The EU Referendum
Combative, provocative and engaging debate chaired by Edward Stourton. With Mona Siddiqui, Matthew Taylor, Claire Fox and Giles Fraser.
The murder of the MP Jo Cox has cast a very long and dark shadow across the closing days of the EU referendum. The nature of the campaign and how her death might influence the result are a matter of conjecture. On this week's Moral Maze we're going stand back from that speculation and ask a much bigger question - has this referendum been good for us and good for democracy? The intense campaigning has been going on for many months now and comes hard on the heels of the Scottish independence referendum. Arguably, both have been characterised by trenchant, sometimes bitter and even abusive debate between two sides passionately and honestly committed to their positions. And, arguably, both referenda have left large parts of the electorate dissatisfied by a seemingly endless round of fact-free claim and counter-claim. Are our expectations unrealistic? Have referendums been, for all their faults, exercises in democracy that have engaged and inspired people in a way that party politics increasingly fail to achieve? Should we, like Switzerland, hold more of them? Is there a better way? Should we turn to technology and the internet for answers? 76% of people in the UK own a smart phone; with the growth of social media and online petitions there's a movement that believes the future of democracy is online, where it will engage more people in a wider variety of issues, putting more power directly into the hands of the electorate. Will e-democracy encourage more passionate engagement in issues and be a powerful force for progress? Can it cope with complex issues and complex societies with tens, or hundreds of millions of voters? Will we always need representative democracy to protect us from the tyranny of the majority, however that majority cast their votes? Chaired by Edward Stourton with Mona Siddiqui, Matthew Taylor, Giles Fraser and Claire Fox. Witnesses are Paul Hilder, James Bloodworth, Dr Philip Cunliffe and Tim Stanley.