I reckon the powers that be have learned a lesson when they plumped for 'yes' to be the 'in' vote. If you want people to vote 'no', you'll have to run a negative campaign and vice-versa surely?Interesting. The last two big plebiscites in these islands were AV in 2011 and the Scotties last year. Those two questions were, respectively:
At present, the UK uses the "first past the post" system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the "alternative vote" system be used instead?and
Should Scotland be an independent country?The 1975 referendum, won by 'Yes', was asked:
Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?Next time around it will be:
“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”which is rather the same as 1975, with the new-found preference for starting with 'should'.
Those jolly voting opportunities in 2011 and 2014 were won by 'No', so (a) is the 'No' side really doomed to run a negative campaign? and (b) does that matter?
I'd say it's (just) a marketing challenge, albeit of massive strategic importance, and we already know the classic answer: it's a sunny smile and "nien, danke!". There are plenty of other ways to play 'upbeat negative': "been there, done that"; "you 'avin a laugh?!", etc. If you hired Ben Elton he'd coin several more to choose from.
The problem for 'Out' (symptomatic, because it's just one of many) is that you can't easily see any of the current 'faces of Out' pulling off anything as sure-footed as a campaign-slogan-of-genius. It's worse than that, they are all sour-faced gits (Cash, Redwood et al) or saloon-bar bores (Farage). It's not easy: Salmond could never quite come across as sweetly positive for 'Yes', could he? The mask periodically slipped and it was all hatred-for-England and ambition-for-self beneath. Boris is the only remotely plausible candidate, and he changes his position on Europe every time his sensitive nostrils detect a change in the wind. Someone we haven't yet thought of needs to be the person that cometh, when cometh the hour.
I have a feeling we shall be discussing all this again. Many times ...