Author: Martin Rosema
This special issue about the practice of local referendums in the Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium, focuses in particular on the relationship between referendums and the consensus model of democracy. On the one hand, referendums are widely conceived of as a typical majoritarian device. On the other hand, the legal possibility of referendums forces politica! elites to reach broad agreement, in order to prevent a popular vote in which decisions would be recalled. The three contributions to this issue demonstrate that consensus democracy influences the debate about referendums in the legislative, as well as how the practicalities are organised, in more varied ways. Studies of independent referendum bodies in the Netherlands and question wording in referendums in Flanders show that the nature of consensus democracy enables both countries to find solutions to potential problems, but also brings new problems. Guidelines for how these may be prevented in future referendums are provided.
How to Cite: Rosema, M. (2009) “Het referendum in de consensusdemocratie”, Res Publica. 51(1).