To what extent would the wider use of referendums improve democracy in the UK?
The wider use of referendums in the UK could potentially help improve democracy. A wider use of referendums would improve democracy in the UK because of the bigger chance that the people are given to cast their vote on issues that will affect them directly, and the country. There has been use of referendums in the past, such as Northern Ireland and the Good Friday vote, and the 2011 AV referendum, although they have been limited. If referendums were more widely used voters would be given a greater opportunity for involvement, and give the government a much more accurate and representative opinions and beliefs from the public.
Although there could be many disadvantages towards the wider use of referendums in the UK, such as political fatigue, the people could become bored and tired of having to constantly vote, also the quality of the votes may not always be good as voters may not fully understand reasoning or are not bothered about the outcome.
Referendums could help promote direct democracy, as referendums help the distinction of clear ideas and policies, there can be no distortion from the government over policies. Additionally, the outcome of referendums can make the political decisions made legitimate. An example of referendums promoting direct democracy could be the 1998 Northern Ireland referendum, “The Good Friday Agreement” where 71.1% of the voters voted yes, as to whether Northern Ireland should become independent.
Referendums could improve democracy in many ways, for example, it could help the votes and policies be more precise, because people are individually voting on specific policies, which therefore make the UK more democratic as it would be more representative towards minority groups in society. The referendums could also promote political education of the voters, as it can bring issues to attention by using the media, which would make the voters more aware of the