Let's vote on it

Finland hasn't experienced many referendums, but that may be about to change:

Tuija Brax (green), Finland's justice minister, was quoted as saying by Helsingin Sanomat on Friday that referendums and popular initiatives could be used to persuade people to get more involved in society.

The minister told the paper she did not want to comment on what sorts of issues referendums could be held in the future.

The article mentions that a consultative referendum on NATO membership is thought to have support in the Parliament. I rather doubt we'll ever have one, though. A referendum is unlikely unless the government is in favor of membership and if the government is in favor of membership, it has no incentive to hold a vote that very well might go the other way. Similarly, a referendum on the EU not-a-constitution is highly unlikely, because there's a danger the people will vote the wrong way. What I'm getting at is that unless there's a good chance that a vote will be held even when the government-backed option might lose, there's no point in holding a vote.

No comments: