What’s the good of a referendum?

I’m still at it, plugging away at one of the great sticking-points in Scottish political discourse: is a referendum a valid or sensible means of coming to a decision on constitutional matters? Only opportunists and gamblers with nothing to lose seem to think it is. Here is a letter I had published in The Herald at the weekend:

R Russell Smith’s suggestion that we should have another referendum to correct the outcome of the EuroRef is tempting but unsound. The logic that permits a second referendum cannot resist demands for a third. Then where are we?

Another worry is that the corporates and some elements of the press would bully and buy their way to another victory for themselves.

The better suggestion is that we require our parliamentarians to abort the Brexit project and take responsibility on themselves.
Elected representatives are expected to exercise their judgement. Pulling out of Brexit would certainly incur the wrath of sections of the media, but if their case is good it won’t lose them votes at their next rendezvous with the polls. On the contrary, I think.

And it would give us the welcome sight of elected representatives showing some leadership. We need them to stand up to the corporates, not to cave in by letting them push us around in a dangerously over-simplified one-day showdown that is a referendum.

I have asked our SNP MSP for the case in favour of a referendum. I’ll let you know if there’s a reply, but I don’t think you should be holding your breath in anticipation.