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National Referendums - The Answer?

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posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:41 AM
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I was recently reading on the Swiss National Referendum for the use Stem Cell in medical research/treatment. It got me thinking, is this a practical method of democracy that is being ignored in our modern world?

Think of it, a national referendum on say: the death penalty. This way the population can make the decision rather than the politicians, who to be honest, think they represent the people but often dont.

This idea of people power has its limitations, such as the issues that can be voted on, if we were to vote on all decisions all wed be doing was voting all the time.


From a UK point of view Ive listed a few issues that should be voted on nationally:

- Fox Hunting
- Ban on Smoking
- EU constitution.
- Membership of the EU
- Withdrawal from Iraq.

I welcome your opinions




posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:06 AM
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It's certainly the most democratic way of doing things.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:20 AM
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I would definately like to see the fox hunting put back into play...We want to make the dogs politcally correct now too? Absurd!



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by 00PS
I would definately like to see the fox hunting put back into play...We want to make the dogs politcally correct now too? Absurd!


I think regular national referendums are the way forward, it would solve alot of problems, such as fox hunting as you mentioned. A vote would close a issue rather than keeping the arguement pointlessly on going.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:29 AM
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I am just going to post using US as an example.

I still think that individual states should be the ones to make decisions on what should be allowed or not in their states.

Take stem cell research for example, in California is allowed. But you bring it to a bible belt state to vote on it and it will be banned.

Now will California should banned because the bible belt states can get more votes to over come California on a national referendums?

I still think that it should stay as a state level.

What happend if a referendum on making gay relationships illegal, or making christianity the main religion in this country.

I am going on the extreme here but I am just bringing a point.

Now I don't know if in Uk you have states that make individual decisions or not.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Now I don't know if in Uk you have states that make individual decisions or not.


We have counties but they don't tend to have much power these days, the UK is generally one united place, although in recent years theres been growing division between the member countries.

I personally believe the US should have individaul referendums in each state due to the differences in cultures and beliefs, also America is a big country so a national referendum is not practical.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 08:47 AM
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Should they be voted on?

Smoking for instance, a ban in the long run would be good but im guessing most of England are smokers so it would never be passed.

The question must be asked, do we live in a true democracy?




posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 10:46 AM
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The problem is: do the majority of the people know what is good for them?
Will the Mass Media effectively rule the countries?

Referendums on Constitutonal Changes and the like should be acceptable. But laws that partially hurt the people but help the state on a long run would be impossible.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by tsuribito
The problem is: do the majority of the people know what is good for them?
Will the Mass Media effectively rule the countries?


You can say the same about now, the media portray the political parties, people believe what they see in the media whether it is true or not.




Originally posted by tsuribito
Referendums on Constitutonal Changes and the like should be acceptable. But laws that partially hurt the people but help the state on a long run would be impossible.


I believe the national referendum's should only be held on issues such as the death penalty, hunting, etc issues that effect the lives of the people.


edit:


Originally posted by shorty
Should they be voted on?


Why not?


Originally posted by shorty
The question must be asked, do we live in a true democracy?


Democracy isn't defined as a single political method, US and UK democracy isn't the same but their both democracy.



[Edited on 28-11-2004 by UK Wizard]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 02:02 PM
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double post

[edit on 28-11-2004 by shorty]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 02:02 PM
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Why not?


I gave an example on the smoking ban but, also there's the fox hunting, done by th higher class of society. The high higher class having more sway in England therfore if it were voted it on there is more chance of it get dismissed. I think (not sure on this) that the house of lords can overthrow a public vote? If so then how many lords go fow hunting?

A withdrawl from Iraq would never be voted on because the government has gained in staying there.

Membership of the EU: Who knows why we want to be in there, i dont but Blair does.

EU constition: Er.....? excuse my ignorance but what an EU constition, thinking about it, whats a constition?

[edit on 28-11-2004 by shorty]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 02:32 PM
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In the US I would like to see National Referendums on all constitutional Amendments. But I agree that the individual states should be allowed to decide what is allowed on their territory. A constitutional amendment would have to pass the national referendum by a 2/3 majority, so that one region cant overrun another (i.e. Bible Belt over California). Also I would allow a state to nullify National law if the laws nullification passed by a 4/5 majority in that state.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by shorty
The high higher class having more sway in England therfore if it were voted it on there is more chance of it get dismissed.


The public could very easily out vote those who go hunting.


Originally posted by shorty
A withdrawl from Iraq would never be voted on because the government has gained in staying there.


What if another party had national referendums as their policy, i believe they'd get alot of public support.


Originally posted by shorty
EU constition: Er.....? excuse my ignorance but what an EU constition, thinking about it, whats a constition?


The UK doesn't have a written constitution, (the US does) , search for the EU constitution on google, it can explain it much better than me.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:14 PM
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The problem with continual referendums on specific issues, UK Wizard, is that they require the voting public to be properly informed on those specific issues in order to exercise a real and genuine choice.

Any idiot can go ee-nee, mee-nee, miinee-mo.
What lunatic wants to run a country like that?

*Cue shorty with excellent timing.*
(.....and don't worry if you were just making a rhetorical quip shorty, this illustrates my point perfectly anyway)

As shorty points out, he/she can see there is - obviously - an EU in existance and that it has 25 western developed member countries now.....

.....yet he/she cannot think of a single reason why the UK should belong to it!

