Arguments against Referendums

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  • Against Referendums
    • There is no established mechanism that triggers a referendum in the UK.
    • They undermine Parliamentary Sovereignty
    • Allows politicians to absolve themselves of responsibility for making difficult decisions.
    • Govts are unlikely to call a referendum unless they are fairly confident that they will win
      • Example: the likelihood of a referendum on the Single European Currency
    • Govts are unlikely to be neutral participants.
    • The phrasing of the question could distort the results
    • Unbalanced resources for groups on the opposite side of the debate.
    • Complex issues can become oversimplified and the electorate may have a lack of information.
      • The result may reflect a 'snapshot' of opinions that can change over time.
    • Media and other agencies can significantly influence the result

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