Monday, January 31, 2005


From the Torygraph, an interesting report on the latest European Constitution poll. ICM's survey, the first to be carried out using the actual question to be asked in the referendum, showed 39% in favour and 41% against - radically better figures than any previous poll.

"The ICM findings will fuel the debate over the Government's proposed wording, amid claims that it has been designed to provoke a "Yes" vote. However, ministers will respond that it has been subject to consultation, agreed by the Tories and Liberal Democrats, and is expected to be endorsed by the independent Electoral Commission, which polices referendums and recommended an almost identical wording last year.

Nick Sparrow, the managing director of ICM Research, said last night: "The referendum question as the Government has announced it does point people towards a 'Yes' answer and uses warm words such as 'approve'."

Well, the proposed question does actually reflect the constitutional point it is meant to decide. After all, it is proposed to hold a referendum after Parliament has debated the text of the treaty and approved it subject to referendum. So the question ("Should the UK approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?") is exactly aligned with the facts. But all that would satisfy the isolationists would be something along the lines of "Do YOU want to be LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE IN COURT for EVILLY RIPPING THE MAGNA CARTA UP IN THE INTERNATIONAL EUROCONSPIRACY to DESTROY BRITAIN? WELL DO YOU? If so, please climb up the ladder, put on the blindfold and find the pencil. Then write the random six-figure code in the box provided on ballot part 3, subsection Vii. If on the other hand you want to REMAIN A DECENT PATRIOTIC PERSON and SAVE THE POUND AND THE SCOTTISH REGIMENTS AND THE QUEEN, place the unmarked ballot in the box."

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