.....and he/she thinks (when old enough, if not now) they're capable of making a proper decision on the matter!

Now, whether one actually does or does not agree with the UK's EU membership is another matter

but

to honestly admit that one is so either blinkered or poorly informed on the issue as to be incapable of understanding how come we are in it - at all - , yet wish to exercise a say in the matter, well God help us all if that is the level of 'democracy' we end up reaching!

This is, in a nutshell, the problem with rule by referendum.

We could end up weighing up the most vital, grave and weighty matters of state on the basis of a campaign in 'The Sun' (or whichever tabloid)......and if there has been a large scale anti-EU campaign for 15yrs + (as there has been in the UK to date) how 'correct, balanced, informed and reasonable' do you imagine the result might be?

How could you be sure in those circumstances you weren't being unwittingly led to protect or promote interests other than your own or your families'?
Do you really think Rupert Murdock's interests are the same as yours....or ours, or the whole UK's?

How sure could you be you were deciding on the basis of all the facts?

What about a 'loaded' referendum question? What about repeated referenda?
(Ireland voted on the EU's 'Nice treaty' twice, saying no the 1st time and yes the 2nd. There were slight changes between the 1st and 2nd but is going to the people until you get the answer you want - whatever that may be - ok and 'better'?)

Personally I don't really like the idea but I suppose if we have to have them then they should be after an extensive 'campaign' with a reasonable and proper length of time where the opportunity is genuinely available to thrash out all sides of the debate.

[edit on 29-11-2004 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:18 PM
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There are a couple of court-cases going on in the International Criminal Court--one filed by an Indian doctor who alleges gross omnicide and war crimes charges and the other by Dr. Boyd [whatever], MD, who alleges AIDS was a calculated tactic by the USGummint.

So, the Court found Bush guilty of War crimes, and who cared?

Groups have put together PETITIONS FOR REDRESS and hand delivered thousands-upon-thousands of validated signatures to Congress, asking Congress to deal with a host of issues surrounding "taxation without representation," "consent of the governed," "due process," and other Constitutional issues.

Members of Congress refused to meet with the Petitioners, and they flatly refused to acknowledge the Petitions' legitimacy. This was last spring 2004.

What chance a National Referendum has, in the face of Diebold pre-rigging of the elections, is certainly problematical. But what is absolutely clear is, Congress won't back it.

And the Media will never talk about it, just as they suppressed all information about third party candidates just prior to the Bush RE-S(election).

Probably won't fly.

Pray for Deliverance, is still an idea that may work.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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Membership of the EU: Who knows why we want to be in there, i dont but Blair does.

Blair is innocent. Ask Harold Wilson



You can say the same about now

But not as bad. A Government will be always less radical than an angry mob mobilized by the yellow press.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by tsuribito
Blair is innocent. Ask Harold Wilson


- .....and Ted Heath. One Labour (old Labour at that!
) and one tory (an old tory at that.)


But not as bad. A Government will be always less radical than an angry mob mobilized by the yellow press.


- .....and you should see some of our press, jayzuss they're sooooo embarrassing.

Inform the people?
More like take the p*ss out of the people right in their faces.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:55 PM
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In Canada we've had three major referendums and one plebiscite (the difference is a plebiscite doesn't bind the government - it's like an opinion poll).

The plebiscite was in 1942 - it was on the instauration of conscription.

The first referendum was held solely in Quebec, on Quebec sovereignty, in 1980 - the "Yes" lost by 60-40.

By 1992 there was another referendum on changes to the Constitution to accommodate Quebec and the First Nations. Once again, the "yes" option lost, and the constitution wasn't amended.

So a disappointed Quebec held a second referendum on sovereignty in 1995 - the yes barely lost, by 50.5 to 49.5.

Hence, even though referenda are a pretty interesting way of putting crucial questions to the public, in Canada the public got pretty sick and tired of referenda - since there were three on very similar questions in 15 years.



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
What lunatic wants to run a country like that?


The swiss



Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
We could end up weighing up the most vital, grave and weighty matters of state on the basis of a campaign in 'The Sun' (or whichever tabloid)......


Politic's is currently run by the media, how would a referendum be any different?


Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Personally I don't really like the idea but I suppose if we have to have them then they should be after an extensive 'campaign' with a reasonable and proper length of time where the opportunity is genuinely available to thrash out all sides of the debate.


Why not have a collection of referedums every 6 months, plenty of time for individual campaigns.



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
The swiss


- I think you'll find Swiss politics very different (and very serious) compared to ours UK Wizard.


Politic's is currently run by the media, how would a referendum be any different?


- OK, to some extent this is, of course, true.

But the big deal is because it would be over specific issues.
It's very risky if not outright dangerous politics to say the least.


Why not have a collection of referedums every 6 months, plenty of time for individual campaigns.


- You have to be kidding matey.

Tell you what, pick the party you feel happiest with and go and join it now and take part in the coming election campaign. Really.

Then come back and tell me how you think some kind of rolling program of 6monthly referenda at a time would work.

It wouldn't be sufficient time and by the end of the 2nd and start of the 3rd the whole thing would have fallen apart.
This kind of thing requires a lot people (acting on a totally voluntary basis) to be involved and do the, pretty thankless, leg-work involved.

Seriously try it.
It would be an experience you would (I imagine) enjoy (but probably just the once!
) and it would certainly give you a great insight into politics from the ground in the UK.





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