In Comparative Government and Politics, Hague and Harrop review Referendums:
"On the plus side, referendums do seem to increase voters' understanding of the issue, their confidence in their own political abilities and their faith in government responsiveness. Like elections themselves, referendums help to educate the participants.
"But there is a reason for caution. A surfeit of referendums can tire the voters, depressing turnout."
This last comment hits against Interactive Democracy, which proposes frequent referendums, but if the system automatically transfers inactive votes to the local MP (or other approved person), then everyone remains represented whether they are engaged or not.
Hague and Harrop go on to say that "In addition to these difficulties, referendums can easily be hijacked by:
- Wealthy companies waging expensive referendum campaigns on issues in which they have an economic interest;
- Government control over wording as well as timing;
- Intense minorities seeking reforms to which the majority is indifferent."