Hilter is a municipality in the district Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located in the hills of the Teutoburg Forest.

As of 2004 it has a population of 10,179, and covers an area of 52.61 km². Highest elevation is the Hohnangel with 262 m above sea level.

The municipality was formed on July 1, 1972 by merging the municipalities Borgloh, Hankenberge and Hilter. Already in 1970 the municipalities Allendorf, Borgloh-Wellendorf, Ebbendorf, Eppendorf and Uphöfen were merged into the Einheitsgemeinde Borgloh.

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Already in 1970 the municipalities Allendorf, Borgloh-Wellendorf, Ebbendorf, Eppendorf and Uphöfen were merged into the Einheitsgemeinde Borgloh. In addition, under the 1972 Local Government Act, there is a little-known provision under which non-binding local referendums on any issue can be called by small groups of voters. The municipality was formed on July 1, 1972 by merging the municipalities Borgloh, Hankenberge and Hilter. As of 2004 the British government is currently committed to holding a UK-wide referendum on the new EU Constitution, as well as on any plan to adopt the euro as the UK's currency or to change from 'first past the post' to an alternative electoral system. Highest elevation is the Hohnangel with 262 m above sea level. There have also been referendums held at the local level on proposals for directly elected local mayors. As of 2004 it has a population of 10,179, and covers an area of 52.61 km². However many referendums have been held in individual parts of the United Kingdom on issues relating to devolution in Scotland and Wales, and the status of Northern Ireland.

It is located in the hills of the Teutoburg Forest. Referendums are rare and only once has a referendum proposal been put to the entire electorate of the UK; this was a referendum in 1975 on membership of the European Economic Community. Hilter is a municipality in the district Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. Owing to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty a binding referendum cannot be held in the United Kingdom (UK). Even referendums on tax cuts are often not passed. Citizens' initiatives are usually not passed.

The decisions made in referendums tend to be conservative. However, the percentage of voters is generally very low, about 20 to 30 percent unless there is an election. Elections are as well often combined with referendums. The votes on referendums are always held on a Sunday, typically three or four times a year, and in most cases, the votes concern several referendums at the same time, often at different political levels (federal, cantonal, municipal).

The referendums slow politics down. In many cases, the mere threat of a facultative referendum or of an initiative is enough to make the parliament adjust a law. The possibility of facultative referendums forces the parliament to search for a compromise between the major interest groups. There are two types of referendums:.

They are a central feature of Swiss political life. In Switzerland, there are binding referendums at federal, cantonal and municipal level. Two, in 1957 and 1980, were multiple choice referendums. All have been non-binding, consultative referendums.

Since the introduction of parliamentary democracy six referendums have been held in Sweden: the first was on prohibition in 1922 and the most recent on euro membership in 2003. The Constitution of Sweden provides for both binding and non-binding referendums. Any citizen entitled to vote in an election to the Chamber of Deputies may participate in a referendum. It is forbidden to call a referendum regarding financial laws or laws relating to pardons or the ratification of international treaties.

The referendum is valid only if at least a majority of electors goes to the polling station. A referendum can be called in order to abrogate totally or partially a law, but only at the request of 500,000 electors or five regional councils. The constitution of Italy provides for binding referendums. However such a referendum can only take place in rare circumstances and so none has yet occurred.

The constitution also provides for a referendum on an ordinary law known as the 'ordinary referendum'. However the role of the president is merely ceremonial and she cannot refuse to sign an amendment into law that has been legitimately approved in a referendum. Constitutional amendments are first adopted by both Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament), then submitted to a referendum and finally signed into law by the President. In the Republic of Ireland it is mandatory that every constitutional amendment be approved by referendum and since 1937 over twenty constitutional referendums have occurred.

The current Constitution of Ireland was adopted by plebiscite on 1 July 1937. It was later modified to provides for the establishment of a committee by the parliament to be elected in December of 2005 to consider changes to the constitution in 2006. The coalition was designed to shift crucial decisions about government, the judiciary and human rights to a future national assembly. The Iraq referendum was voted on by the Iraqi people in on 15 October 2005, two years after the invasion of by the United States led coaliton to oust Saddam Hussein.

