Story: Referendums

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke was an 18th-century British parliamentarian and political thinker who achieved prominence for his political ideas, including his support for the American Revolution and his opposition to the French Revolution. Burke argued that the reasoned views of elected representatives should have priority over what he saw as the whim of the electorate. This has remained the standard view among British parliamentarians, who have generally had a low opinion of referendums.

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How to cite this page:

Nigel Roberts, 'Referendums - Representative democracy and referendums', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 March 2024)

Story by Nigel Roberts, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 30 Aug 2016, updated 1 Dec 2020