The Use Of Referenda Essay

852 words - 3 pages

The Use of Referenda

A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a
direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or
reject a particular proposal. This may be the adoption of a new
constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an
elected official or simply a specific government policy.

There are many arguments for and against a referendum. Starting with
the positive aspects of a referendum, first of all, referendums are
the most legitimate form of political decision-making since it's the
vote of the people, which dictates the policy of their government in
relation to the issue in question. Basically, referendums are seen as
the fairest means by which a nations' government should come to a
decision on a matter of national importance. A second advantage of
conducting referendums is the presence of direct democracy, which
results from it. This allows citizens to vote directly on public
policy issues. Referendums create in contemporary societies, the
fundamentals of the most self-governing of all forms of
administration. That being direct rule, based on the input of all the
people via voting. Thirdly, the use of a referendum can serve to
constrain the behaviour of elected officials by curbing their
dictatorial tendencies since they know that the voters have the power
to review and overturn their decisions. This awareness may also
encourage them to avoid opportunistic behaviour as well as forcing
lobbyists' to attempt to influence all the people, and not just the
elite who hold power. A fourth plus of referendums is the educative
effect which they on the population, who unavoidably, become better
informed on the issues in question. Such opportunities for public
education on important issues should be taken. Referendums not only
stimulate the voters minds, but also make them more aware about
politics and the views and pledges of the government itself. National
pride is another advantage of referendums. Since the general public
are being given a more direct role to give their opinion I the
decisions to run the country.

There are some arguments that are...

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