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Should referendums be more widely spread across the UK?

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Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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