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Should Referendums Be Abolished?
Democracies should not use referendums for policy decisions.
Referendums can lead to a
tyranny of the majority
Referendums are inefficient and time-intensive.
Complex and potentially irreversible decisions are oversimplified by framing issues in the binary and asking voters to choose just one or the other.
It is Incredibly difficult to tell when public opinion has shifted to the point where another referendum on an issue should be held. Therefore the standard as to how binding past referendums are is ambiguous.
Referendums create enormous costs for a variety of actors.
Referendums create or deepen political divisions within a society.
The average citizen, unlike a professional politician, is not able to make well-grounded decisions about complex political subject matters.
Referendums give more political influence to the media, actors who lack the legitimacy of elected representatives.
Decisions taken via referendums tend to be perceived as more legitimate and find more acceptance in the population than decisions derived in other ways.
Referendums strengthen the voters' position and therefore the foundation of democratic systems.
Referendums provide a way to settle contentious issues when elected officials are unable to make a decision.
Referendums for policy decisions should be an option, but their use should be constrained, with high thresholds to get on the ballot and constraints on the types of policies they can control.
The people, as the sovereign, must have the right to directly influence political decisions.
Referendums encourage more popular political engagement.
Referendums are an effective measure to reduce the influence of private interests and lobbying.
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