Questions tagged [referendum]

Questions related to a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision. This tag should be used alongside the country when for a specific referendum.

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74
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7answers
14k views

Why would Madrid be so insistent on preventing the Catalonian independence referendum?

On the day of the Catalonian independence referendum, there were plenty of reports about Madrid's efforts to prevent the referendum from taking place, including large number of police shooting rubber ...
49
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10answers
15k views

Why was the Brexit referendum conducted as a simple majority vote?

For votes which can have extremely long-term consequences, (like changing the constitution) a simple majority vote is usually not enough. Such voting and referendums are not about electing a temporary ...
42
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6answers
9k views

Must the UK leave the EU?

The BBC has projected that a majority voted for the UK to leave the EU. To what extent is the referendum binding?
35
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3answers
7k views

What happens if it is proved that “vote leave” campaign broke campaigning laws?

This Guardian article argues about connections between Cambridge Analytica and Brexit referendum. There is a paragraph that tells us about some restrictions related to how information and money can ...
35
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5answers
9k views

Why do some Catalans want to become independent?

Why do some Catalans want to become independent? What has changed recently to increase their desire to be independent? I'd like to understand this situation, as I am currently completely ignorant ...
26
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3answers
1k views

What will Scotland's status in the EU be, assuming the Scots vote for independence?

The Scots will vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country or not, on September 18, 2014. Assuming the majority vote is for independence, will Scotland remain in the European Union ...
24
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4answers
772 views

In what way is the Catalan referendum illegal, rather than inconsequential, under Spanish law?

What is the Spanish government's stated justification for today (2017-10-01)'s police actions? I understand how the referendum is illegitimate (as in, meaningless) under Spanish law, but I don't ...
23
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3answers
5k views

If/When UK leaves the EU, can a future goverment conduct a referendum to join the EU?

I wonder if after the current debate, the UK ends up leaving the EU on any terms, how soon can a future government conduct a referendum to join the EU?
20
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5answers
2k views

Are there examples of when Parliament decided against the results of a Referendum?

For those hiding under a rock, the UK’s future in the EU is being decided right now by means of a referendum. This, coupled with the constant talk of a plebiscite for marriage equality in Australia ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Why are there no referendums in the US?

The US has a (self-imposed) reputation of being a supremely democratic and free country. However, unlike many other democratic countries on the planet, the US has never had any national referendums. ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Why do the Spanish government not organize a national referendum for Catalonia independence?

The reason the Spanish government was not willing to allow Catalonia to handle any referendum is because a Spanish province is not allowed to single handedly secede, such decisions should be taken by ...
16
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5answers
2k views

Is a second EU Referendum undemocratic?

People often say a second referendum is undemocratic. The first referendum was partially based on incorrect/dishonest information. After over two years of the general public viewing the government ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Is the Crimean referendum legal?

Как известно, Верховная Рада Крыма в обход Конституции Украины приняла решение о проведении в Крыму 16 марта референдума по присоединению к России. (src) As was noted, the Supreme Council of Crimea ...
14
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2answers
4k views

Will the British Parliament prevent “Brexit”?

So today, the High Court ruled that the Parliament has to approve the British exit of the European Union. From what I see, this is their possibility to prevent Brexit and remain in the European Union -...
12
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3answers
710 views

If the independence vote in Catalunya is successful. What are the possible outcomes?

The autonomous parliament of Catalunya is about to hold a referendum to secede from Spain. Given that Catalunya has their own police force. What are the possible outcomes if the Catalan people vote ...
12
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2answers
1k views

If a country leaves the European Union, would also leave the European Economic Area?

In the event of some member country supporting leaving the EU, would that mean that the country would stop participating in the EEA? Other countries participate in it, despite not being EU members. e....
11
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1answer
427 views

What are typical consequences for a political party of losing an independence referendum?

The signature policy of the devolved Scottish government's ruling party (the Scottish National Party) is that Scotland should be an independent state, separate from the United Kingdom. To that end, ...
10
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8answers
2k views

Can a 'Second Referendum' on Brexit contain three options?

