Should vital matters of peace and economic prosperity be decided by public referendum?



All you need to know about the world this 
week
SEE ALL ISSUES
EDITOR'S LETTER
On Refugee Week
NEWS FEATURE 1
Picking up the pieces after the Grenfell Tower tragedy
NEWS FEATURE 2
Going against the Asian flow, South Korea axes nuclear power
DIGEST AMERICAS
Trump on Cuba: Tough talk, moderate action
DIGEST AMERICAS
Amazon and Whole Foods: ‘Love at first sight’
DIGEST EUROPE
Are Europe’s elites divided and out of touch?
DIGEST EUROPE
A corruption saga topples Romania’s government
DIGEST EUROPE
FIFA’s new rule to fight racism in football
DIGEST EUROPE
Does Theresa May’s gamble risk peace in Northern Ireland?
DIGEST ASIA-PACIFIC
Thailand continues social media crackdown
DIGEST AFRICA
Smooth criminal? Equatorial Guinea’s heir apparent goes on trial
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
A palace reshuffle in Riyadh
DIGEST MIDDLE EAST
The sands are shifting in eastern Syria
THE PICTURE
A forest of fire
GOOD NEWS
DELL will recycle plastic waste from Haiti’s beaches for laptop packaging
A cholesterol-lowering vaccine could be imminent
THE  INFOGRAPHIC
Humanity on the move
IN SCIENCE
China kicks off a quantum space race
IN MEDICINE
Archaeologists discover a lost Ethiopian city
IN TECHNOLOGY
Can your father’s age determine your intelligence?
www.spiegel.de
A German Giant: The Political Legacy of Helmut Kohl - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International
roadsandkingdoms.com
Living to the Rhythm of the Race - Roads & Kingdoms
www.bbc.co.uk
Chicago goes high-tech in search of answers to gun crime surge - BBC News
DEBATE
POLITICS
Should vital matters of peace and economic prosperity be decided by public referendum? 9

This week, the Colombian people delivered a shock to their government by voting to reject the peace deal with FARC that stood to end five decades of conflict. In doing so, they made their voices clear on the future of their country, but they may have also jeopardised it by rejecting the deal negotiated by the government. Similarly, in Britain this year, the people were consulted for the first time in over four decades on membership of the European Union, voting to leave despite the vast majority of experts predicting painful economic consequences. For Swiss people, referendums on all manner of policies are a part of ordinary political life, and have generally functioned relatively smoothly, but when they rejected free movement it left the country tied up in knots over its agreements with the EU. In many instances, representative democracy has left people feeling shut out of the political process, especially when politicians go back on the promises that got them elected. But referendums can often be derailed by media bias, spin and the pull of populism. And on vital issues of peace and economic prosperity, in which votes can often be led as much by the heart as by the head, should the public be the ones who make the final decision with so much at stake? Or is it patronising to assume people are not qualified to have a direct say in the future of their nation?

read more
Share Opinion
LATEST
LEADING
L
Add bio
contributions - pts
Submit
A journalistic initiative Sponsored by:
american-express-sponsor
About this
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.
If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website.
OK