Plebiscite

Plebiscite (ATP)

A popular vote procedure whose use lies exclusively within the control of an authority. In this form the author of the ballot proposal and the initiator of the procedure are the same (for example parliament or president).

PLEBISCITE

Designates a type of popular vote procedures (see –> Typyology). A plebiscite is a public consultation controlled „from above“. It is the powers that be (the President, Prime Minister, Parliament) which decide when and on what subject the people will be asked to vote or give their opinion. Rather than being an active subject in control of the procedure, people (popular votes) become means to an end which is determined by a representative authority.

Plebiscites give ruling politicians additional power over citizens. They are used to evade responsibility for controversial issues which have become an impediment, they are used to provide legitimacy for decisions those in power have already taken, they are used to mobilize people behind rulers and parties, and they are used by an authority to bypass another representative authority. The aim of a plebiscite is not to implement democracy, but to reinforce or salvage those in power with the help of „the people“.

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