The time draws near to a vote in the house on the public's right to have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Today we hear of Lib Dem Frontbenchers who are willing to support democracy by voting in favour. David Heath, the justice spokesman and Nick Harvey, the defence spokesman are in favour of a public vote, either by voting for a referendum or by abstaining. However the party machine is getting tough on rebels and has announced that: "Frontbenchers will be expected to follow the party line."
If these brave Lib Dem rebels can hold true to their manifesto promise and their constituents, then just possibly LibDem Backbenchers will ignore the whip and vote with their consciences. This is a turning point in British Democracy. If we fail to get a referendum then this will give a green light to the political class telling them that they can do anything they damn well please and sod the little people (that's you and me bye the way).
It would be preferable if those rebel MPs - both Labour and Lib Dem were to vote in favour of a referendum rather than just abstain. This would give us a chance to win a referendum for the people and beat Labour's majority. While I value those who abstain, it could be seen as a bit of a cop-out and a way for those in marginal seats to hang on to their jobs without actually voting. It's certain that some MPs will lose their seats over this if we don't get a referendum, but those who abstain could say that they didn't vote against a referendum.
I call on all MPs to do their jobs, vote with their consciences and represent their constituents' wishes (These should all be the same thing).