Rotten Referendums

While referendums seem like a great way to raise political engagement, they are risky (hello Great Britain) because they treat every issue in isolation, ignoring the inevitable and painful political and budgetary trade-offs inherent in lawmaking. This results in incoherent outcomes such as simultaneously demanding lower taxes and more government spending. While representative government may be lousy, direct democracy via referendums is worse, unless the issue is simple and local.

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