As I suggested, I think we've ended up, in quite a British fashion, with sort of incremental and piecemeal changes, which has given us a kind of laboratory of different electoral systems. They have different origins, as well, so we've had brand new institutions. We've had a lot of devolution of power from Westminister, and we've had these brand new institutions in Scotland and Wales, and with those came new non-first-past-the-post electoral systems.
I suppose in looking at those examples, it wasn't necessarily that the citizens perhaps had some sort of a role in validating the idea of a new devolved institution. There were referendums around those, but not always particularly on the electoral system. So the origins have really been quite diverse.
I think I've spoken a little about the 2011 AV referendum. There have been quite a lot of examples where a new system has been kind of imposed, or political leaders have decided that this would be part of an institution and that's what they were going to do. That's been quite a common pattern as well.
I should say on the referendums, and we set it out thoughtfully in our report, that we didn't take a position as to whether in and of themselves they're good or bad for us. It's all about the context and the timing and how they are conducted, and how much emphasis is put on public information, public education, and the public role. We made nine recommendations about the good conduct of referendums, with a lot of emphasis on the public role, starting even when the legislation for a referendum had been put through, having a strong citizen role there.
There has been quite a variety of impetus and motivation behind that, and therefore, the public role is varied as well. The thing that really stuck out for me about the electoral reform referendum was how very low the prior knowledge of the public was, and how there were no real opportunities to become educated about the status quo, about first past the post. If people don't understand the status quo, it's quite hard to have a rich conversation about what to replace it with.