Slipped in the back door is the only way to describe the Election Reform Referendum.
The proposed "AV" scheme will create a convoluted process of prioritising candidates that is likely to confuse voters and create more difficulties for those working as Tellers and reporters on election day.
Not to mention it is not anywhere near as comprehensive as proportional representation system.
Naturally, the Tories are opposed to the scheme, alleging the "first past the post" system, saying it results in stable governments.
The only thing stable about the current system is the monopoly it provides the two major parties.
Why, in a country dominated by fair trading regulations, is it legitimate for the Conservative and Labour Parties to effectively eliminate competition by effectively handing each other a carte blanc on control of the country at every election?
As the Liberal Democrat campaign group "Vote for A Change" observes, we are facing a democracy in crisis.
The word "Democracy" has a certain ambiguity about it but the ultimate concept is participation of all residents with the opportunity for any resident to hold parliamentary office.
Where a FPTP system exists, the party with the most votes is the overall winner, rather than being a representative majority of the population.
However, a proportional representative system would drag the UK out of the archaic notion that a country can be ruled by singular authority and into the more sensible and fairer system of governments formed of representatives of the people who have to agree.
Personally, I am in favour of a system like the Netherlands. Where voting is cast on proportional representation, the public are invited to vote the cabinet according to role and party.
Therefore, if you are a fan of the Tory policy on Marriage, you can vote for the cabinet minister for Families to be Tory, while you may prefer Liberal Democrat policy on Policing and so you vote Lib Dem for the Justice Secretary. This creates a cabinet of ministers with an element of expertise in their subject and objectives linked to their party's policy. As a result, the cabinet consists of all political parties and they have to work together for the greater good.
The British Public have been gagged by the bafflement of politics for too long and need to challenge how their government is ruled and maintained, not sit back and moan quietly about what they "reckon" on the capricious politics of the day.
But a furtive referendum inserted by Brown at the last minute will not ease the growing discontent in this country about who their representatives are and what they control.