bound to legislate or change its policy to conform with the referendum.”
It is not difficult to imagine how non-constructive and unproductive, even counter-productive, a non-binding referendum will be, if allowed. It will be, to say the least, highly divisive.
Former British prime minister David Cameron had been roundly criticised for putting Britons through a referendum with such huge consequential effects, when most ordinary British voters cared little and understood even less what it actually meant for them when voting to leave the European Union.
In fact, with Britons now in the throes of another general election so soon after the last one, increasing numbers of British voters (as with their counterparts in much of the Western world) are either fed up with too much of such supposedly democratic exercises, or simply with the lack of any real choices voting affords them.
British voters are now disenchanted that elections seem to make little difference to what they really care about — their diminishing personal prospects and expectations in an inexorably diminished country.
Be absolutely careful then about what we wish for, as it may be just as good an advice for Britons (though belated) as it is for Sarawakians.
It is perhaps time we all rethink the idea that there is nothing that can possibly be wrong about having too much democracy. So-called “professional” politicians may be loathed by some, but they may be as much a necessary “evil” as lawyers or even doctors.
Governing is a hugely complex business and likely to only become even more so, going forward.
Citizens-initiated electoral exercises, such as those occasionally deployed in California in the United States, work only because they are confined to narrow civic matters, not anything as complex as Brexit!