Are referendums good for UK democracy?


Mind Map on Are referendums good for UK democracy?, created by brabbitt on 10/07/2013.
Mind Map by brabbitt, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by brabbitt almost 10 years ago

Resource summary

Are referendums good for UK democracy?
  1. Strengths
    1. Allows the people a direct say in the decision making process
      1. Therefire people may be more likely to respect the decision made
        1. Government by the people.
      2. Can prevent governments from making unpopular decisions
        1. Can help resolve issues which the government or political parties are unable/unwilling to solve.
          1. They entrench constitutional change by giving popular consent to the system of government.
            1. Prevents political parties having complete control of the political system, therefore preventing any party from altering it to their own advantage.
          2. Weaknesses
            1. They might undermine respect for our elected institutions
              1. Why vote for our MP's if they are going to ask the people to make the big decisions?
              2. The voter turnout at some referendums suggest that they have not increased political participation.
                1. The issues at stake are often compex: do the voters have a good understanding of the consequences?
                  1. Can produce emotional rather than a rational response, especially when the issue of nationalism is involved.
                2. Wealthy groups, the newspapers and pressure groups may use their influence to alter a result.
                  1. There is a danger that a referendum might become a verdict on the popularity of the government: people may use the opportunity to give the government a 'bloody nose' rather than vote on the issue.
                    1. This may represent the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Minority groups may suffer as a consequence.
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