Should more referendums be held in the UK? (25 marks)
Referendums are processes in which the government puts forward a question to the public, in which they must have either a conclusion of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There are many advantages, however also many disadvantages of using referendums, which would determine whether more should be put forward in the UK.
The first, and most important advantage of using referendums is that it is a direct form of democracy. A question put forward by the government to be decided by the public with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ verdict cannot be tampered with or imply any confusion to the people/public deciding on the question. For instance, there was a referendum held in the North East in 2004 proposing setting up more assemblies in the region. The majority vote was ‘no’, winning by over three quarters of the population that participated - because the winning vote was from the majority, it represented a true manifestation of the peoples needs.
A disadvantage of using referendums is a reverse argument of the first advantage. Some issues put forward by the government may be too complicated for the people to understand, which means they may have difficulty deciding on their opinion due to lack of knowledge. Referendums may encourage giving power to the people, however, making important decisions should probably be left for the elected MP’s to conclude, simply for the fact that they are experts.
Another advantage of using referendums is that they stop the government from making decisions which aren’t suited, or are unpopular with the public when an issue raised has had a large population vote ‘no’. If the government change a referendum’s verdict, then the public are less likely to conform to it which means the government have no choice in which to carry out their final decision.
The second disadvantage of holding more referendums is that the public may use it as an opportunity to portray their feelings toward the government. Not everyone...