The TCE has both been rejected by proponents of national sovereignty and by the left-wing liberal anti-globalization movement in France. The other EU countries, apart from Spain and Luxembourg, approved it during parliamentary votes. The "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" (TCE) was rejected in France and Netherlands in popular referendums.

The 1980 Quebec referendum and 1995 Quebec referendum on the secession of Québec are notable cases. Referendums can also occur at the provincial level. Although the Constitution of Canada does not expressly require that amendments be approved by referendum some argue that, in light of the precedent set by the Charlottetown Accord referendum, this may have become an unwritten convention. The most recent was a referendum in 1992 on a package of proposed constitutional measures known as the Charlottetown Accord.

Referendums are rare in Canada and only three have ever occurred at the federal level. Due to the specific mention of referenda in the Australian constitution, non-constitutional referenda are usually termed plebescites in Australia. Out of the 44 referendums held since federation in 1901, only eight have been passed, making the Australian referendum system one of the most restrictive in the developed world. If a majority of those voting, as well as separate majorities in each of a majority of states, (and where appropriate a majority of people in any affected state) vote in favour of the amendment, it is presented for Royal Assent, given in the Queen's name by the Governor-General.

A bill must first be passed by both houses of Parliament or, in certain limited circumstances, by only one house of Parliament, and is then submitted to a referendum. Approval in a referendum is necessary in order to amend the Australian constitution. Other voting methods that could be employed are Condorcet's Method and approval voting that are not subject to the effects of irrelevant alternatives and less susceptible to insincere preference intensity. Critics of the Borda count argue that it is particularly susceptible to tactical voting and to the tactical nomination of candidates, and that it may produce results that are opposed by a majority of voters.

The De Borda Institute argues that the Borda count would produce results based on consensus rather than majoritarianism; it is therefore suggested for use in plebiscites held in areas of conflict such as Northern Ireland, the Balkans or Kashmir. Some groups, such as the Northern Ireland De Borda Institute, advocate the conduct of referendums using the Borda count form of preferential voting, and refer to such a vote as a Borda 'preferendum'. In the 1977 Australian referendum the winner was chosen by the system of Instant Run-off Voting (also known as the 'Alternative Vote'). In other words the winning option was deemed to be that supported by a plurality, rather than an absolute majority, of voters.

In the Swedish case, in both referendums the 'winning' option was chosen by the Single Member Plurality ("first past the post") system. Swiss referendums get around this problem by offering a separate vote on each of the multiple options as well as an additional decision about which of the multiple options should be preferred. This can be resolved by applying voting systems designed for single winner elections to a multiple-choice referendum. A multiple choice referendum poses the problem of how the result is to be determined if no single option receives the support of an absolute majority (i.e., more than half) of voters.

In Switzerland, for example, multiple choice referendums are common; two multiple choice referendums held in Sweden, in 1957 and 1980, offered voters a choice of three options; and in 1977 a referendum held in Australia to determine a new national anthem was held in which voters were presented with four choices. A referendum usually offers the electorate only two choices, either to accept or reject a proposal, but this need not necessarily be the case. If one issue is in fact, or in perception, related to another on the ballot, the imposed simultaneous voting of first preference on each issue can result in an outcome that is displeasing to most voters. A difficulty which can plague a referendum of two issues or more is called the separability problem.

Some critics of the referendum attack the usual practice of only offering the electorate two options, of either accepting or rejecting a proposal, in a referendum. The repeated holding of a referendum on a single issue has been pejoratively referred to as the phenomenon of the "never-end-um". This is especially a problem where a proposal may be difficult to reverse, such as secession from a larger country or the abolition of a monarchy. A further perceived flaw of the referendum is that in some circumstances the democratic spirit of the referendum may be flouted by the repeated submission to the referendum of a proposal until it is eventually endorsed, perhaps due to a low turn-out or public fatigue with the issue.

