The UK politician and former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown tells EurActiv that a UK referendum on EU membership can be won, so long as the question is framed in ‘yes/no’ terms.
You have been speaking at this TEDx in Brussels on the threat to democracy. Do you see that threat as global, or limited to certain places?
No I think it affects all the advanced democracies, it is not global. All the advanced democracies are suffering from a sort of breakdown of the democratic dialogue. You can look at America, Canada certainly the European countries: you see the rise of the right, or the rise of the left, the rise of demagogues, the failure of democratic governments. I just think what it tells us is that the framework for our democracy – the nation states – needs to change, and what we need is a reform. Democracy has been reformed many, many times over the last 1500 years. We need to go through another reform of democracy. To my mind, that means redistributing the powers of the nation state. To a British audience I would say we need a Great Reform Act of 1832.
The full interview with EurActive can be found here