To show you connect with the "people" you organise an ePetition on the No.10 web site and agree that those with over 100,000 signatures (the California model) should be debated in the House of Commons. So far so good butt hen 100,000 including myself signed the Sheffield Wednesday/Liverpool petition which asked for all the relevant details of the deaths of the Liverpool fans to be put in the public domain. The result - a debate and a result as Theresa May, the Home Secretary agreed to do this last week. Why has it taken over 2 years for this to happen? Is it because our police forces have something to hide?
The next ePetition was about the promises all three Parties have made to hold a referendum some day soon/never. Of course, it soon reached the statutory 100,000 signatures. Had the PM left the debate for this Thursday, it would have been attended by less than 200 and it would have been passed and that would have been that. The whole point of the ePetitions is to let Parliamentarians debate important topics.
Instead Cameron took on his own party's right wing/UKIP sympathies and as a result received a bloody nose no more no less. In the current climate within both the EU and Eurozone it would be madness to hold a referendum. But had the PM re-committed his pre-election promise to hold one and some future date but within this Parliament, the issue would have gone away.