A real-life example while Binding Citizen Referenda are complete madness

And yes, I’m talking to you, Conservative Party, for having it as one of your policy planks.

The boat the internet dubbed ‘Boaty McBoatface’ is unlikely to take to the seas bearing such a unique name.

The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) last month asked the public to vote on a name for its new vessel. It didn’t take long for pranksters to hijack the process, suggesting Boaty McBoatface.

The idea was to get the public interested in the boat’s mission, which worked — at least for a few days.

Yesterday the NERC revealed the results of the public vote. Boaty McBoatface won easily, with 124,109 votes. Second-place was RRS Poppy-Mai, named for a 16-month-old toddler with cancer, with 34,371 votes.

A suggestion to name it after Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley came third, ‘It’s Bloody Cold Here’ fourth, and RRS David Attenborough in fifth. In all there were about 7000 suggestions.

UK Minister for Science Jo Johnson isn’t impressed with the public’s choice.

“The new royal research ship will be sailing into the world’s iciest waters to address global challenges that affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, including global warming, the melting of polar ice and rising sea levels,” he says.

“That’s why we want a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing.”

It is a great example how issues can be captured by special interest groups.   Just look at Red Peak for example, it was captured by the left and the media and Key buckled and altered the pre-agreed process just to let it have a go.

There is a reason we don’t run a family using binding referendums.  There is a component of wisdom and experience in any kind of decision making that can’t be left to a referendum.

As for Boaty McBoatface, I think NERC should suck it up and use that name.  It will in fact become exactly what they hoped it would be: an ambassador for the work they do.  By calling it Henry Worsley they will sink back into the very obscurity they were trying to prevent in the first place.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.