The Uk Would Benefit Greatly from the Wider Use of Referendums? Discuss.

1054 Words Nov 20th, 2014 5 Pages
The UK would benefit greatly from the wider use of referendumss? Discuss.

A referendum is a form of direct democracy that involves a public vote on a single issue of public policy. It is a way of presenting a debated issue to public decision. The most recent referendum was in the UK; the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum which asked the question whether Scotland should break away from the UK or not.

There are a variety of arguments both for and against the wider use of referendum in the UK. The use was greatly favoured by Tony Blair and his new Labour government in 1997 because they took the view that referendum was a democratic device that allows people the opportunity to give a direct voice in decision making. Therefore, any
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A good example of this is in Labour's 2001 manifesto which promised regional devolution but in 2004, voters in the North East defeated plans for a local assembly in a referendum in the issue. However, a referendum mends this because by holding a referendum on a debated issue, the government is effectively seeking public guidance on these important and often controversial issue which, inturn, can also mend the current alienation felt towards politicians by the electorates.

Referendums can also pull a ruling government together if there is a division on a certain issue. For example, the only major referendum held nationally in the UK in 1975 was about the UK's membership in the European Community (now known as European Union). The debated issue was whether the UK should pull out of the EC or stay and it caused a deep divide in the ruling Labour goverment but was eventually mended by over 67% of voters wanting to stay in the EC. This is a great beneficial thing to the UK because if another policy should divide the Government, and this is very likely due to matters of today like the devolution of power to Scotland, the UK would suffer as its Government argue against each other.

While referendums can benefit the UK greatly, it can also contradict the UK's implented system of Government. The UK runs on a representative democracy

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