I was very pleased to read that Lib Dem David Heath will be defying the party whip by voting for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It's a very brave decision and he could face disciplinary action for his heroic stance.
However there is one little problem: David's constituency of Somerton and Frome has been targeted for a mock referendum by the "I want a Referendum" campaign. A campaign which I fully support. Obviously David's recent announcement to vote for a referendum has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. David is asking why he has been targeted for a mock referendum given his stance. The Norfolk Blogger (Nich Starling) is asking if the campaign is just a Tory front seeing as it is still holding a mock referendum in David's constituency despite him being in favour of a national referendum.
Being a Conservative I found Nich's post a little disturbing. I do not want this campaign to be used as, or seen to be, a Tory front. So I called the people at "I want a referendum" for an explanation. It seems that they have been trying (and failing) to get an answer out of David for a while. They say that until the last couple of days his position has not been clear and they had still not heard from David. I asked if they would cancel the mock referendum in his constituency if he could guarantee his position. They said that it was too late as the ballot papers had already been sent out. But they did assure me that they would very publicly make it be known, both nationally and in David's constituency that he had supported and voted for the referendum.
This brings up some questions:
If David had made is position clear to the "I want a referendum" campaign from the beginning, would they have cancelled the mock referendum in his constituency? - I would like to think so (but being a Tory I would, wouldn't I).
The other question that needs to be asked is this: If David Heath has only very recently announced his decision to vote in favour of a referendum, then is this due to the success of the "I want a referendum" campaign targeting his constituency? - I will give David the benefit of the doubt and believe that he is acting on his conscience - not the fear of losing his seat.