Referendum should have been during the wedding

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Tomorrow we go the polls in the most confusing referendum. I very much feel that we should all take part in this – but at the same time I’m rather cross that a decision of such immense proportions is being left to us, the great uneducated.

How are we supposed to understand the effect it will have on us when the pamphlets which come through the door are written with scaremongering in mind and the national media keeps saying ‘the two sides are putting forward their final arguments’, but then not sharing what they are?

Is anyone else out there as confused as I am? I want simple votes, yes to this, no to that, where it’s clear what the outcome of my vote will be. Not ones like this referendum where this might happen, or the consequences might be that.

The big question, though, is how many people will bother to turn up and vote? Elections are so dismally supported – even when they are clear-cut – and the likelihood of us all getting out of bed and making the trek to the polling stations is pretty low.

It would be interesting to add a tick box which says: ‘I don’t care either way, but felt it was my duty to make my mark.’

I bet a lot of people would tick that one. Or ‘I’ve come because my children are off school and I couldn’t think of anything else to do with them.’

And then if we counted the number of people who simply don’t bother – and proportional representation wins – we’d perhaps find ourselves in a situation where large swathes of the country are ready to give up their vote altogether.

Instead of redesigning the outcomes of elections, the powers-that-be should be looking at the election process. It would be much simpler in our digitally-enhanced society to use the buttons on our TV remotes.

We could colour co-ordinate the parties to the buttons – but this might give Labour an unfair advantage as we are all so used to pressing the red button ‘now’.

In fact, we should have held the referendum half-way through the royal wedding, when Wills and Kate went off to sign the register. We could have done a quick button-push then, with no faffing around with polling cards and the like – and a higher number of participants.