Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Formulating referendum questions

By Lin Yu-hsiung 林鈺雄

However, it then also provides five reasons for halting the construction and banning the operation of the power plant, as well as five counterarguments, suggesting that the goal of proposing the referendum in the first place was to dissipate the controversy and appeal to the will of the public by encouraging debate on the pros and cons of nuclear power in the wider society, much like the Swedish government did in 1980. It is a way to divest itself of all responsibility for the outcome.

This being the case, it would be better for the proposed question to be expressed as a neutral option, as in: “You agree that construction of the fourth nuclear power plant should 1. continue, or 2. be halted.” This would be a far more straightforward and honest way to go about it.

Lin Yu-hsiung is a professor at National Taiwan University’s College of Law.

Translated by Paul Cooper

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