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For or Against: Referendums Watch

  • View Poll Results: For or Against?
    For
    10
    41.67%
    Against
    14
    58.33%

    • Thread Starter
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    After the EU referendum as well as the one a few years ago about changing the voting system, I think the usage of referendums has been question recently. So, time to say your opinion, do you like them, or not?

    FOR
    - The provide direct democracy since they give the general public direct control over government decision-making.
    - Since it is focussed on one issue and involves the public on a deeper level, it may engage the electorate and educate them on issues.
    - The government is responsive as it listens to the unaltered voice of the public.
    - It also reduces government power as instead of the government doing what they want, the desires of the public will instead be enforced.
    - Legitimates constitutional change.

    AGAINST
    - Ill-informed decisions as the public is generally not educated in politics, the economy or philosophy/ethics, so may not have a deep understanding of the issue being presented.
    - Weakens Parliament, undermines parliamentary sovereignty and whatever the decision of the referendum, it may not be carefully considered or debated.
    - Governments may not be held to account by the impact of a referendum, they can just say it is the public's 'fault' for a mistake.
    - Government can manipulate the referendum. They can frame the question, and issues as well as the publicity.
    - Generally unreliable as it takes place in one time.
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    Referendums are good at certain times, such as the EU referendum. But for most decisions, parliament's decision is fine.
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    Dictators tend to love referenda because they take complicated, multifactorial real-world problems and boil them down to a simple 'yes' or 'no' question.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    Referendums are good at certain times, such as the EU referendum. But for most decisions, parliament's decision is fine.
    EU referendum? You mean lies by the Leave camp sold to the gullible electorate?


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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    EU referendum? You mean lies by the Leave camp sold to the gullible electorate?


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    Just because you didn't get the result you want doesn't mean it's a bad thing
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    Worse than cancer. I'd be against another referendum on principle.
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    Against.

    As Reality has said earlier they can easily oversimplify complex and deeply rooted issues into a yes and no question, which is ludicrous. Coupled with a poorly informed public they are a very bad idea.
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    Good for constitutional issues we should encourage political participation , but I think the EU vote should have had a higher threshold for leave?
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    (Original post by SHallowvale)
    Against.

    As Reality has said earlier they can easily oversimplify complex and deeply rooted issues into a yes and no question, which is ludicrous. Coupled with a poorly informed public they are a very bad idea.
    Wouldn't a parliament vote still do this, turning issues into Ayes and Nos.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    Wouldn't a parliament vote still do this, turning issues into Ayes and Nos.
    Parliament would vote on legislation, not a question.
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    Often times parliament debates not just legislation by also motions. Such as the motion that the UK should leave the EU.
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    Against.

    Refendums on complicated matters are the most retarded of all. Most complicated issues are not "yes" or "no" issues and yet that's all a referendum can deliver.
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    (Original post by BobBobson)
    test
    I thought motions were there to be debated? They may set the precedent for future legislation/action but they're not legally binding.
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    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.
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    Seeing both the Scottish independence referendum and the brexit referendum I'm strongly against referendums. Regardless of which way those referendums went one thing for sure I felt was many people were not making rational decisions when voting. I remember people saying they wanted to leave the EU to annoy Cameron and stay because didn't want to fall out with their German friends or they didn't expect leave to win. This problem spills onto general elections as well but at least it's not as bad.
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    Heavily opposed.

    Despite my libertarian leaning on the issue in principal, in practice i find the notion of giving a largely uninformed electorate an opportunity to vote on the major issues of the day to be absurdly idiotic.
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    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 (but still are somewhat politically similar to the rest of the world). I'm not arrogant enough to say I think this would mean not leaving the EU - naturally, it's a question of priorities - but I would be opposed to more referendums on similar issues (and indeed, I'm opposed to a second referendum - rather, I think Parliament should simply unilaterally ignore the result).

    The AV referendum is one of the few which I think might be justified, as clearly, most of Parliament would have vested interests which are nothing really to do with political outlook on that issue (and FWIW I was opposed to AV).
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Dictators tend to love referenda because they take complicated, multifactorial real-world problems and boil them down to a simple 'yes' or 'no' question.
    It's a sad state of affairs when one person calls referenda "democratic" and another calls them "mob rule" or "populist".

    In a direct democracy the electorate is supposed to inform itself. In a parliamentary democracy MPs are supposed to initiate, pass, amend or repeal legislation in the nation's interests (or to pursue a moral high ground.) Neither can be guaranteed or insured. Both have their upsides and downsides, and you can't take the upsides without the downsides, so I suppose you just have to try find a system that works the best.
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    EU referendum? You mean lies by the Leave camp sold to the gullible electorate?


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    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.
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    I am generally in favor of giving people more democratic control over tjeir lives, especially in the the day to day things, referenda on the other hand, especially in the current political climate dont work for me.

    Within the current corporate media focused, sound bite hunting political discourse i dont thinkmpeople are able to gwt enough information that is reliable easily enough to make informed choices.

    Unlike many here though it seems, I dont think the problem is giving people agency in their lives, I thinknwe should be striving to live in a world where we can have a real direct democracy, as opposed to trying to tread a line between giving people what they want and not asking them what they want.
 
 
 
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