Campaigners launch push to ‘open up’ EU referendum debate
Public event hopes to shift referendum debate away from personalities to policies
Electoral Reform Society Scotland will launch new democratic tool to ‘open up’ the EU referendum this week , as campaigners seek to move the referendum debate ‘away from political personalities and to effects on people ’.
The event, which will be held 11am-3pm at Govanhill Baths on Saturday 11 June, will be the Scottish launch of a new democratic online tool on the EU referendum, bringing together people from Glasgow to discuss the issues of the EU debate – with campaigners from both sides and academics giving the full facts and opinion.
Better Referendum will bring the debate into local communities as part of a project coordinated by leading universities and the Electoral Reform Society. A number of locals are also being trained and paid to be facilitators for the event, enhancing the community’s capacity for citizen led debate.
Willie Sullivan, Director of Electoral Reform Society Scotland, said:
“We’re proud to be launching our national campaign for a ‘Better Referendum’ in Glasgow’s Govanhill. This event is a chance to hear all the arguments from both sides, from experts and citizens, and to discuss them in an open and innovative forum.
“The EU referendum debate has so been focused far too much on the personalities and internal party spats, rather than the real issues that affect people in Scotland and across the UK.
“It doesn’t have to be like this – we could have a vibrant and lively EU referendum debate, looking at the real issues: from health and education to the economy and immigration and how these things effects lives.”
“There’ll be good conversations, great free food, videos, votes, and short pitches from the main campaigns, so that people will have a chance to hear the arguments and have your say in an engaging environment.”
“We can cut through the spin and have a grassroots referendum debate that we deserve. Let’s have a Better Referendum.”
 Event: A Better Referendum – The Scottish Debate. Date: Saturday 11 June, 11-3pm. Venue: Govanhill Baths, 99 Calder Street, G42 7RA.
Members of the public can sign up to the event here for free here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-better-referendum-the-scottish-debate-tickets-25788455966?ref=estw
 Better Referendum has been launched by Democracy Matters, a collaboration between the Electoral Reform Society, the Crick Centre for the Understanding of Politics (University of Sheffield), Centre of the Study of Democracy (University of Westminster), and the Centre for Citizenship, Globalisation and Governance (University of Southampton).
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