The majority of British people are now incapable of making a decision without first holding a referendum, according to a study published today.
Researchers from Rochdale Commuity University found that 86% of people they spoke to down the pub confessed to being unable to decide on anything in the absence of heated debate and a non-legally binding vote.
“These findings are alarming,” said lead researcher, Prof. Graham Spigot. “We saw three referendums take place in the space of just one hour – one over crisp flavours, one over the best way to eat a Scotch egg and a third during the music round of the pub quiz.
“I’ve never seen people get so energised over a question about Showaddywaddy.”
Study participant, Neil Longbottom, 32, told researchers that he was recently dragged into a referendum when his wife asked for a divorce.
“She wanted a divorce and I didn’t, so she made us hold a referendum in the house,” he explained. “The kids weren’t really that into at first but then she painted ‘Daddy spends £80 a week on golf, let’s fund our trip to Disneyland instead’ on the side of the car.
“I lost in a fucking landslide.”
The study also found that referendums were now an increasingly common way of settling workplace disputes. Office manager, Julie Harper, 42, was forced to hold a referendum following an argument over which chocolate biscuits to put out during meetings.
“After we stopped buying Tunnock’s Teacakes our admin assistant, Nicola, spent two months stomping round the office complaining that our biscuit selection did not reflect the ‘Will of The People Of This Office’,” she said.
“We had a vote and she lost, so now she keeps calling us ‘bourbonistas’ and demanding ‘Tunnyref2’. I’d laugh but whilst she’s crying foul over the result we’ve run out of staples and nobody can find the overhead projector.”
Prof. Spigot told the Herald that although referendums could be seen as a way of empowering the general public, the emotional rhetoric preceding such votes could cloud the judgement of those participating.
“It’s all very well energising people that wouldn’t normally engage with the democratic process,” he said, “but when those same people base their decision on the shape of fucking bananas, you could suggest that democracy’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”