A comparative analysis of the experiences in EU countries
The citizens’ Initiative – which allows citizens to propose legislation- has been used in several European countries. The chapter outlines the effects and implications of this often overlooked institution
The chapter presents one of the first ever comparative analyses of the recall. IT is concluded that the recall is a modest and rarely used mechanism which rarely lead to the recall of elected officials. In a historical section the chapter shows how the recall has been advocated by political theorists such as Marx and Lenin.
Using the example of the European Union, the chapter analyses referendums on European Integration and finds that voters, by and large, are informed about the issues and that the outcomes of referendums on the subject reflect the preferences of the voters.
The chapter presents an analysis of the reasons why the Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty in the referendum in 2008. It is shown that class-voting is still a potent factor explaining the outcomes of referendums.
The chapter presents an overview of referendums on electoral reform using the 2011 British referendum on AV as a comparative case study. The chapter shows that voters, contrary to the received wisdom – are not inclined to vote no, and that there have been several examples of electoral reforms, which have been endorsed in referendums.
The chapter discusses how the courts increasingly have been involved in controlling direct legislation. Using a case study of the United States, the tendency of the court to annul legislation adopted by the people is discussed critically.
The chapter surveys the legislation and regulation of referendums and initiatives in selected countries. It discusses questions such as: how much money can you spend in a referendum campaign, why do some countries allow limitless spending, whereas others limit campaign spending?