Friday, 26 September 2008

How to decide when to hold a referendum

Interactive Democracy is a system of referendums, but, as mentioned in the previous post, it isn't suitable for all situations facing the country. Here are some criteria for holding a referendum.

Referendums should not be held if:
  1. The information is secret.
  2. The situation is extremely complex - beyond the understanding of the typical juror (man on the street).
  3. Immediate action is required.
  4. The action required must be kept secret to be effective.
Referendums should be held if:
  1. The decision requires a social value judgement.
  2. The decision is best arrived at by an expression of individual wants or needs.

It would be sensible if parliament decided if each individual issue should go to referendum or if they, or the government, should have the final say. They will be held to account in the General Election.

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