Das gescheiterte Referendum zum Friedensvertrag in Kolumbien taugt nicht zur Delegitimierung von Volksabstimmungen

Brexit in UK, Ukraine-Abkommen in den Niederlanden, Flüchtlinge in Ungarn: Volksabstimmungen scheinen in letzter Zeit nichts als schlechte Nachrichten zu produzieren. Jetzt kommt das gescheiterte Friedens-Referendum in Kolumbien dazu. Ist das ein Grund, Volksabstimmungen generell zu misstrauen? Nicht, wenn man genauer hinschaut.

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Das Brexit-Referendum: Sieg für die Demokratie?

War das Referendum doch zumindest ein Sieg für die Demokratie? Im Ergebnis wohl nicht. Demokratietheoretisch darf die Kritik freilich nicht beim Ergebnis, sondern bei der Entscheidung für das Referendum ansetzen: War die Austrittsfrage eine für ein Referendum geeignete Frage, oder hätte diese dem Parlament vorbehalten sein müssen? Vieles spricht hier für Letzteres.

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Calling Europe into Question: the British and the Greek referenda

On this day last year, Greeks woke up facing a referendum result that very few had expected. Almost a year later, on the 24th of June 2016, British and other Europeans woke up overwhelmingly surprised by the ‘Leave’ vote. Despite their significant differences, the Greek and the British referenda have some important things in common. Reading them together might have something to teach us about referenda on the EU—especially now that more people seem to be asking for one in their own country.

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Populists chairing the European Commission and Parliament

No, the title of this post does not refer to a dystopia to come after the next European elections in 2019. It refers to the two presidents of today – Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz. Now why can they be seen as populists in some plausible way? In my view, this is because of the way in which they see politics and the role of the “people” in it.

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Sovereign and misinformed: Brexit as an exercise in democracy?

Rather than criticising the Brexit referendum as a decision-making tool because ‘the people’ don’t have the necessary expertise to take decisions of this magnitude, we should question the conditions in which many UK voters were called to express their opinion. They, like many all over the world, have seen the progressive hollowing-out of those basic rights that make voting the expression of the right to individual and collective self-rule in the first place.

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Five Questions on Brexit to LAURENT PECH

Middlesex Law Professor Laurent Pech on the limits if not perils of direct democracy when citizens to are asked to decide complex policy choices in the absence of a clear understanding of the available options and potential consequences of their vote.

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Schweiz: Diktatur der Mehrheit reloaded

Am Sonntag stimmen die Schweizer_innen über die so genannte "Durchsetzungsinitiative" ab. Aus diesem Anlass und vielen weiteren, die alle einzeln aufzuzählen mich in die Depression stürzen lassen würde, stelle ich erneut auf den Blog, was ich vor mehr als sechs Jahren zum Thema "Wir sind das Volk" geschrieben habe.

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What will happen if the Dutch vote ‘No’ in the Referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement?

On 6 April 2016, a referendum on the approval of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will be held in the Netherlands. This is the direct result of a new law that gives citizens the right to initiate a so-called ‘corrective’ referendum to refute decisions taken at the political level. If the "No" camp prevails, as polls suggest it will, that would not be a victory for democracy as proclaimed by the Dutch initiators of the referendum but rather the opposite. Allowing a relatively small part of the population in a relatively small member state to block the entry into force of an agreement which is approved by the national parliaments of 29 countries and the European Parliament would be very cynical. It would also undermine the consistency and legitimacy of the EU’s external action taking into account that other, largely comparable agreements would remain unaffected.

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