservative governments have provided either certainty or stability; rather the reverse. Taking the party out of politics and working together to mend and reform a broken system will offer hope to voters in East Lothian, Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom. Given the will, we can create a better future for our children and grandchildren and, arguably, this is the very least that we owe them.


Robert O'Riordan.
Prospective Westminster Parliamentary Candidate
East Lothian Scottish Liberal Democrats.