- Sheer number of people makes it difficult.
- Budget to either side of the question has to be equal.
- Takes a lot of planning and preparation, which requires a lot of time.
1 of 6
- The views of a large minority could be ignored if the percentage difference between the two sides was low.
- Alternatively, given a low turnout, a decision voteed for by a minority of the country could occur, which would ignore the views of, potentially, the majority.
- For example, in the 1997 referendum on the Welsh Assembly, a minority of the country actually voted yes.
2 of 6
- Undermines Parliament by bypassing them and their representative role as an elected body (in the case of the Commons)
- It places authority elsewhere (in the hands of the people)
- If Parliament are elected to govern, why should we need referenda?
3 of 6
- Some issues are too emotive, controversial or complicated for referenda to deal with.
- For example, capital punishment or abortion
- Such questions cannot really have a 'yes' or 'no' answer.
- No referendum would be comprehensive enough to tackle such issues.
4 of 6
- Low turnout can invalidate referneda, which are not even legally binding to begin with.
- Low turnout could strengthen the argument that an issue should be put to one side.
- Could cause voter fatigue with too many unnecessary opportunities for electoral participation.
5 of 6
- An ill-informed electorate cannot feasibly make an intelligent decision.
- If they are ill-informed, they are unlikely to be interested, and as such turnout may be low.
- Despite efforts to raise awareness, turnout is decreasing (1975 referendum on EEC: 64.5%, 2004 referendum on Nothern English Devolution: 47.7-50.2%)
6 of 6