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Thread: Is a referendum democratic at all?

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    Default Is a referendum democratic at all?

    All this hype about the referendum as if it has any great democratic significance. But really our choice in a referendum comes down to voting yes or no on pre-determined question, and usually with a pre-determined answer (or at least with a question that won't go away until we vote the way they want us to). Nevermind the recent debacle over the propriety of funding arrangements - its been clear for a long time that a referendum is nothing more than a rubber stamp, and one which is easily manipulated by those in power.

    A system that actually valued what people thought would have mechanisms to empower people and encapsulate their political desires for the good of society. Instead we are told what to think by the media and given the illusion of a choice between yes and no. Just like in elections, we have no real choice, we have no real democracy.

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    Was Lisbon 1 democratic, or Nice 1?

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    Politics.ie Member BlackLion's Avatar
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    Referendum are democratic. but not as much if one side is using tax payers money to promote their view. If FF did this, Fg would go apesh*t about it and call of a GE.
    All men dream: but not equally. -T. E. Lawrence

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    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackLion View Post
    Referendum are democratic. but not as much if one side is using tax payers money to promote their view. If FF did this, Fg would go apesh*t about it and call of a GE.
    We still have the opportunity to decide the issue for whatever reasons we like.
    Beer is proof that God loves us - Benjamin Franklin

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    IF the electorate is free, has access to free press (even with the ruling today still access to plenty other sources), freedom of association, freedom of expression etc. etc.

    Yes.

    They're not ideal but they're democratic in the formal sense.

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    Politics.ie Member BlackLion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat View Post
    We still have the opportunity to decide the issue for whatever reasons we like.
    But we are not allowed to delay the referendum to look futher into this problem of the government using tax payers money to bend the truth.
    All men dream: but not equally. -T. E. Lawrence

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    Politics.ie Member Plebian's Avatar
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    A referendum sure is democratic. The public take a decision, yes or no on a subject and that should be it. It's the electorate that let down the democratic side of the referendum process when they accept that their original decision can be rejected by the powers that be.. Being too cowardly or venal to stick with their original wishes, they have no-one to blame but themselves and deserve the tarnished democracy they get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by groundhog day View Post
    All this hype about the referendum as if it has any great democratic significance. But really our choice in a referendum comes down to voting yes or no on pre-determined question, and usually with a pre-determined answer (or at least with a question that won't go away until we vote the way they want us to). Nevermind the recent debacle over the propriety of funding arrangements - its been clear for a long time that a referendum is nothing more than a rubber stamp, and one which is easily manipulated by those in power.

    A system that actually valued what people thought would have mechanisms to empower people and encapsulate their political desires for the good of society. Instead we are told what to think by the media and given the illusion of a choice between yes and no. Just like in elections, we have no real choice, we have no real democracy.
    What question do YOU want on the referendum?
    Or maybe you want a different referendum
    Some people will never be happy....
    FFS

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    A referendum in itself is kind of self-evidently democratic, in that it's a democratic way of answering a question posed to the public. What you're asking, I think, is whether the posing of the question itself is democratic - and the answer is that the question is proposed by a democratically elected government, and voted through by a democratically elected legislature, so it's as democratic as representative democracy is, and then some, because the question is not decided by representatives but directly.

    The question of whether a referendum is sufficiently democratic is a different question, and the answer depends on personal tastes rather than anything else.
    Never let the best be the enemy of the good.

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