Essay on Exam Questions on Referendums

Submitted By ambzcox
Words: 734
Pages: 3

Exam questions
1) A
Firstly, people can get involved in politics by standing in elections at different levels. They could stand in local or national elections, but they’d still be participating in politics. Secondly, they could join a political party and play an active part in its campaign.

1) B
Firstly, referendums do not necessarily increase the legitimacy of the government. Similar to in elections, turnouts for referendums are also quite low. Therefore, the results found aren’t very legitimate and they don’t fully represent the views of the constituency. Secondly, many issues may simply be too complex for most people to understand and make judgement on, therefore making people less likely to vote or making the votes cast less intelligent. Lastly, wealthy groups and tabloids may influence results, which makes the results more biased. For example, if one side has more money or power, they can use this to influence the results of the referendum.

1) C
In the UK, referendums are used to make difficult and possible unpopular decisions for the government. The first UK referendum was held in 1973 and was one of two referendums that covered the entire United Kingdom. In total, the UK has held 11 major referendums. A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single political question, and is always a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. There is a lot of controversy about whether referendums should be used more or less within the UK. I believe referendums should be used more in the UK.
Firstly, referendums should be used more because they are one of the most direct forms of democracy we have in our country. Due to the fact that there are only two answers, ‘yes’ or ‘no’, it avoids there being a percentage of lower than 50% winning the referendum. It also means that peoples view points are better represented, as it’s clear from the results what the majority of people want from the referendum. Secondly, the results of a referendum effectively entrenches constitutional changes. This means that when the decision is made, it can’t or is very unlikely to be changed by the government. Although they could go back on the results of the referendum and decide otherwise, it’d mean that that party would rarely be voted back into power at the next election which is a chance very few politicians would make. Few, if any, politicians would go against the public vote on a referendum unless they wanted to lose their chances of winning another election. Lastly, if people have demonstrated their expressed consent on a matter, they’re more likely to accept the decision that’s made. If the government made an unpopular decision without consulting the general public, there’d be uproar and the amount of people that wouldn’t want to accept the decision would increase. However, with referendums, the entire electorate are given the chance to cast an opinion on the matter that would be taken into…