For or Against: Referendums

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    (Original post by Rorschach II)
    Both the Bremain and Brexit camp lied.

    "but what about the £350 million a week figure shown on a bus for net contribution to the EU!"
    (People love quoting that one.)

    Yes, that was wrong; the actual expected net contribution for 2016 is £221 million (precisely £220,740,000) a week (not accounting for private receipts (subsidies to the private sector); I couldn't find information for that when I researched it, but I don't think it offsets the figure that much. The UK would still be a large net contributor.)

    But you have forgone mentioning lies were made by the Bremain camp.
    I think most notably "Al-Baghdadi might want Brexit" by David Cameron.

    You have yet to acknowledge that there were post-truth elements in both camps.
    We're living in the era of post-truth politics (or the Internet has made it more apparent) and you just played a part in it.
    This is exactly right. It was a shambolic campaign on both sides which did nothing to elevate the regard in which most people hold politics.
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    Just me who enjoyed the irony of voting on whether or not you like voting?
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    Referendums are a ridiculous import.

    This isn't France, where the nation is sovereign and there is a constitutional tradition of referendums. Parliament is sovereign, and parliament should take these decisions.

    There is never really a justification for referendums. They are a cop-out for politicians which often end up backfiring as people vote against the supported measure just to sanction the government of the day. The UK would be a better place should we never have a referendum again. We should uphold the sovereignty of parliament.

    Parliament is sovereign. Firstly the EU referendum is advisory; not legally binding, so parliament can ignore the result, though it'd be electoral suicide for the UK Conservative Party to do this I'd imagine.

    What imperative do we have to uphold the sovereignty of parliament? What are your reasons?
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    I'm going to be that brat and say parliament is only sovereign because we elect them. we are sovereign. so referenda are by definition superior to legislation via parliament. referenda, however, to me, are only appropriate for important and constitutional issues. I wouldn't say we should have a referendum for every choice - only the ones that are too sensitive for parliament.
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    For issues such as same sex marriage and the like, they're good. Things that are more to do with personal opinion than actual hard facts and politics. For issues such as whether we should stay in the EU or not, they're bad.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    I'm going to be that brat and say parliament is only sovereign because we elect them. we are sovereign. so referenda are by definition superior to legislation via parliament. referenda, however, to me, are only appropriate for important and constitutional issues. I wouldn't say we should have a referendum for every choice - only the ones that are too sensitive for parliament.
    Why is sovereignty good and/or important?
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    (Original post by Rorschach II)
    Parliament is sovereign. Firstly the EU referendum is advisory; not legally binding, so parliament can ignore the result, though it'd be electoral suicide for the UK Conservative Party to do this I'd imagine.
    yeah, that's why it's constitutionally binding - in the UK, the constitution, while not written, is a descriptive entity - it exists in so far as it is socially constructed by those in the political institutions that are related to it. certain aspects of the constitution aren't even legal - they exist because they are acknowledged widely enough, such as the office of prime minister. this referenda is constitutionally binding, if not strictly legally binding on the courts, because nobody is ever going to actually challenge this decision to even bring it to a court. hence, whether it is "Legally binding" in terms of the UK's constitution is irrelevant. it's like saying "the queen shouldn't give x law royal assent" just because most people are seemingly not satisfied with that law. so I'm confused as to why you're bringing this up.

