A quarter of the electorate sits tight in a general election, more than two-thirds snub the European Parliament polls, local government voting is abysmal. In a volatile political atmosphere, such as we enjoy at present, referendums would presumably come thick and fast. There might be occasions - issues that transcend narrow sectional interests: the Road Construction (Hedgehog Underpasses) (Amendment) Bill, perhaps - when 64 per cent of the electorate (the hardly impressive turnout for the 1975 EEC Membership vote) could be induced to resolve a Lords/Commons impasse. But they would be rarities.
More likely, each referendum would prove a mere forum for the chattering classes. It would do wonders for their egos without adding much to the gloomy subtleties of parliamentary democracy.
Farnborough, HampshireReuse content