There is this unclearly thought of clichéd saying that majority is always right, simple logic does not support this. For instance, if out of 20 students in a classroom, 18 say 1+1 is 11 and 2 argue that 1+1 is 2, does this mean by virtue of democracy and majority always being right makes the 18 right even when simple arithmetic does not agree? I know it’s not such a classy example but for a logical argument, it does do the job.
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”
― Leo Tolstoy,
Is it ever sensible or reasonable to allow an issue that holds high stakes to be given to a populace of any country to vote on when many or most of them do not clearly understand the consequences of either decision in the long or short term?
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th ED defines a referendum as a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision. But why does the global democratic sphere allow the electorate, some who might not even comprehend or understand what the words, democracy, referendum or electorate mean to make a decision on such matters? Perhaps democracy should be amended? It’s an open question and am certain many have thought about this.
Many issues regarding the argument for the effectiveness of the robust nature of democracy have been highlighted in various referendums world over but the Brexit (The United Kingdom leaving the European Union) and Scottish Referendum opting for independence have been relevant examples due to the pools of how the electorates voted, mostly, millennials versus older generation voters. And with referendums or a democratic vote, what happens when the result is marginal? automatic divisibility? This whole thing is major conundrum coming to think about it even more.
My own country Zambia will be having a referendum on a bill of rights issue. Many individuals I’ve had an exchange with indepthly or at arms lengths regarding the referendum vote have had challenges understanding what this whole thing is about, yet they will go out in numbers and vote “Yes” or “No” without clearly understanding what it will all mean when they do and facing the consequences of the outcome in hindsight like every other referendum situation.
Well, it’s the game of politics I guess.