Truth in referendums

Proposer: Judith King

Seconder: TBC

Unlock Democracy notes:

1.    That there was widespread concern about the misrepresentations of the truth and misinformation published by both sides during the EU referendum campaign.

2.    Moreover, according to the Electoral Reform Society, only 33% of the population felt informed or very well informed a week before the referendum. 

3.    That the Electoral Reform Society’s report on the EU Referendum recommends that ‘an official body – either the Electoral Commission or an appropriate alternative – should be empowered to intervene when overtly misleading information is disseminated by the official campaigns’ [1]

Unlock Democracy believes:

1.    We cannot have an effective, worthwhile democracy without a well informed public. This is of critical importance in underpinning all the other work of Unlock Democracy.  

2.    It is crucial to improve the accuracy of information in future elections, referenda, and other forms of public debate. 

Unlock Democracy resolves:

1.    To campaign for a supervisory body (such as the Electoral Commission) to be granted powers to intervene when misleading information is presented by campaigners and stop further dissemination

2.    To campaign for an increase in the powers of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to enable them to investigate and sanction MPs involved in significant misrepresentation of facts in a public context. 

[1] Electoral Reform Society, It’s Good to Talk, p10 (http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/publication/Its-good-to-talk-2016-EU-Referendum-Report.pdf)