A Comparative Study of Referendums: Government by the People

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Manchester University Press, 2002 - Political Science - 183 pages
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Democracy means the rule of the people, yet in all countries the role of the citizen is limited to periodic general elections and occasional referendums. However, referendums are becoming an important feature of Western democracy. Citizens are increasingly being called upon to decide complex political issues by the very same people they elected to make those decisions. This study offers the first comparative assessment of the referendum, looking at its development in Britain, Europe, and the US.
 

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Contents

The referendum and the ideal of consensus government
6
the referendum as the peoples veto
51
Do referendums stand in the way of salutary reform?
74
Is the referendum a constitutional safeguard?
98
two case
126
how the referendum can strengthen
152
Notes
160
Index
179
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About the author (2002)

Mads Qvortrup is a Policy Analyst at the Home Office, and former Senior Fellow at The Constitution Unit, University College London.

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