In our , so Dutch , politics there is quite some discussions on the referendum at the moment.
There have been quite a view so far. The political party , D66 , did have it within the basis of their founding. They did see that political parties are a little blind sided for the real voice of the people and how politics can squeeze things that really matter. Now they have strangely voted against it although in first instance they even pursued the motion.
They are now hiding themselves behind the fact that international treaties should not be involved in a referendum. Not a nice and strange reasoning to withdraw their support.
A referendum could be an option to hear the voice of the people. It could be binding or non binding. It could give a sign if the politicians are still in line with what the people really think.
There could be some arguments against a referendum. There are some good one by the way.
First could be that they do not have the right information to make a good judgement. Also they need time to think about it.
Second could be that only voters against will let hear their voice in a referendum. So a minority get all the attention and that is not fair.
Third one is they can only say yes or no. So a feedback mechanism is not an option.
For a non binding one it could be that a minority speaks out a yes or a no. But for a binding one it would need more than 50 percent of all the voters in my opinion. So in case of 15 million voters there should be at least 7.5 million + 1. In order to have a fair referendum it also should be mandatory and not a free choice.
If the people than disapprove the politicians should go back to the drawing board. Politicians will in this way also be more careful and really listen to the people.
There is even a better way to use the voice of the people in governing a country. That would be to ask the people by lottery to make their own proposals instead of politicians doing it for them. They need guidance from specialists and information of course. But we could do without politics in a lot of cases.
In all honesty politicians are similar to the old aristocracy. They are established and take really good care of themselves but are only using our votes for their own purposes.
Some call it a cartel. They are right by the way. A referendum could control their power but I think we need to do more.
We need to give the power back to the people and go for a governing of the country by the people through lottery. As David Van Reybrouck mentioned in his book , Against Elections , elections are the most undemocratic form of Democracy.