Monday, 22 October 2007

Criteria for a Referendum

What is it that makes some issues appropriate for a public vote?

  1. Complexity/simplicity of the subject? Most votes can be boiled down to simple issues!
  2. The time and media coverage available to address the issue? Each vote is an interactive media story.
  3. The public's capacity to give due consideration to the pros and cons? Opinion leaders with media access are important to the debate.
  4. Cost of administering the referendum? Interactive Democracy benefits from low cost IT services.
  5. National security considerations?... Decisions may be based on secrets!... Or they may be based on morals?
  6. Frequent votes may lead to overload and voter apathy! But people can vote on many issues at one sitting and may not vote at all on issues they have no feelings about.

It seems to me that when politicians decide if there should be a referendum, there's a little voice in the back of their heads saying "Only do it if you are sure we will win!"

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