Referendums

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 02-04-19 11:01
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  • Have referendums enhanced representative democracy?
    • NO
      • They have undermined representative democracy, taking decision making on complex issues away from those with the most political knowledge or experience.
      • The have undermined parliamentary sovereignty and, in the case of the 2016 EU referendum, created tensions between parliament and the people.
      • Governments take advantage of their authority to decide whether and when to call referendums in order to strengthen their position, e.g. to legitimise their policies or resolve internal divisions.
      • Turnout in referendums is often poor, with decisions taken on the basis of votes cast by a minority of eligible electors.
      • Referendum campaigns have been ill-informed and distorted by inaccurate claims made by rival camps and media bias.
    • YES
      • They have introduced direct democracy, ensuring that citizens, not politicians, have the final say on major issues.
      • They have checked the power of government, making it more responsiveto the wishes of the people.
      • They have enhanced political participation, notably in the Scottish independence referendum.
      • They have educated people on key issues and improved popular understanding of politics.
      • They have legitimised important constitutional changes such as devolution.

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