Lots of people seem to be calling for a second referendum on the United Kingdoms status as members of the European Union. The Labour Party policy is to renegotiate a deal with the European Union and ...
10
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6answers
847 views

What's the difference between repeating elections every few years and repeating a referendum after a few years?

There's a lot of talk in the UK these days about how holding a second referendum on Brexit would be "undemocratic" and "go against the spirit of referendums". However repeating a vote doesn't seem all ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Could the City of London leave the EU while the UK remained?

In 1985 Greenland voted to leave the European Economic Community, mainly to have more control over their fishing. Greenland also happens to be part of Denmark. Let's assume the United Kingdom's ...
9
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2answers
244 views

How does offering two almost identical options in a Preferential Voting system affect the outcome?

New Zealand recently voted on a potential new design for their flag. The question was: "If the New Zealand flag changes, which flag would you prefer?" The five options were chosen by a government ...
8
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6answers
2k views

Why doesn't the UK hold a second Brexit referendum to clarify what the public wants from Brexit?

In following the ongoing Brexit drama I've seen claims that the first vote was unfair because it was only for yes/no and didn't say anything about what form an actual Brexit would take. This ...
8
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4answers
828 views

Is it only the UK who is holding a referendum to stay or leave the EU? If so, why?

Is the UK the only country holding a referendum on staying or leaving the EU? If so, why is only the UK doing this? This question isn't a duplicate of this one, which asks why other countries in ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Why do major referendums have a 50% threshold to change the status quo, rather than a higher value?

The latest Brexit referendum passed with barely a couple percent over the 50% threshold, despite being a major constitutional change with significant consequences for many generations to come. ...
8
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2answers
371 views

Does the 16th April Turkish referendum result actually have any meaningful effect?

At the time of writing this question, the Turkish referendum for changing the Constitution has just finished with approval of these changes (about 51% for "Yes"). According to this source, Turkish ...
8
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1answer
290 views

Why aren't all matters referendable?

Recently there was a parliamentary decision in Portugal that approved a referendum to the co-adoption and adoption by homosexual couples (already allowed to marry). This is generating a scandal in ...
8
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3answers
1k views

What is the typical error in large vote counts?

Well the EU referendum happened in the UK and there was some talk about what happens if the result is a tie, or if it is very close. Apparently, there would not be a recount unless there was a ...
7
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1answer
312 views

Are there any polls on the new Swiss immigration referendum question?

Apparently after the "betrayal" of the first Swiss immigration-limiting referendum (of Feb 2014) by their parliament, which passed a substantially watered down law (in 2016), there's now ...
7
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1answer
707 views

How can the federal United States congress conduct a public referendum vote?

Is it possible for congress to delegate voting on specific policies to a nationwide popular vote at the federal level? If so, how would this be accomplished?
7
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1answer
137 views

Can the Tweede Kamer or anyone else withdraw a law if an advisory referendum on it has already been requested?

Edit 2018-08-28: The law in question has been retracted as of 2018-07-10, so this question is now of historical interest only. In The Netherlands, the Wet Raadgevend Referendum (Law Advisory ...
6
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3answers
649 views

Does Hong Kong have the right to hold a referendum for independence?

Does Hong Kong have the right to hold a referendum for independence? I am wondering if there was some kind of legal agreement when Hong Kong was ceded to China by Britain that guaranteed that Hong ...
6
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2answers
512 views

Why did Switzerland's referendum about basic income proponents propose actual amounts?

According to Wikipedia, Switzerland had a referendum on 5th June 2016 that also included the "basic income" topic: By October 2013 more than 130,000 citizens had signed, meaning a referendum on ...
6
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3answers
279 views

Is it possible for the UK Parliament to create a legally binding referendum?

Throughout the Brexit saga, one thing I’ve heard repeatedly is that due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, referendums are not legally binding: Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle ...
6
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1answer
370 views

When can a UK referendum result be officially declared “invalid”?