    What imperative do we have to uphold the sovereignty of parliament? What are your reasons?
    what reason to we have to uphold any kind of political and representative sovereignty? probably political convenience. we were hitherto satisfied with EU sovereignty (on auto-pilot) but now we're back to parliamentary sovereignty because we apparently like it more. but parliament is more accountable than the EU, so it makes a lot of sense. it's not to say, like I was mentioning, that this would mean that referenda aren't binding in a constitutional sense (because referenda aren't law or acts of parliament but acts of the people) because of the sovereignty of parliament - parliament's sovereignty is the reason this referendum decision will take effect no matter what MPs or ministers think - because they are elected, and hence, must be responsible to the people whom both elected them and made the decision to leave the EU as a nation. while they're only responsible to certain constituencies, the referendum wasn't on a constituency basis - that's how MPs can't just forget about it, even *if* their own constituency wasn't eurosceptic - parliament gets its power from the people, and that power just happens to be divided for general elections. but as individuals, they aren't empowered simply by one area of the country - they're empowered by the entire institution, which happens to be democratic
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Why is sovereignty good and/or important?
    because sovereignty (i.e. theoretically independent territorial autonomy) is bluntly democratic when it is held by the people, perhaps...? do you really need me to tell you why democracy is important and good though?
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    I,ve gotta go with for I mean not only are referundums arguably the purest form of democracy with the people being able to show their own views on a particular issue but I also think its especially important for people like me that live up in yorkshire and othera reas of the north because particulaly with our current conservative government some of the policys their putting into place make it seem like they believe england just stops at the midlands and otherwise are views often are simply ignored
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    (Original post by epage)
    For issues such as same sex marriage and the like, they're good. Things that are more to do with personal opinion than actual hard facts and politics. For issues such as whether we should stay in the EU or not, they're bad.
    how on earth was the decision to leave the EU or not based on anything but "personal opinion"? what neutral and unbiased "hard facts" were in the brexit debate? there were "hard facts" on both sides, and some people didn't care about certain facts for the sake of other facts. therefore, it is *entirely* down to personal opinion (informed personal opinion, of course, not made up facts). for instance, some believe that leaving the EU and regaining the UK's democratic future in the long term is more important than preventing a minor economic downturn in the short term.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    how on earth was the decision to leave the EU or not based on anything but "personal opinion"? what neutral and unbiased "hard facts" were in the brexit debate? there were "hard facts" on both sides, and some people didn't care about certain facts for the sake of other facts. therefore, it is *entirely* down to personal opinion (informed personal opinion, of course, not made up facts). for instance, some believe that leaving the EU and regaining the UK's democratic future in the long term is more important than preventing a minor economic downturn in the short term.
    Okay then informed personal opinion. I just meant that you have to actually have to know a few things before you can make an informed judgement. Things like same-sex marriage are entirely down to personal opinion and not much else.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    because sovereignty (i.e. theoretically independent territorial autonomy) is bluntly democratic when it is held by the people, perhaps...? do you really need me to tell you why democracy is important and good though?
    You misunderstand sovereignty. I thought as much when you equated sovereignty with the people, unless you believe that passive acquiescence through fear also amounts to conferring sovereignty in any meaningful sense - a tyrannical dictatorship can obviously be sovereign. Sovereignty has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    You misunderstand sovereignty. I thought as much when you equated sovereignty with the people, unless you believe that passive acquiescence through fear also amounts to conferring sovereignty in any meaningful sense - a tyrannical dictatorship can obviously be sovereign. Sovereignty has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.
    but I *was* talking about *democratic* sovereignty. national sovereignty is only the best option because we are a national democracy. we should not be controlled by other nations, be they democracies themselves or dictatorships. *we* should control ourselves, and MPs are merely our delegates and trustees. they themselves aren't sovereign without us. that's why the courts take parliamentary sovereignty so seriously - because it obviously trumps everything in the current age - you cannot just override democracy for the sake of something else - democracy is the base to which everything else runs fairly and effectively
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    but I *was* talking about *democratic* sovereignty. national sovereignty is only the best option because we are a national democracy. we should not be controlled by other nations, be they democracies themselves or dictatorships. *we* should control ourselves, and MPs are merely our delegates and trustees. they themselves aren't sovereign without us. that's why the courts take parliamentary sovereignty so seriously - because it obviously trumps everything in the current age - you cannot just override democracy for the sake of something else - democracy is the base to which everything else runs fairly and effectively
    Okay, but then the question becomes: assuming all countries involved are democratic, why is it better to have a sovereign democracy rather than a non-sovereign democracy?
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Okay, but then the question becomes: assuming all countries involved are democratic, why is it better to have a sovereign democracy rather than a non-sovereign democracy?
    because surely if we as a nation (a democratic one) weren't sovereign, we would be controlled (either partially or fully) by something else - and if we are the legitimate controllers of ourselves through our own democracy, then surely that would mean that this foreign power controlling us, without our electoral consent, would be illegitimate? how not?
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    because surely if we as a nation (a democratic one) weren't sovereign, we would be controlled (either partially or fully) by something else - and if we are the legitimate controllers of ourselves through our own democracy, then surely that would mean that this foreign power controlling us, without our electoral consent, would be illegitimate? how not?
    Not per se, if our electorate also have democratic rights in this foreign power.
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    (Original post by epage)
    Okay then informed personal opinion. I just meant that you have to actually have to know a few things before you can make an informed judgement. Things like same-sex marriage are entirely down to personal opinion and not much else.
    yes but surely there is a difference between "informed" and "misinformed"/"uninformed" in terms of gay marriage? the appeal to religion is not informed because religion is obviously wrong, an appeal to tradition is wrong because that's a logical fallacy, etc.
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    (Original post by Rorschach II)
    Parliament is sovereign. Firstly the EU referendum is advisory; not legally binding, so parliament can ignore the result, though it'd be electoral suicide for the UK Conservative Party to do this I'd imagine.

    What imperative do we have to uphold the sovereignty of parliament? What are your reasons?
    Parliamentary sovereignty is necessary in order to justify what is essentially the absolute power of parliament. Thanks to the fusion of the executive and the legislature, FPTP, the two-party system and the ability to make and unmake any law, parliament is all-powerful. This, to my eyes, is a good thing as it makes government very efficient. One needs only to look at the USA to see the paralysis that separation of powers can lead to.

    Parliament, as a representative body, ensures the right balance of democracy and expertise. Making the nation sovereign, as opposed to parliament, would mean more direct democracy which I believe lends itself to demagoguery and ill-thought out policy.

    So essentially I think parliamentary democracy is morally justifiable thanks to the primacy of the House of Commons and so the democratic legitimacy of parliament, and it is also conducive to efficient government and enactment of legislation. I can think of no better alternative.

    What are your thoughts?
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    I have a fetish for filling out forms, questionnaires and especially ticking boxes :coma:
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    Generally for, as long as it's a major issue. Most of our decisions are made by parliament but we do need to give the public a direct say in some major things.

    To the people in this thread who don't want referendums and who want parliament to make all decisions. I'd be a lot more sympathetic to the "parliamentary sovereignty" thing if we didn't have a horribly outdated and unrepresentative FPTP voting system. How can we have "representative democracy" with unrepresentative voting that effectively keeps us stuck in a 2 party system?

    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Against. The whole point of representative democracy is to make sure important things are done, and important issues are resolved, by people who have a clue what they're talking about
    What makes you think MPs know what they're talking about? On any one issue they are likely to be no more qualified to talk or make decisions than the average person. Some of them haven't got a clue on certain things.

    If the public aren't qualified to make those decisions, then neither are most MPs.
 
 
 
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