Debating Society: Referenda or Parliaments?
The abnormally long wait for the latest meeting of the debating society was finally ended today as BSG hosted BS to argue in favour of the motion:
“This house believes that parliaments, not referenda, should be used to make national decisions”
Standing encircled by the typically generously sized audience, Victoria began in defence of Parliaments, citing the democratically elected nature of our own as a reason to neglect referenda. Emphasising how politicians are “experts” in their profession, she denounced the seeking of popular approval as “unnecessary”.
Promoting the case for more direct democracy, Sean defended the use of a referendum as a method of engaging the public with politics and the decisions that will directly effect the future of the country. He also attempted to refute the proposition’s point that “anyone can join a political party and influence the party’s policy” by giving his personal experience of being uninvolved in forming policy despite holding membership of a party.
A more interactive approach was used to second the motion, manifesting how referenda “fail to unite the public.” This was demonstrated via the use of an A4 piece of paper upon which the results of the EU ballot were printed. Judging by the sentiments of the audience, the remark that young people have been robbed of their future in Europe by “old people who won’t have to live with the consequences” failed to swing the momentum of the debate back in favour of the hosting team.
Concluding for Bournemouth School was Fin with what was evidently a well prepared speech. Like his debate partner he reinforced the case for allowing the populace to decide big constitutional issues rather than having that power retained by a “political establishment” in Westminster.
After the four scripted speeches, chairman Mr Hubbard masterfully controlled the audience during the closing question section as arguments were put to both opposition and proposition alike. Mikolaj Urbanski, a supporter of referenda, explained the Swiss model in which the public can initiate referenda through petitions, which he believed enhanced regional democracy.
Another notable intervention came from Dan Pedley, a renowned critic of Tobias Ellwood, who accused the MP of “unacceptable” behaviour when lobbying for a pay rise on top of his already exorbitant salary. This was his method of demonstrating how MPs and Parliaments are out of touch with the daily lives of ordinary people and so cannot properly represent the views of the electorate.
The motion was defeated by a unanimous vote in favour of referenda.