Do the Advantages of Referendums Outweigh the Disadvantages?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By mean1969
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Do the advantages of referendums outweigh the disadvantages? (25 marks)

Referendums are a device of direct democracy and are a popular vote on an issue of public policy or constitutional reform. They are the most commonly used form of direct democracy in the UK and are used to widen political participation. In my opinion, I think the disadvantage of referendums outweigh the advantages for the following reasons.
As referendums are a device of direct democracy, they give the public direct and unmediated control over government decision-making. This means that the public views and interests are properly and accurately given. It also means they cannot be changed or moulded to suit the politicians who represent the public. However, the point of having politicians to represent us is that they have political experience and knowledge to make correct and justified decisions. We have the democratic choice to elect the people that represent our views in parliament. Referendums therefore undermine parts 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 would like in the form of a democratic yes/no vote, the general public opinion could be very bad for the country in the long term. The public's interests are therefore best safeguarded by a government system of politicians rather than any form of popular self-government.
On the other hand, referendums could be the key to gaining sufficient political knowledge and understanding. They widen the opportunities for political participation and create debates on particular issues which make the electorate better informed, more educated and more politically engaged. This means that the public have a stronger incentive to think and act politically.
There are advantages and disadvantages with…...

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