Should Referendums Be More Widely Used

Topics: United Kingdom, Democracy, Government Pages: 2 (812 words) Published: October 7, 2012
Should referendums be more widely used?

Referendum can be defined as when the citizens either all or those in specific regions vote on a specific issue of public importance and it is conducted nationally, regionally, and locally an example of a referendum is the 2011 referendum on changing the current first past the post system to proportional representative. The public have one vote each on a specific issue and the referendum focuses on a single question with a yes/no answer. Many countries such as the United Kingdom use referendums There are many advantages to using referendums in the United Kingdom it entrenches constitutional change and it is a pure form of direct democracy because it lets the electorate decide on the outcome of the referendum also the people’s views on a particular question are clearly indicated a referendum helps to make decisions legitimate and confirms the principle of government by consent. Another advantage of referendums is that provides increased acceptance for decisions because if the citizens have demonstrated their expressed consent, they are more likely to accept the decision. Another important advantage to referendums is that it prevents governments from making unpopular decisions when a “no” vote is delivered. Referendums entrenches constitutional changes it protects them from attacks by future governments whose policies may be short term because in order to reverse a referendum decision, it is widely accepted that a fresh referendum would have to be held. This principle prevents the possibility that a future government would simply dismantle constitutional reforms already made. The disadvantages of referendums can be said that some issues may be too complex for the majority of the citizens to understand and make a judgement on. We may be better educated then ever but some political questions may be too difficult and technical, if people don’t understand the question they are being asked in the referendum they could end up...
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