For and against referenda

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  • Created by: 10-mrof
  • Created on: 05-03-16 13:53
ARGUMENTS FOR REFERENDA
(1) ENHANCE DEMOCRACY (2) SETTLE AN ISSUE (3) WEAPON OF ENTRENCHMENT (4) POPULAR WITH PEOPLE
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ENHANCE DEMOCRACY
(1) greater opportunity for involvement (2) 'pure' democracy (3) best form of democracy (4) end to legislative matters solely confined to Parliament (5) important legitimizing mechanism (6) provide parliament with public opinion on an issue
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SETTLE AN ISSUE
are able to settle an issue, at least for a period of time
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WEAPON OF ENTRENCHMENT
make it more difficult for the government to reverse a policy that has demonstrable public support - if a measure has been endorsed in a referendum it would not be politically possible to repeal it without a further referendum
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POPULAR WITH VOTERS
seen as a fair way of resolving difficult/ significant issues
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ARGUMENTS AGAINST REFERENDUMS
(1) EXPENSIVE (2) UNDERMINES REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY (3) LITTLE DESIRE FROM VOTERS (4) FAIL TO DEAL WITH COMPLEX ISSUES (5) TACTICAL DEVICE (6) DO NOT SETTLE AN ISSUE
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EXPENSIVE
cost same as general election [£120 million]. such resources should be carefully considered. Scottish Independence 2014 £15.85 million - 'neverendum' (likely to be another one) was it worth it?
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UNDERMINES REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY
sovereignty of parliament threatened - if people vote one way, and elected representatives another, who should prevail, who is sovereign?
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VOTERS SHOW LITTLE DESIRE TO PARTICIPATE IN REFERENDUMS
while people may be prepared to vote every five years, even then turnout is falling. low turnout weakens the legitimacy of the decision. 41% in 2011 AV Referendum, 35% in Welsh Assembly Referendum in 2010 + -50,000 Nottingham 2012 mayor elections
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FAIL TO DEAL WITH COMPLEX ISSUES
not appropriate means by which complex decisions can be made. oversimplify to yes/ no answer - technical detail lost. elected representatives more experienced to make the decisions. unrealistic to expect citizens to have informed opinions on issues
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TACTICAL DEVICE
some say referendums only occur if government want one or if too embarrassing not to have one. tools for leaders to avoid making decisions. 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum timing near Glasgow Commonwealth Games -- patriotic fever
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DO NOT SETTLE AN ISSUE
different generations will make different decisions (not expected to live with that decision). examples: 1997 referendum (Scottish Parliament and tax varying powers) was not the end of the nationalist campaign + 'neverendum', likely another vote
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

ENHANCE DEMOCRACY

Back

(1) greater opportunity for involvement (2) 'pure' democracy (3) best form of democracy (4) end to legislative matters solely confined to Parliament (5) important legitimizing mechanism (6) provide parliament with public opinion on an issue

Card 3

Front

SETTLE AN ISSUE

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

WEAPON OF ENTRENCHMENT

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

POPULAR WITH VOTERS

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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