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Refer[end]um or referendum(b)?
Abuse of referendum is widely practiced across the world...

With growing complexities in political arena and with increase in involvement of civil societies in governance, the role of referendum is ever increasing. It’s becoming the most sought-after form of direct democracy. Well, referendums not only depict the increasing legitimacy of decision-making but also enhances the political participation of citizens as well. But then, like normal elections, referendums are also largely abused in political arena. Last year, the Burmese generals went ahead with the constitutional referendum amidst the humanitarian crisis and asked the voters to either vote in the presence of them or hand over their ballots to the authorities. The voters were left with no option but to support the constitution. Even the French relied on the same method to decide on the establishment of constitution for Europe. And surprisingly 55% of voters rejected the treaty. Every time there was a need for a referendum, successive Croat Government executed the Croat referendum (about sovereignty related clauses) in various states during the Silence period and thus led to a serious violation of the rules and regulations that clearly defined that there should be no referendums during the Silence period. Likewise, when the Colombian referendum was held for the re-election of President Álvaro Uribe, a company named DMG donated 4.7 million pesos to influence the voting. The last and biggest on the list is the very recent incident wherein Venezuelan voters abolished term limits for Hugo Chavez and allowed him to continue the term all over again, going bluntly against the constitution which stipulated it to three terms only for any elected person.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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