Governmental authorities initiating a referendum vote generally seek legitimation for policies on the government agenda, will regularly advocate an affirmative vote, and will have many ways of influencing process and outcome, including official communication resources.Therefore, the term Mandatory referenda also very often originate from governmental authorities entitled to bring forward proposals for which ratification by a referendum vote is required, particularly in the case of constitutional amendments or matters of state sovereignty, territory, or identity.For instance, as political scientist George Tsebelis notes, referendum voters can be seen as an additional veto player.
One must also keep in mind that direct-democratic processes cannot operate in isolation but are always linked to the structures of an overall political system that includes major representative institutions.
Thus, interactions between the two types of institutions will be an important challenge for analysis.
So, in many countries, direct-democratic institutions have not been established or implemented since representative elites developed a strong interest in monopolizing power.
In addition, pragmatic theories contended that direct democracy could not work under space and time conditions of large modern states.
However, there may be some differences in the degree to which voters have a direct influence on the final outcome of an electoral procedure (e.g., fixed or flexible list of candidates, direct vote, or vote for members of an intermediate body).
In recall procedures, interrupting routine patterns of fixed office terms may stress the aspect of citizens reclaiming control of office functions.Normative theory of direct democracy still rests basically on popular sovereignty, freedom, and political equality, with Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the outstanding theorist of unanimous consent of the people for a free republican constitution and subsequent forms of participation.During the 19th century, these principles were increasingly challenged, or they were deprived of their substance beyond representative institutions.Their main forms can be distinguished by the actors who start the procedure.Mandatory referenda have to be held when a referendum vote is required by law (e.g., a constitution) for deciding a specific subject.Constitutions, civil rights, and universal suffrage, which had been achieved in European and many other countries (generally by the end of World War I), were usually identified with “democracy” on the normative basis of the principles of popular sovereignty, freedom, and political equality.Thus, in many countries and theories, these principles have been tied to and absorbed by a narrow notion of representative democracy rather than being used to support a more comprehensive concept of democracy.In practice, recall options of executive office holders are much more common than of members of legislative bodies or of complete legislatures.Procedural types of direct democracy should be distinguished according to the main initiating actor of a procedure because they typically show different features regarding the agenda setter, the contents and wording of the proposal, the function of the ballot vote in terms of legitimation, innovation, and so on.referenda of governmental authorities take place when a president, cabinet, or legislature decides, under preregulated conditions or ad hoc, to call a popular vote on a particular issue.Sometimes, a minority of a legislature also is entitled to demand such a vote.