• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Should referendums be more widely spread across the UK?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Should referendums be more widely spread across the UK? (25marks) Many argue that the use of a referendum should be more widely spread in the UK. A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision. Referendums provide a way for the public to have direct influence on the legislative process. They are a perfect example of the direct democracy in the modern society. Other arguments for referendums include being localising decision making and legitimising decisions made by the government. Arguments against include the incompetence of the people voting, turnouts being too low for outcomes to be legitimate, and finally referendums can lead to tyranny of the majority. So for the reasons above I do not believe that referendums should be more widely spread in the UK. ...read more.


This also links to the use of referendums helping to legitimise important issues made by the government. An example of this is devolution. In 1997 referendums on this issue, both Wales and Scotland voted in favour of devolution, thus giving consent to the government to implement this and legitimising the decision. Referendums can also help strengthen a government. If a referendum is used this could increase public support as it shows that the government listens to the people. However, if a referendum is not used when promised, such as the Labour government promising a referendum on the Euro but not actually having one, the public support can be decreased, and therefore becomes a disadvantage. Moreover, people believe that referendums should not be used more widely. Firstly a referendum leaves the decision in the hands of the public. ...read more.


Moreover the turnout of a referendum cannot be predicted and therefore unreliable. For these reasons I think that referendums should not be widely spread across the UK. Overall I believe that referendums should not be widely spread across the UK, as they are not always legitimate. They also go by the rule of majority rules. This means that small minority groups could easily be overlooked, and their opinions and views would almost be seen as insignificant. However having a stable government with representatives, allows all minorities? views to be put across. The point of having politicians represent the population is that they have political experience and knowledge to make correct and justified decisions. Referendums undermine the part of representative democracy as the general public is mainly badly informed, uneducated in politics and lack political experience. This means that although referendums give the public what they want, what the public want could be very bad for the country in the long term. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Democracy and Voting

    What are the arguments in favour of AV? * The bond between members and their constituencies is retained. * It produces strong and decisive government and coalitions, if ever formed, would be strong. * All MPs would have the support of the majority of their constituents. * It prevents MPs from being elected on a minority vote.

  2. Apart from referendums, explain three ways in which democracy in the UK could be ...

    Adversarial politics refers to a state of sharp divide on the political landscape, two or more distinct ideologies, very different from each other, competing for the Public vote. These two distinctive trains of thought hold next to nothing in common with each other, and thus, with such undeniable contrast and

  1. Define Direct Democracy. What are the advantages and disadvantages of referendums?

    In reality, only the Scots would be able to undo what they did in 1997. Finally, is the libertarian argument, that, quite simply, you can not have too much democracy. Democracy should protect our freedoms, liberties and rights, and by extending the opportunity of participation, it will be more inclined to doing this.

  2. What Is A Referendum? Give Three Examples of UK Referendums. Evaluate the Main Arguments ...

    than that of politicians, and the use of referendums will result in poor decisions; the public?s interests are best safeguarded therefore by politicians rather than the fickle general populace. Some argue referendums may result in the ?tyranny of the majority? ? how will the interests of minorities by safeguarded against those of the majority?

  1. What is a Referendum and what are the arguments against them?

    And this being the case, the government are unlikely to be neutral participants and the phrasing of the questions can distort the results. So is a referendum really the government wanting us to tick the yes so they can blame us if something goes wrong?

  2. Should referendums be widely used in the UK ?

    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 making the wrong choice for themselves and the wider society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work