Greece votes ‘No’, but you’d need a University Degree to figure out the question.


Last week the BBC published this; ‘The Greek referendum question makes (almost) no sense

And yesterday, Greece said ‘No’ with a decisive 61.3% majority.

Here’s what the voters said no to (English translation).

The Greek Referendum QuestionShould the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the Eurogroup of 25 June 2015, and comprised of two parts which make up their joint proposal, be accepted?
The first document is titled “Reforms For The Completion Of The Current Program And Beyond” and the second “Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis.”

We wanted to measure the readability level of the question. After scoring the readability in VisibleThread, here’s what we found:


The question has;

It also has some passive voice; ‘be accepted’ (indicated by maroon) which can complicate matters further. But that’s another days work!

What the Readability Scores meant for the Greek Electorate?

Readability correlates to education level

A readability score of 25 and grade level of 19 suggests the reader should possess a higher education level (degree or advanced degree) to easily understand it.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) tells us that 27.4% of the Greek population between 25 and 64 have attained a 3rd level education.

Now 8.9m Greeks are of voting age. Assuming 27.4% of those have 3rd level schooling, then about 2/3rd of eligible voters, a whooping 6.4m people likely found the question hard to understand.

You’re left to wonder whether the democratic intent of the referendum was best served by a question barely understood by a majority of the population!


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