Are referendums a good thing? A referendum on say... THE ALTERNATIVE VOTE SYSTEM - is it good that we're being allowed to decide whether or not we use it? Are we informed enough? Most of us here have probably read summaries of the pros and cons, but we're not the majority, and even then, there are surely nuances to those pros and cons that most of us aren't able to fully appreciate. Are we only being allowed to vote on it because the people responsible realise the outcome won't really make much difference in the overall scheme of things (which is my instinct anyway)? In that case, what's the point?
How about if PR ever becomes a genuine possibility - should that be put to referendum? Its implementation surely *would* vastly change the political landscape of the country, but how many of us can really grasp what the effects of that would be and whether or not they'd be beneficial? It's the role of experts to decide these things on our behalf, isn't it? Okay, most of them have agendas, but then so do we. All we, the general public, should have a say in is the vague direction we want the country to go, and we get that every five years or so at general elections. What the fuck do we know about how to *get us* in that direction?
Perhaps there are things we *could* feasibly have referendums on - moral issues, mainly, like whether or not we want the death penalty to be reinstated or abortions to be legal. Because that sort of thing should reflect the mood of the country, no? And while both have financial and other practical implications, the moral ones surely outweigh them. PR though? The Lisbon Treaty? Who are we to decide?