Referenda in Uk Essay

369 WordsOct 20, 20142 Pages
Are referenda in the UK harmful to the Democratic Process? There is little evidence that referendums make a vote fair neither are they widely seen as a means of forming good policies. Yet they have gradually slipped into the British constitution in recent years without much discussion of the future. It’s an odd change for a rather conservative country to actually have accepted. For example in referendums, power is exercised without responsibility. No-one is under any pressure to obey The General Will or to ensure that a policy is actually in the long-term public interest. Also on some occasions the electorate don’t actually understand the referenda put before them meaning their votes are virtually useless in fact, the most recent referenda on Scottish Independence would have been misunderstood by many of the voters, leading to a perhaps unfair outcome. It is indeed rather harsh but true to say that referenda hand enormous powers to newspaper proprietors and people with the finances to take one side of the argument. It also hands the reins of government over to unelected and well-heeled pressure groups. More commonly referendums are seen to Referendums are often used to deal with the difficult questions that political parties dare not address during elections. They allow politicians to park awkward or divisive questions when they’d be better offering joined-up answers. They provide a way of letting the political class off the hook. On the other hand they are potentially a powerful check on the power on elected governments, Referendum campaigns serve to inform and educate the electorate on specific issues. Having said that they are potentially a powerful check on the power on elected governments. Referendum campaigns serve to inform and educate the electorate on specific issues Referendums provide a useful and potentially significant vehicle for increased

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