A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of new constitution, a constitutional amendment, or a law. Whether referendums are initiated by governments, presidents or voters the issues can differ from constitutional amendments, electoral system change and national independence to EU membership and EU treaties. ‘Referendums are universal. Of the major democracies only the US, India, Japan and Israel have never experienced one at the nationwide level, and the US, of course, has had thousands in individual states. The referendums have varied enormously …show more content…
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‘In democratic countries, referendums are generally a hindrance to absolute power; the voters exercise a democratic veto on the executive.’
‘Democracy means a government by the people. Yet in many the role of the citizens was limited to periodic general elections and occasional referendums. This perception has changed in recent years, with the governments holding several referendums on issues ranging from devolution to the European constitution.’
The role of referendums is extremely important.
A Comparative Study of Referendums: Government by the People, Second Edition
Manchester University Press,2005
‘Consider, for example, the Danish Euro referendum in June 1992. Following a national debate (and more than 1,300 newspaper articles), a narrow majority of 50.1 per cent of the Danish voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty, which was endorsed by all the major political parties in