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Should Referendums Be Abolished?
Referendums are inefficient and time-intensive.
According to the economic principle of division of labor, it is substantially more efficient when some specialists do politics instead of a mass of laymen (
Matsusaka, p. 2
would strongly complicate the related negotiation process and make it increasingly hard to agree on transnational policies.
Referendums often negate the chance at compromise that is supposed to occur within the elected body. They also depend upon the electorate being motivated to research and understand. The ability for the electorate to understand the immediate and strategic consequences of referendums is questionable.
Referendums mean that politicians have to campaign once more and are taken away from performing their day to day work.
Referendums interrupt the way representative democracies are meant to function.
Instead of resolving political problems, referendums often prolong the existing arguments or even create new ones, especially when one side wins by a slim majority and the other side demands a recount or new referendum.
Referendums create additional steps in the legal procedure of the political system.
Referendums provide a way to settle contentious issues when elected officials are unable to make a decision.
In combination with the benefits of
the costs can be decreased and the efficiency increased.
In political decision-making, efficiency and speed are less important than the quality of policies produced. Otherwise, not only referendums, but also elections and democracy as a whole would have to be called into question.