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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In Britain the Labour Government has proposed - and in some cases has already held - several referendums on issues ranging from devolution to the single European currency. This is far from a British phenomenon - virtually all European countries are moving towards a greater use of referendums. Should this trend be endorsed? Or should it be condemned as populism? The fundamental question which this book seeks to answer is whether referendums are a just and democratic means of increasing the role of the citizen. Do referendums threaten minorities and are they a threat to representative democracy?
 

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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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