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Op-Ed on Referendums

I recognise that this is an unpropitious time to call for more referendums. But the Brexit vote was the worst possible model for popular decision-making. The government threw a massive question at an electorate that had almost no experience of direct democracy. Voters were rushed towards judgment day on a ridiculously short timetable, with no preparation except a series of giant lies.

Worse still, an issue of astonishing complexity was reduced to a crude binary choice. Because the only options presented were in or out, everyone knows what the majority voted against; no one knows what kind of Leave it voted for. Why could we not have had a multiple choice, presenting the different ways in which we could have stayed in or left Europe? Without permission to make a nuanced decision, we had no incentive to achieve a nuanced understanding.A lively and intelligent politics demands an active and empowered electorate that can hold its representatives constantly to account.

Read more from George Montbiut in the Guardian

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