Decision-making by referendum
'Direct democracy' is a term for processes that allow people to decide on public issues, as opposed to indirect democracy that merely allows them to choose representatives who then make the decisions, It is sometimes claimed that this is the most genuinely democratic form of government; indeed, some say that the arguments against it are arguments against democracy itself (Bogdanor 1981), This chapter argues that we need to treat such claims with caution. It describes the range of direct democratic devices in use around the world, outlines the arguments for and against direct democracy, and discusses the New Zealand experience. It is in the New Zealand setting that we see some of the best and worst features of direct democracy, so it makes an interesting testing ground.
New Zealand Government and Politics
Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific