It is not a device of direct legislation but is a method by which the voters can exercise a definite control over their representatives.
The method implies that a prescribed number of citizens may send up a on demanding the dismissal of an elected representative. It prevails some states of the U.S.A.
1. Effective realization of Popular Sovereignty:
The concept of democracy is based on the theory of sovereignty of the people. An effective realization of this principle is possible only if the people have the right to express their judgment upon the measures passed by the legislature as well as the right to propose and initiate legislative and constitutional measures.
The electorate may force an apathetic legislature to pass laws needed by the people and may prevent legislation which does not reflect the wishes of the majority and does not reflect the general interests of the community.
2. Political Education:
Direct democratic devices arc the best means of imparting political education to the masses.
3. Promotes Patriotism:
The system promotes patriotism and sense of responsibility among the masses because they feel themselves closely associated with the process of law making.
They identify themselves with the state and develop a great respect for laws because these reflect their own will.
4. Reduces the baneful influence of Political Parties:
The system of direct democracy reduces to the minimum the baneful influence of political parties and eliminates their evil practices like long-rolling and political man oeuvres.
The voters are less likely to be influenced by special vested interests. They can resist their pressure more easily than a legislature can.
5. Constant touch with the people :
The system enables the legislature to keep in touch with the people at times other than the election period and feel the pulse of the nation.
As Bonjour says “It is the surest method of discovering the wishes of the people—an excellent barometer of the political atmosphere.
” He further says “It compels the legislator to conform to the aspirations of the people, if he docs not wish the fruit of his labour to perish.”
6. Deadlocks are solved:
Referendum is the best method of solving deadlocks between the two chambers of a legislature when other ways of reaching an agreement have failed.
7. Reflection of needs of the people:
The local referendum may adopt general laws to the needs of a particular segment of public by means of local opinion. Also, needs of a particular locality or community can be brought to the notice of the legislature for prompt action on its part through initiative.
8. Accountability to the people:
By recall, the representative can always be held accountable to the constituency. His loyalty to his party can be prevented from taking precedence over his loyalty to the constituency. Political corruption shall be minimized if not completely eliminated.
9. Curbs political alignments:
Direct legislation is a corrective instrument against political blocks and groups and unrepresentative for minority legislators. It can reduce the evils of coalition governments in countries with multiple parties.