In today's Guardian Communities Secreatary Hazel Blears says that voters should be given a say on “big choices". The Guardian reports that Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has announced that the Government needs to let the public vote on “big choices”.
She said “I think the world has changed. I think voting every four years and basically handing over responsibility and power to other people and then doing nothing again for four years, I think our democracy is not like that any more... My overriding belief is that people are capable of making quite complex difficult decisions, setting priorities, doing trade-offs if they are given the opportunity to do it. I have never believed in a paternalistic society that tells people what is good for them.”
Just as Gordon Brown’s new willingness to “listen and learn” does not sit well with his attempts to avoid a referendum, Blears’ drive to include people more in “big choices” will add to the pressure to let people have a say on the revised Constitutional Treaty.
Anti-referendum MPs have long argued that EU treaties are too complicated for ordinary people to understand and therefore any decision should be left to them, but Blears has blown that out of the water. Her “overriding belief is that people are capable of making quite complex difficult decisions”. In the coming months it is going to be increasingly difficult for the Government to explain why people should be allowed to vote on certain “big choices”, but not on the future of the European Union.