Deliberative Constitutional Referendums in Deeply Divided Societies

(2020) 53 University of British Columbia Law Review 203

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.2

37 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2020

See all articles by Ian O'Flynn

Ian O'Flynn

University of Newcastle - School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Ron Levy

Australian National University

Date Written: February 18, 2020

Abstract

If referendums are not carefully designed and conducted so as to promote moderation, they may undermine deliberation and hence undermine one of the necessary or principal conditions of their own success. Naturally, there is no suggestion here chat referendums can solve all the ills that deeply divided societies face or that democracy can be reduced to referendums. Yet, if skilfully and sensitively designed, they can play a crucial role, so long, that is, as ordinary people are made to feel that their views count for something in the process.

Keywords: referendums, deliberation, design

Suggested Citation

O'Flynn, Ian and Levy, Ron, Deliberative Constitutional Referendums in Deeply Divided Societies (February 18, 2020). (2020) 53 University of British Columbia Law Review 203, ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 20.2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3540564

Ian O'Flynn

University of Newcastle - School of Geography, Politics and Sociology ( email )

United Kingdom

Ron Levy (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600
Australia

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