Today’s Dutch referendum on the EU’s expansionist agreement with Ukraine really is the people’s referendum.
It wasn’t triggered by politicians or political parties, but by a determined group of well-organised, highly-motivated individuals.
GeenPeil, a project stemming from the popular Dutch blog GeenStijl, collected some 420,000 signed, verified, signatures triggering this referendum. It is an extraordinary achievement that highlights how western democracy is evolving.
Dutch referendum is example that euroscepticism is rife throughout Europe. Hope the Dutch people give EU elite a kick in the teeth & vote no
The internet truly is the gamechanger of our time. A small collection of individuals with an idea can find thousands of other kindred spirits who join them in championing a cause. That develops, becoming tens of thousands and then allowing a message to reach out to millions.
This revolution is sweeping Europe as we speak. Just look at Beppe Grillo’s Five Star movement in Italy, who harness a system of direct democracy amongst their supporters. When Five Star had MEPs elected to the European Parliament, the party asked supporters to vote on which group they should sit with. Supporters had their say and the Five Star Movement now sit alongside Ukip.
Without the internet, the development and growth of Ukip in Britain would have been far tougher. YouTube gave speeches I made in the European Parliament a platform, reaching out to new audiences not just in the United Kingdom but right across the world. Most encouragingly, these are young audiences, a generation who are now able to access virtually unlimited quantities of information. The internet takes western democracy into a new sphere. Unchartered territory with exciting possibilities.