There has been new allegations of "breaching of rules" by some pro-Brexit groups in the Brexit referendum. This new allegations join previous ones that electoral laws have been broken (also here). ...
6
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3answers
1k views

What is a “confirmatory” referendum in the context of Brexit?

The topic of a second referendum on Brexit has been discussed since the time of the first referendum. However, recently, there is a lot of talk in UK politics about a "confirmatory" ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Which country had the first constitution adopted by referendum?

Which country was the first to adopt a codified constitution by a reasonably democratic public referendum? I'm including in this non-binding referendums, such as those held in the Australian colonies ...
6
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3answers
780 views

Why are referendums held? Are they not inherently anti-democratic?

One thing I've noticed is that people often speak favorably of referendums. I used to do so as well. My thinking was, what could be bad about an election that allows the people to directly vote on a ...
5
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1answer
349 views

Can Spain be suspended from the EU?

Catalonia held a referendum for independence. The police threatened and attacked the citizens of Spain/Catalonia. Article 7 says that if a country violates the rights of their citizens they could be ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

Is a Dutch referendum valid if the no-vote exceeds the yes-vote, but does not exceed 50%?

In the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum, 2018, preliminary results indicate 47.3% of votes in favour and 48.8% of votes in opposition, with the remaining votes blank and a ...
4
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4answers
4k views

Why doesn't the Indian government hold a referendum in Kashmir?

On 21 April 1948, a resolution on Kashmir was adopted by the UNSC. According to that resolution, India should hold a referendum in Kashmir. Given the current chaotic situation in Kashmir, why doesn't ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Why does mostly liberal California vote for death penalty?

On Election Day 2016 in California: Proposition to legalize cannabis won Proposition to repeal death penalty lost The rest of the propositions were mostly liberal, and most of them won; also the ...
4
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1answer
529 views

Why isn't Northern Ireland demanding a referendum on joining Ireland, similar to the one in Scotland? [duplicate]

Northern Ireland looks like it's in a perfect position for a referendum on leaving the UK: it could instantly join its neighbor Ireland and remain a part of the EU, it has a long history of protesting ...
4
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1answer
249 views

Losers Consent, Winners Lament? [closed]

There have been angry protests against the UK Parliamentary Election result and I commented that the result was democracy in action. In response, another person said that the protests are a result of ...
4
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1answer
218 views

Is organizing “piggybacked” referendums something unusual in EU?

Romanians were also called to vote for a referendum when voting for EU Parliament elections in 2019. However, the organizing for diaspora voting was very problematic and many could not vote at all: ...
4
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1answer
127 views

Was there an OSCE mission observing the Scottish independence referendum?

Even though the United Kingdom is an established democracy, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) did observe for instance the 2017 general election. There's both a "needs ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Do referendums lead to significantly different decisions than when decisions are taken by parliament?

One argument that is used against decision-making by popular referendum is that they tend to lead to populist, perhaps even impossible decisions. It seems that referendums can lead to decisions that ...
4
votes
1answer
323 views

What are the rules of what goes into referenda in Switzerland?

Wikipedia page for Politics of Switzerland mentions that any changes to Constitution are mandatory as referenda, other things are optional. But who, what and how decides what things actually end up ...
4
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2answers
285 views

Protecting a democracy from an influential few

According to some opinions I have read, the recent referendum in the UK was won by a small number of men in politics and media, who immediately after the result disowned some of the major claims and ...
3
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2answers
340 views

Did those who voted to stay in the EC also vote to leave the EU?

A question popped into my mind the other day concerning the two referenda concerning the European Union issued by the UK Government. The first took place on 5 June 1975 on whether the UK should stay ...
3
votes
3answers
589 views

Mechanics of a second Brexit referendum

Some people advocate a simple n-way ballot like: Remain Deal No deal But this splits the leave vote. An alternative is to use Single Transferable Vote, which in the case of a referendum would be an ...