National Politics And Democracy : Government And Political Parties Essay

National Politics And Democracy : Government And Political Parties Essay

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This week’s readings focused on potential electoral reforms, mainly, the introduction of a greater number of referendums, and the effects that more referendums would have on Canadian politics and democracy. I do not agree that we should have more referendums. t. However, I will make three main points which will prove why. First, referendums can be subject to manipulation by governments and political parties to their (the government and political parties) own benefit, which negate the objectives of referendum in the first place. Second, referendums place minority rights at risk both directly (referendum increases likelihood of animosity towards minority group) and indirectly (effect of referendum on minority rights legislation in government). Third, referendums allow for the development of “status quo voters; those with less political knowledge tend to vote for the status quo in referendums. Finally, Canada is not ready to have more referendums at the moment because our citizens have a low civic literacy rate.
Lorenz Blume writes that direct democracy (referenda) does not make for better citizens. A study was conducted to determine if countries that used direct democratic institutions more often than democratic countries that didn’t (93 countries in total). The study measured three main assessments; increased voter turnout, greater interest in politics and increased participation in political action, and third, greater trust in government and political parties, if more referendums are held. Interest in politics and the incentive to discuss political matters are never significantly associated with referendums and initiatives. In other words, citizens who have greater say in the matters of the state (because of referendum) does not ...

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...o the Costa Rican constitution. The referendum deeply divided the nation, with support for the treaty, and support for a more socialist approach split. While the government and President Arias were officially neutral, the heavily biased propaganda campaign in favour of the treaty made the referendum appear as a tool for citizen manipulation rather than an instance of informed citizen participation. Documents circulated that Arias was withholding government funds to mayors who did not support the Yes campaign. Arias also made subtle remarks trying to associate the No campaign with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, or Venezuelan President Chavez; both socialist leaders. The treaty narrowly passed and while many suspected Arias and the NLP (National Liberation Party) of being bias, Arias stayed on as president until 2010, and the NLP stayed government until 2014. (Breuer 464).

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