61 votes

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

By way of establishing some context, it's worth noting that this isn't just a squabble over which government has the authority to hold a referendum in Catalonia. The Madrid government's position is ...
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  • 3,544
50 votes

Why do referendums use a binary choice rather than a numerical score?

Because the system highly incentivises strategic voting. The voting system you describe is more commonly known as score voting, although it has plenty of other names. It's been used before in the USA -...
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  • 82.7k
46 votes
Accepted

Why can't California Proposition 17 be passed via the legislative process and thus needs a ballot measure?

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of California currently does not allow parolees to vote: The Legislature shall prohibit improper practices that affect elections and shall provide for the ...
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  • 27.7k
41 votes
Accepted

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

Nothing (Legally) Regardless of the circumstances of the referendum, the (legal) basis for Brexit is the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. I will add it in its full form so we can ...
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  • 27.6k
41 votes

Why are there no referendums in the US?

The United States does have referendums at the state level and all 50 states have some power of referendum offered to the people (the most common being legislature prescribed referendums to the people ...
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  • 13.1k
39 votes
Accepted

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

It seems bleedingly obvious that having Catalonia and the rest of Spain vote differently on this issue would leave everybody with bad feelings. Nothing would be settled. And organising a referendum is ...
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  • 29.7k
38 votes

Must the UK leave the EU?

According to The Guardian, the referendum is not legally binding, and the final decision lies with Parliament.
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  • 947
37 votes
Accepted

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

They can do it right away if they have the majority vote. However, it will take some time to do so, even if the UK gets fast-tracked. It may help that most standards, laws etc are already in place. ...
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  • 3,503
33 votes
Accepted

How was Barbados able to remove the Queen as head of state without a referendum?

Barbados was able to do so because under Article 49 of Barbados' Constitution, Parliament is empowered to alter the document through the passage of an Act through both of its Houses - as long as that ...
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  • 82.7k
30 votes

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

The thing is: It does not matter what a government or a law says or pretend to say. If you look at the history, an absolute minority of independencies were "allowed" or "negotiated" between the ...
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  • 4,652
30 votes
Accepted

Why do some Catalans want to become independent?

What has changed lately to increase their desire to be independent? This isn't actually how separatism works. It's not that they want independence now more than they did, say, fifty years ago. It's ...
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  • 88.2k
26 votes
Accepted

Can Scotland hold an informal independence opinion-poll without Westminster's consent?

There would be a few issues with this approach. Firstly, back in 2012, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution looked at this very argument, and concluded that even an 'opinion-poll' ...
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  • 82.7k
19 votes

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

The voting threshold necessary to prompt the exit process was never actually decided at all as such prior to the referendum, but assumptions were made by politicians and journalists about what would ...
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18 votes

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

First of all, Catalonians won't see that as legitimate. It's like having other people vote for what I should make myself for dinner -- even if everyone else is saying I should have salmon, if I want a ...
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  • 431
17 votes

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

The UK has a political history and tradition which has enshrined the concept of parliamentary sovereignty to almost religious levels. Among other concepts this enshrines the view that there is no ...
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  • 20.6k
16 votes
Accepted

Will the British Parliament prevent "Brexit"?

Will the British Parliament prevent "Brexit"? No, they likely won't. With the parliament's consent to trigger Article 50, it will allow the parliament to judge if Britain is ready to start ...
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  • 45.8k
16 votes

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

Ask 100 different leave votes (even leaving out remain) what they wanted from Brexit and you'll get 100 different answers. This underlines the folly of using Referenda for complex decisions as was ...
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  • 21.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Could Westminster block the possibility of a referendum on Scottish independence?

To address your questions in order: It is constitutionally possible for the Westminster parliament to hold any referendum held by the Scottish parliament to be non-binding on itself and thus ...
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  • 20.6k
15 votes
Accepted

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

There is no provision in the Sino-British Joint Declaration for an independence referendum. Indeed it explicitly states "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be directly under the ...
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  • 94.1k
13 votes

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

The referendum was conducted under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, somewhat modified by the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009. On a quick reading, the ...
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  • 20.6k
13 votes

Is a second EU Referendum undemocratic?

Very few people voted for "leave" or "remain" per se. Instead, there are goals that they believed would be achieved by leaving the EU or by remaining in the EU, they thought about which goals were ...
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  • 4,487
12 votes

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

I suppose the answer to the question is that David Cameron, the PM who campaigned on a manifesto calling for an EU referendum by 2017, was confident enough that remain would win. As such, he went for ...
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  • 121
12 votes

When can a UK referendum result be officially declared "invalid"?

A referendum is never binding. It never has to be re-run. A bill creating a referendum may have clauses that are intended to make the result binding. An example of which was the AV referendum, in ...
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  • 94.1k
11 votes

Will the British Parliament prevent "Brexit"?

The High Court judgement definitely stirs things up. The UK Government has said it will appeal to the Supreme Court and it appears that the key question is about the notion of irreversibility. The ...
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  • 5,598
11 votes
Accepted

Why did mostly liberal California vote for the death penalty?

Who are these people? Which demographics vote like that? Me for one. But more generally, many people under fifty see marijuana as easily available and find it silly for it to be illegal. Illegal ...
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  • 88.2k
11 votes
Accepted

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

First, holding a second referendum for Leave/Remain would be a clear denial of democratic choice and a bad signal for future referendums: Once the majority has chosen, everybody will suffer the ...
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  • 305
11 votes
Accepted

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

There's one problem with any referendum with more than two options: Arrow's Impossibility Theorem. This states that if you have three or more options, then the following cannot be simultaneously ...
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  • 26.2k
10 votes

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

While democracy is one of the best-liked forms of government, that doesn't mean it is always the best-suited tool to make decisions. An important property of modern democracies is that while adhering ...
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  • 1,674

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