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Referenda

innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/12/2010 10:38:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
On both sides of the aisle government by referenda is considered undesirable. However, many states have them as a part of their constitutional make up, sometimes binding sometimes not binding. It is a more pure democracy than that of elected representation. However there are inherent problems with pure democracy. Personally i like referenda, but i guess i would need a referenda on referenda. So, in what cases if any do you think referenda is appropriate? I believe that any alteration to our constitution(s), state and federal, should be put to a referendum. Other than that i am open to most other referenda as well. One problem with referenda is that often the issue is not properly debated, and the question sits on the ballot without full consideration of all sides being given. Another obvious problem is the tyranny of the majority. Non binding referenda may be more palatable because it simply sends a strong message to legislators. So...thoughts?
Koopin
Posts: 12,090
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8/12/2010 10:39:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/12/2010 10:38:34 AM, innomen wrote:
On both sides of the aisle government by referenda is considered undesirable. However, many states have them as a part of their constitutional make up, sometimes binding sometimes not binding. It is a more pure democracy than that of elected representation. However there are inherent problems with pure democracy. Personally i like referenda, but i guess i would need a referenda on referenda. So, in what cases if any do you think referenda is appropriate? I believe that any alteration to our constitution(s), state and federal, should be put to a referendum. Other than that i am open to most other referenda as well. One problem with referenda is that often the issue is not properly debated, and the question sits on the ballot without full consideration of all sides being given. Another obvious problem is the tyranny of the majority. Non binding referenda may be more palatable because it simply sends a strong message to legislators. So...thoughts?

You said referenda 8 times
kfc
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/12/2010 10:47:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/12/2010 10:39:56 AM, Koopin wrote:
At 8/12/2010 10:38:34 AM, innomen wrote:
On both sides of the aisle government by referenda is considered undesirable. However, many states have them as a part of their constitutional make up, sometimes binding sometimes not binding. It is a more pure democracy than that of elected representation. However there are inherent problems with pure democracy. Personally i like referenda, but i guess i would need a referenda on referenda. So, in what cases if any do you think referenda is appropriate? I believe that any alteration to our constitution(s), state and federal, should be put to a referendum. Other than that i am open to most other referenda as well. One problem with referenda is that often the issue is not properly debated, and the question sits on the ballot without full consideration of all sides being given. Another obvious problem is the tyranny of the majority. Non binding referenda may be more palatable because it simply sends a strong message to legislators. So...thoughts?

You said referenda 8 times

And referendum once.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/12/2010 10:50:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The reason we even have representative democracy is because we're all trying to avoid the sort of "pure democracy" you're talking about.

For all its ills, representative democracy has worked out well so far. Take that against what you're advocating, with constant and sometimes stupid referenda, like the crap that goes on in California with its ability to spend spend spend, but never raise taxes to pay for it, all on the whims of the referenda electorate.

Democracy is great, but going too far leads to an inefficient system. Representative democracy is designed to give our reps the power to make decisions on our behalf and streamline the political process, and when they p*ss us off, we turf them out.

It's better to make improvements to the representative system by changing the electoral system and institution better campaign finance tools and recalls. Power to the people is nice, but a state-by-referenda is not.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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8/12/2010 11:00:15 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
A referendum is valid when the Government desires to effect a major change in the constitution but has no mandate to do so.

For instance the Tory-Liberal Government wish to abandon first past the post and make sure that Parliaments are fixed for five years. These are major changes to our political system. Precedent and democracy really requires that these pledges should have been contained in the Conservative manifesto, and that the Conservatives acheived a majority on the premise of that manifesto. Neither things are true, so a referendum fills in the gaps.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/12/2010 11:13:14 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/12/2010 10:50:25 AM, Volkov wrote:
The reason we even have representative democracy is because we're all trying to avoid the sort of "pure democracy" you're talking about.

For all its ills, representative democracy has worked out well so far. Take that against what you're advocating, with constant and sometimes stupid referenda, like the crap that goes on in California with its ability to spend spend spend, but never raise taxes to pay for it, all on the whims of the referenda electorate.

Democracy is great, but going too far leads to an inefficient system. Representative democracy is designed to give our reps the power to make decisions on our behalf and streamline the political process, and when they p*ss us off, we turf them out.

It's better to make improvements to the representative system by changing the electoral system and institution better campaign finance tools and recalls. Power to the people is nice, but a state-by-referenda is not.

So, along the lines of what C_N said, you don't see a problem with representative government having the power to make changes within their own legislative process, or the various rules they are to adhere? Would not a referendum on such an issue be a proper check and balance?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/12/2010 11:31:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 8/12/2010 11:13:14 AM, innomen wrote:
So, along the lines of what C_N said, you don't see a problem with representative government having the power to make changes within their own legislative process, or the various rules they are to adhere? Would not a referendum on such an issue be a proper check and balance?

I don't mind a referenda on legislative processes or the structure of the political system, obviously. However, I do believe that representatives should be given a certain amount of room to do what they're supposed to do there - govern. I don't support constant referenda on what really is normal legislative practices.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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8/12/2010 11:58:43 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Irish system is the only one I'm familiar with, and it works well. Referendums are used for changing the constitution.
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