A Progressive Writes about Democracy

Quoted by Sean Gabb

“…progressives should be very wary about referendums. They are rarely instruments for change – and almost never on the actual questions posed. If we had proceeded by referendum, most of the social advances of the past 100 years would have been stopped in their tracks.” (Julian Priestly, “Regressive referendum a rallying point for reactionary xenophobes”, Tribune, 22nd April 2011, p.19.)

3 responses to “A Progressive Writes about Democracy

  1. I have argued before that perhaps one primary difference between liberals and progressives is that progressives see democracy (and political systems) as a tool for change whereas liberals see it as a means of veto. So, they see a parliament as a body that gets things done, while liberals see it as a body designed to prevent things getting done (by the executive e.g. the monarch).

    Fundamentally opposed models for politics.

  2. I think that’s ver well said.

  3. P Robinson

    “– and almost never on the actual questions posed.”

    Does he have a point, or is that just msm/BBC propaganda?

    I’ve always thought that the EU referendum of 1975 was “lost” because on one side there were “nice moderates” like Harold Wilson(!), Ted Heath(!!), Jeremy Thorpe(?), etc., and on the other, questionable “extremists” like Wedgewood-Benn, and Enoch Powell.