Make all important laws subject to referendum?

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Lady Comstock
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#1
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Say we managed to create a relatively cheap digital device which could record a vote from each individual in the country and send it to a centralised system which calculated the result. Hypothetically, assume this device is infallible (say by fingerprint touch only, unable to be hacked or corrupted, etc.)

With this device belonging to every individual, why not allow all important laws to be subject to referendum?

Should the people of a country not be able to decide, directly if such a means is possible, what laws are enacted?

(Not saying I agree, but I think this is an interesting scenario).
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plasmaman
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
Say we managed to create a relatively cheap digital device which could record a vote from each individual in the country and send it to a centralised system which calculated the result. Hypothetically, assume this device is infallible (say by fingerprint touch only, unable to be hacked or corrupted, etc.)

With this device belonging to every individual, why not allow all important laws to be subject to referendum?

Should the people of a country not be able to decide, directly if such a means is possible, what laws are enacted?

(Not saying I agree, but I think this is an interesting scenario).
Yeah seems fair to me, power to the people and all that. But some would argue asking an entire nation to agree on laws is impossible hence why we entrust a smaller group to do it. Maybe if that group were more representative and not from the same elitist echelon of society then it could work?
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james22
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No. Only fundamental changes to the way the country works should be subject to a referendum. Otherwise we will have too many ill thought out but nice sounding ideas going through.
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mathsmathsmaths
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(Original post by james22)
No. Only fundamental changes to the way the country works should be subject to a referendum. Otherwise we will have too many ill thought out but nice sounding ideas going through.
Wouldn't it be laws that were already about to be passed?
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james22
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(Original post by mathsmathsmaths)
Wouldn't it be laws that were already about to be passed?
In that case I would fear that we would reject some really important ones on a whim or from scaremongering.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
Say we managed to create a relatively cheap digital device which could record a vote from each individual in the country and send it to a centralised system which calculated the result. Hypothetically, assume this device is infallible (say by fingerprint touch only, unable to be hacked or corrupted, etc.)

With this device belonging to every individual, why not allow all important laws to be subject to referendum?

Should the people of a country not be able to decide, directly if such a means is possible, what laws are enacted?

(Not saying I agree, but I think this is an interesting scenario).
who'd generate all the bills for us to vote on?

there are some pretty easy to spot problems - as spoofed in The Simpsons, everyone would just vote for better schools, more police, brighter streetlamps, proton beam therapy on demand in every GP surgery AND lower taxes all at the same time.
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Rakas21
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Not as long as universal suffrage exists.

Quite simply, too many people are either incapable or not interested in studying the evidence surrounding a policy and then coming to a reasoned conclusion. Many will tow the media line or make a bad decision.
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Fry_Cook_of_Doom
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Electronic voting doesn't solve political apathy. If a system like this were introduced, all except the most groundbreaking laws will still end up being decided by a minority of the country's population. It's better to leave the task of legislating to legislators so that ordinary people can get on with their lives.
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anarchism101
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What if two laws contradict, a la California?
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DErasmus
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rule by the majority is stupid because it's rule by a majority of stupid people, that's why we have a system of stupid people representing us, preventing us from stupid monarchs and tyrants. itt smart people create smart governments
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