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The Problem With the EU Referendum

The thing that drew me to the Yes campaign during the Scottish Independence Referendum was the positive hope for the future. They were saying 'these are the problems with the way the country is ran today and this is how we intend to improve things in the future'.

The No campaign on the other hand seemed to take the view that everything was fine as it was, and the idea of changing anything was just too risky and stressful.

The positive, constructive attitude of the Yes campaign made me decide that the risk was worth taking and I followed the Nelson Mandela quote:

"May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears".

The EU referendum campaigns, on the other hand, have had no such message of hope.

The Leave campaign obveously have the easier chance of showing a brighter future however it appears to just be a bunch of rich folk who would rather be able to exploit others that are shouting the loudest.

The only mesages of hope come in the form of slogans:

Vote leave and we could spend \<some large sum of money> on \<some well liked public service>.

The key word is could, look at who is saying these things and remember who is in charge. They probably won't.

These large sums of money are all provided on the basis that the economy will not be harmed in any way and that we will no longer have to pay into the EU. Except that the assertion is we would still be in the common market (like Norway or Switzerland) and that is why the economy will not be truly affected. Except Norway and Switzerland both pay into the EU and are part of the Schengen Area...

The argument about the EU being an undemocratic institution is also a bit flat when you consider the healthy state of the UK democracy (hello House of Lords and First-Past-the-Post leading to a party with less than 37% of vote getting absolute control of the Parliament).

I suspect the feeling of the EU being undemocratic is, in some part, down to the lack of coverage the European Parliament receives in our news media. In 2014, Scotland elected 6 MEPs (2 SNP, 2 Labour, 1 Conservative and 1 UKIP). Since then, I have heard absolutely nothing about what they have said, what they have voted for or, in fact, anything else they have done (with the exception of UKIP's David Coburn and, of all the things I have heard, nothing to do with his parlamentary role). Would it not be better if our broadcasters at least mentioned the activities that our elected representatives are doing on our behalf?

And on that note I turn to the Remain campaign. As I said earlier, I was drawn to the Yes campaign because it showed how things could be better, and the No campaign was saying things as they are are fine. I wish the Remain campaign (or at least the fringe/unofficial parts) could start to highlight areas where they would like to see improvements. I want them to put forward a path to show how we could work with others to improve the lives of everyone within the European Union.

When I vote, I want to let my choice be guided by hope. I want to hope for a better Europe. The Remain campaign is not currently filling me with much hope.

Creative Commons Licence
The Problem With the EU Referendum by Alistair Marshall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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