Presentation on theme: "S 128- Referendums From the Study Design Key Knowledge: the process of change by referendum under Section 128 of the Commonwealth Constitution and factors."— Presentation transcript:
S 128- Referendums From the Study Design Key Knowledge: the process of change by referendum under Section 128 of the Commonwealth Constitution and factors affecting its likely success
Factors affecting the likely success of referendum 1.The timing and cost- of a referendum may influence its success. Referendums are very expensive and they’re usually held at the same time as an election to reduce costs, however, this takes the focus away from the referendum. Referendums held at the same time as an election generate less interest as people are more interested in the election and which party to vote into office, rather than considering the referendum being put to them at the same time. It is estimated that the 1999 republic referendum cost over $66 million. This included the cost of a nationwide education program, advertising, the preparation of ballot papers and a poll by the Electoral Commission.
2.The double majority requirements is very strict and means it is not easy to amend the constitution. In particular the requirement of a majority of voters in a majority of states (4/6) is difficult to satisfy. Thirteen unsuccessful referendums failed because five of them did not satisfy the requirement of a majority of voters in a majority of states provision.
3.Lack of bipartisan support- proposed changes are more likely to succeed if they have bipartisan support, that is the support of both major political parties. If a proposal for change is supported by one political party only, then the proposal may gain the support of the supporters of that political party only. Voters generally vote according to their political preferences and the advice of their political party and may be suspicious of a proposal supported by the opposing political party.
4.Distrust, Lack of understanding and Confusing information -referendums are sometimes unsuccessful because of the confusing information sent to consumers. Prior to a referendum reasons for and against are sent to households, members of different political parties argue reasons for and against in the media and this creates further confusion for the general public. When there is confusion in this way voters usually decide to vote against the proposal. Sometimes more than one issue is raised on the same proposal. Sometimes voters agree with some parts of the proposal but not others, and voters then feel they have no choice than to vote against the proposal. Voters may confuse the purpose of a referendum with the purpose of a vote in an election. Alternatively, voters may not understand the actual referendum process. Eg 1988 voter confusion when there were four proposals p 106
5.Voter Conservatism- Voters tend to be conservative and prefer the constitution as it is. Voters are sceptical or suspicious of politicians who want to change our Constitution. Proposals of major changes are less likely to be successful. Eg 1999 referendum to be a republic. A proposal which affects only a small group in society is more likely to succeed eg the retirement age of judges to 70. A ‘no’ vote may be cast to maintain the status quo. 6.Erosion of state’s power- As the Constitution created the Federal parliament they may suspect that a referendum may erode states’ powers. All 17 attempts to increase Commonwealth economic power have been rejected by the states