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To What Extent Would the Wider Use of Referendums Improve Democracy in the Uk?

  • Date Submitted: 10/06/2015 03:12 PM
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To what extent would the wider use of referendums improve democracy in the UK?  
(25 marks)
Jude McCool
Notes-
Positive-
1. Allows the public a voice in major issues that they may not usually be party to.
2.Referendum campaigns serve to inform the electorate on specific issues and encourage citizens to take   more interest in the political system and to educate themselfs on these issues.
Negative-
1. Media and other agencies can significantly influence the result, thus threatening the democratic nature of referendums.
2.Furthermore, Referendums being a tool of a Direct Democracy, does not take into the views of any minority groups of voters, leaving some a percentage of citizens unhappy about decisions that may affect society hugely.
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Referendums are used as a tool in the U.K to allow the public a simple Yes/No vote on important decisions that are deemed major enough to require input of the countries residents, this tool representing a Direct-Democracy style of voting.   Despite Referendums appearing, granted from a rather simplistic view, as a perfect tool for a fair and entirely   democratic decision, there are some major pitfalls in the use of referendums which bring about both questions about its usefulness as a tool of democracy and surprisingly limited use within our Government.
The main advantage around using a Referendum in the UK to supplement our democracy is simply its completely inclusive nature and its ability to give the public a very real and decidedly powerful voice in major issues, given the fact that a parties deviation from the public's vote in an issue that has seen the inclusion of a referendum shines a poor light on the given party and is likely to reduce their chances of re-election. To put it simply a referendum represents an ideal approach to democracy with decisions on major issues passed directly to the public...

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