RogerTheMovieManiac88 wrote: ↑
September 12th, 2019, 9:32 pm
Written code, as you put it, isn't necessarily possible in cases where there are so many unknowables.
You said, "...but voters have to be asked rather a stark and simplistic overview
that can be fleshed out. I don't think that's ever going to really change."
And I said that isn't true and provided a relevant example.
If you ask voters, "Should the island of Ireland be reunified - Yes or No?" I'd say that is entirely too vague - like the Brexit question - and you will have voters voting yes with the idea that NI would be dissolved and absorbed into the RoI, another who'd vote yes with the idea that the RoI would be dissolved and the republic returned to it's rightful place as England's second colony, another would vote yes thinking that somehow a magical hybrid would be created as a completely independent entity under the British Crown but with Westminster exercising no legislative control over the Irish island, and another voting yes believing unicorns and dragons will return.
If you want to gauge public support for an issue, do a poll. If you're going to ask for substantive change to the state's existence, you've got to offer a concrete proposal. While it may be nearly impossible to include all relevant changes in statue and foundation documents, you have to provide voters with a realistic plan: "Should Northern Ireland and it's governmental institutions be dissolved and absorbed by the Republic of Ireland - Yes or No?" Such would provide voters with a clear choice - NI would cease to be a part of the UK and it's institutions would be replaced by their equivalents in the RoI. While the question is simple, it contains a very reasonable question and provides a clear road for what will happen when a voter says yes.
@brokenface offered much more realistic questions for voters re: Brexit. I'd add, "Do you approve and wish to implement May's negotiated exit or do you want to leave the EU with no deal on 31 October?" That would provide voters with a clear choice that respected the results of the earlier referendum as well as Parliament's role.
And btw, both with statute changes that are approved via the ballot and through the legislative/executive process, changes are subject to judicial review and aren't negated because later on someone finds a conflict elsewhere in the law. Usually the legislature is more than happy to change whatever statute exists to reflect the clear intent of the voters. No one is saying every eventuality has to be provided for in the text of the question - no amendment can anticipate every eventuality.