(1) It is based on the principle of popular sovereignty:
It is said that the principle of popular sovereignty takes a practical shape in direct legislation. In a representative system, the will of the people does not take a practical shape, because the representatives of the people are under the influence of party politics, press and certain other things. Thus the best mirror of public opinion is referendum.
(2) It lessens the influence of various groups in a legislature:
There are many groups in a legislature and they make laws on the basis of groupism. When the final powers of law-making is not m the minds of the legislature, there will be no influence of groups on a legislature.
(3) Safeguard against majority despotism:
In a representative democracy, the majority party rules arbitrarily and makes the laws for its own ends. The reason is that it has the majority support in the legislature. When final approval of the laws is sought from the people, the majority party cannot make laws arbitrarily because the minority party can rouse the public opinion.
(4) It reduces sectionalism:
Bryce says that popular voting reduced the sectionalism because people from different sections, classes and parties express their opinion on, and works for those matters which are outside the scope of class feeling or party programme.
(5) It imparts political education to the masses:
By gaining law-making power in their hands, the people become conscious about the problems of the country. Thus Benjore says. “This system accelerates the political education of the individual votes and grants real protection against the revolution by introducing leadership”.
(6) It proves to be the best device to remove a deadlock between two Houses of legislature:
In certain countries a deadlock between the two Houses is removed through this system, as the deadlock is removed after the dissolution of both the Houses. This is the system in Switzerland.
(7) Greater moral support behind the laws supported by the public:
The laws which have the public support are more moral. Bryce says, “A law receives greater weight and strength because of the approval of the people; they themselves feel in their duty to obey it and get it obeyed”.
(8) Referendum imparts stability to the Constitution:
The Constitution becomes stable, if every amendment to it is got approved by the people and if they do not change it frequently.
(9) Laws can become a mirror of public opinion by referendum:
Laws and the Constitution can become a mirror of public opinion by referendum.
(10) Responsibility of the Legislature is not lessened:
It is wrong to say that the importance and responsibility of the legislature is reduced by referendum. The reason for this is that every law is not put to referendum but only controversial laws are put to referendum. The legislature, knowing that the Bills can be sent for referendum, makes the Bills carefully. There is no need of referendum for the Bills made carefully. Besides, there is a system in Switzerland according to which urgent laws are not subject to referendum.
A well-known writer Curt says, “A stock argument against referendum is that it reduces the legislature’s sense of responsibility by placing final decision in the hands of the people”. But the opinion of Curt, the greatest Swiss authority on the subject, is that “referendum prevented but little good that we wished to do but singly by standing as a warning before us averted much evil. In spite of backward movements it did not condemn democracy to a halt but has given steadiness to progress itself.”
(11) Referendum is a sort of guarantee against bad laws:
When there is a referendum on laws, the question of bad laws does not arise. Bryce has rightly said, “Referendum is a guarantee against all those laws which are against the popular feelings, because people give their final verdict on the laws passed by the legislature”.