If referenda are so democratic, should they be used instead of parliament to vote for legislation?

(7 Posts)
Pangurban1 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:04:09

After the EU referendum, many people like Farage said that the referendum as it was carried out is the democratic voice of the people.

Simple majority.
No minimum percentage of electorate turnout required.
No independent commission to police false statements/arguments or pull them.
No real limit on funding by big business to whatever side lies in their interest.

If this is such a good way to make decisions, should each government publish it's policy agenda and make up a list of potential laws which people can vote on in the same way. Once at the end of the lifetime of each parliament. In fact you could do polls and then put the things people wanted most to vote on most appear on the ballot.

Such as;
Should income tax be banned?
Should stamp duty be abolished?
Should people only get (pro rata) out of the welfare system what they have paid in?
As above, for NHS. You pay your insurance/taxes, you get treatment
Should politicians get allowances, rent, subsidised bar and restaurant?
Should charlie or willie be next monarch?
should electricity be free?
Should the UK carry out missions in Iraq or Syria with the US or Nato? Instead of how it was voted for in parliament.

You get the gist. Put in your own.
Is it the basis on which you should let a simple majority, with same conditions as above, make good decisions for the common good? It was used to make a pretty major decision, so why not other major decisions (forget monarch )?

AIBU to think if people are saying referenda under the above conditions are more democratic than a parliamentary democracy, why aren't they campaigning for most decisions to be made this way?

BombadierFritz Sat 27-Aug-16 20:05:28

Hitler loved them

caroldecker Sat 27-Aug-16 20:14:47

They are made this way. Every 5 years each party publishes its policy agenda (manifesto) and the public vote for them. The most popular party is in power and implements its agenda.

pluck Sat 27-Aug-16 20:19:11

Hell, no. It's in careful debate that good policy is made. Not saying we definitely have this, but your proposal (is it satirical?) is the total opposite.

mikeyboo Sat 27-Aug-16 20:35:41

Direct democracy (OMOV, as in a referendum) is fundamentally unworkable as the norm for a state the size of the UK.

It's impractical, considering the sheer amount of legislation passed by parliament and both the cost and work involved in any nation-wide vote, and debates in both the Commons and Lords result in significant refinement of potential legislation.

Outtaker Sat 27-Aug-16 21:02:25

It would lead to utter chaos and make the UK ungovernable. Also, a referendum can only really provide a simple yes/no on a particular question which can then be the basis for legislation (which necessarily runs to hundreds of pages), rather than actually being legislation itself!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 27-Aug-16 21:05:10

No. Most people in the UK are too stupid to vote - see Credit

<runs>

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