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Listen: The Real Story - Are referendums ever a good idea?

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Listen: The Real Story - Are referendums ever a good idea?

22-02-2019

This week, Democracy International made the case for more citizen participation on the BBC's The Real Story. The panel discussion with Professor Matt Qvortrup of Coventry University, Dr. Alexandra Cirone of Cornell University and Caroline Vernaillen of Democracy International looked into direct democracy best practices and examples form around the world.

This week was another dramatic one in the long-running saga of Brexit, with the possibility of a second referendum to solve the political impasse created by the first still widely discussed. Meanwhile on Sunday in Cuba, which is of course not a democracy, citizens will get to vote in a constitutional referendum that is expected to legitimise private business and open the door - if not positively support - gay marriage, and abortion has now been available in Ireland for two months, after Ireland’s ground-breaking vote last year. In a world in which referendums, plebiscites and citizens initiatives are more common than ever, are these forms of direct democracy really an answer to our political problems? Do they enhance or damage representative democracy? Do they satisfy an important right to be heard, or create deeper divisions in society? This week on The Real Story with Ruth Alexander we ask: Are referendums ever a good idea?

You can listen to the episode here.

Source: BBC World Service, The Real Story.

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