In Australia, a referendum is used to decide on changes to the Constitution, while a plebiscite is generally used for matters of public policy. But what’s the difference between the two? How are they different from each other? And when are they used? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at both referendums and plebiscites in Australia, and explore the differences between them. Stay tuned!
What is a Plebiscite?
A plebiscite is a direct vote in which all citizens are invited to express their opinion on a particular question. This may take the form of a referendum, in which a specific law or proposal is put to a vote, or a general election, in which people vote for their preferred candidate. In most cases, a plebiscite is non-binding, meaning that the government is not obliged to enact the results of the vote. However, it can be used as a tool to gauge public opinion on a particular issue. For example, if a large majority of people voted in favor of a certain policy change, it would likely prompt the government to reconsider its position.
What is a Referendum?
A referendum is a type of voting process that allows a group of people to make a decision on a particular issue. It is usually used in a political context, in order to gauge public opinion on a proposed change to the law or Constitution. In order for a referendum to be binding, it must receive the support of a majority of voters. If the vote is close, or if there is a low turnout, then the result may not be representative of the views of the general population. In some cases, a referendum may be advisory, meaning that it does not have the power to force change, but is instead used as a way to gauge public opinion.
Differences between a Plebiscite and a Referendum
A plebiscite is a direct vote by the people in which they are asked to accept or reject a proposal put forward by the government. A referendum, on the other hand, is a vote in which citizens are asked to approve or reject a change to the constitution.
- The main difference between a plebiscite and a referendum is that a plebiscite does not have the force of law, while a referendum does.
- In other words, a plebiscite is simply an opinion poll, while a referendum is binding.
- Another key difference between a plebiscite and a referendum is that a referendum can only be called by the government, while a plebiscite can be called by either the government or a petition of the people.
Finally, referendums are usually held on issues of national importance, while plebiscites can be held on any issue.
So, what’s the difference between a plebiscite and referendum? A plebiscite is essentially an opinion poll—it doesn’t have any legal force. A referendum, on the other hand, is a vote that has binding legal consequences. If you want to learn more about how these two types of votes work in practice, keep reading our blog. We’ll be covering everything from eligibility requirements to the process of counting votes.