Many of the arguments used by those who oppose the referendum are summarised in the following comment made in an interview in 2003 by the British politician Chris Patten concerning the possibility of a referendum in the UK on the European Union Constitution:. Hitler's use of the plebiscite is one reason why, since World War II, there has been no provision in Germany for the holding of referendums at the federal level. Some opposition to the referendum has arisen from its use by dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini who, it is argued, used the plebiscite to clothe oppressive policies in a veneer of legitimacy. Some argue that tools such as the referendum may lead to the "tyranny of the majority" and to the erosion of the rights of individuals and minorities.

Voters might furthermore be swayed by strong personalities, or the adverse influence of propaganda or expensive advertising campaigns. It is also argued that voters in a referendum may be driven by transient whims rather than careful deliberation, or that they may not be sufficiently well informed to take decisions on complicated or technical issues. Examples of these would include laws abolishing slavery, granting universal sufferage and removing prohibitions on homosexual relationships in various countries. As evidence, many critics frequently cite numerous controversial changes which did not appear to have the support of a majority of voters at the time and so presumable would have failed under a referendum but which are now strongly supported by the majority of voters.

Some opponents therefore insist that the referendum is used by politicians as a way of abrogating responsibility in the taking of difficult or controversial decisions. As often conceived by such opponents, representative democracy is a system in which elected officials are the exercisers of independent judgement rather than merely delegates bound to robotically carry out the wishes of voters. Opponents of the referendum argue that representative democracy is superior to direct democracy. Other advocates insist that the principle of popular sovereignty demands that certain foundational questions, such as the adoption or amendment of a constitution, the secession of a state or the altering of national boundaries, be determined with the directly expressed consent of the people.

Some adopt a strict definition of democracy in which elected parliaments are merely a necessary expedient needed to make governance possible in the large, modern nation-state; direct democracy is nonetheless preferable and so a referendum must always take preference over a decision of parliament. Advocates of the referendum argue that certain decisions are best taken out of the hands of political elites and determined directly by the people. Nonetheless the referendum is sometimes the subject of controversy. Furthermore, in most jurisdictions that practice them, referendums are relatively rare occurrences and are restricted to issues of major importance.

Although some advocates of direct democracy would have the referendum become the dominant institution of government, in practice, in almost all cases, the referendum exists solely as a complement to the system of representative democracy, in which most major decisions are made by an elected legislature. For example, in the Republic of Ireland only citizens may vote in a referendum whereas British citizens resident in the state are entitled to vote in general elections. The franchise in a referendum is not necessarily the same as that for elections. An alternative is to insist on a certain minimum absolute number of yes votes before a measure can be deemed to have been carried—or of no votes if it is to be deemed vetoed.

This is intended to ensure that the result is representative of the will of the electorate and is analogous to the quorum required in a committee or legislature. In some countries there is also a requirement that there be a certain minimum turn-out of the electorate in order for the result of a referendum to be considered valid. In Lithuania certain proposals must be endorsed by a three-quarters majority. However a referendum may also require the support of a super-majority, such as two-thirds of votes cast.

In most referendums it is sufficient for a measure to be approved by a simple majority of voters in order for it to be carried. In countries, such as the United Kingdom, in which referendums are neither mandatory nor binding there may, nonetheless, exist an unwritten convention that certain important constitutional changes will be put to a referendum and that the result will be respected. in Ireland). In countries in which a referendum must be initiated by parliament it is sometimes mandatory to hold a binding referendum on certain proposals, such as constitutional amendments (e.g.

In the United States the term referendum is often reserved for a direct vote initiated by a legislature while a vote originating in a petition of citizens is referred to as an "initiative," "ballot measure" or "proposition.". The process of initiating a referendum by petition is known as the popular or citizen's initiative. In other circumstances a referendum is usually initiated either by a legislature or by citizens themselves by means of a petition. A foundational referendum or plebiscite may be drafted by a constituent assembly before being put to voters.

According to an authoritative study by Matt Qvortrup (A Comparative Study of Referendums 2006), only Sweden among democratic nations has not honoured the outcome of a referendum. Nonetheless, actual political circumstances in countries that hold non-binding referendums are such that the results of such a referendum are usually honoured. It is left to the government or legislature to interpret the results of a non-binding referendum and it may even choose to ignore them. A non-binding referendum is merely consultative or advisory.

Referendums may be either binding or non-binding. However the use of referenda is deprecated by the Oxford English Dictionary which advises that:. Referendums and referenda are both commonly used as plurals of referendum. Thus the direct vote that adopted the constitution of the modern Republic of Ireland is referred to as a 'plebiscite' while every subsequent such direct vote has been described as a 'referendum'.

The term referendum is usually preferred to describe routine votes held in liberal democracies. Plebiscites held by undemocratic governments may request approval for a radical governmental decree, or of the general policies of the government. Plebiscite is also often the term used to describe a direct vote held by a dictator or an undemocratic regime, in circumstances in which a free and fair vote is impossible. The terms referendum and plebiscite are often used interchangeably but the term plebiscite is usually preferred in circumstance in which a decision is being made on fundamental issues of sovereignty, such as in determining national borders or adopting a new constitution.

. The referendum or plebiscite is a form of direct democracy. Certain kinds of referendums held in some states of the United States are referred to as ballot measures or propositions. This may be the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy.

A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. The de Borda Institute is at [www.deborda.org]. Defining Democracy puts both two-option and multi-option referendums into their historical context, and suggests which are the more accurate measures of "the will of the people". Emerson, P J.

2004 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/breakfast_with_frost/2954232.stm. Retrieved 13 Oct. bbc.co.uk. Interview with Chris Patten, EU Commissioner for External Affairs (2003).

Commonwealth, or Estado Libre Asociado, has won each of those referendums. Puerto Rico: Several referendums have taken place since 1967, including one in 1994 and another one in 1998, seeking an answer to the century-old question of what do Puerto Ricans want for the archipielago of nearly 4 million inhabitants: Independence (Comprising Republic and a Associated Republic , Statehood or mantain the Commonwealth status. This referendum was offered by the government as part of a violence minimization initiative known as project disarmament.. Brazil: In October 2005, 122 million voters have decided to continue to allow the sale of firearms in Brazil.

Also, in 1986 another referendum approved Spain's membership to NATO. Spaniards chose (94%) to change ("Referéndum para la reforma política", literally «Referendum in order to the political reformation»). Spain: In 1976 a referendum was held to determine if citizens wanted to change the political system (i.e., the dictatorship) or not to change it, after the death of Francisco Franco. state initiative is probably California's Proposition 13 which severely limited property tax increases.

The most famous U.S. However the constitutions of 24 states and many local and city governments provide for referendums and citizen's initiatives. United States: There is no provision for the holding of referendums at the federal level in the United States. France: In France a constitutional amendment must be approved by either a super-majority in parliament or by the people in a referendum.

Very few such initiatives pass the vote, but more often, the parliamentary counter proposal is approved. Often, parliament elaborates a counter-proposal to an initiative, leading to a multiple-choice referendum. Constitutional amendments are either proposed by the parliament or the cantons, or they may be proposed by citizens' initiatives, which—on the federal level—need to collect 100,000 valid signatures within 18 months, and must not contradict international laws or treaties. In many municipalities, expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money also are subject to the obligatory referendum.

Obligatory referendum: There must be a referendum on any amendments to the constitution and on any joining of a multinational community or organization for collective security. The facultative referendum is the most usual type of referendum, and it is mostly carried out by political parties or by interest groups. In cantons and municipalities, the required number of people is smaller, and there may be additional causes for a faculatative referendum, e.g., expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money. Facultative referendum: Any federal law, certain other federal resolutions, and international treaties that are either perpetual and irredeemable, joinings of an international organization, or that change Swiss law may be subject to a facultative referendum if at least 50,000 people or eight cantons have petitioned to do so within 100 days.

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