Meaning of Plebiscite (What it is, Concept and Definition)

What is Plebiscite:

A plebiscite is a referendum in which the people are summoned to express their opinion on certain political or legal decisions in an electoral process.

The plebiscites are citizen participation mechanismstypical of democracy, activated by public powers so that the people have the possibility of expressing their agreement or disagreement with a certain legal or juridical issue, or with some government measure.

Generally, plebiscites submit one or several questions to the electorate for consideration, which can be answered simply, with a yes or no. In this sense, the winning option will be the one that obtains the absolute majority of votes.

The purpose of the plebisciteas such, is the political legitimation of the measure or resolution that will be adopted based on the results of the popular consultation.

The word plebiscite, as such, comes from Latin plebiscītumand is composed of the Latin roots plebiswhich translates ‘of the plebs’, and scitumwhich means ‘decree’, that is, decree or law of the plebs.

Plebiscite and referendum

He referendum either referendum It is a mechanism of citizen participation through which the people can approve or reject a law or administrative act through suffrage. He plebisciteOn the other hand, it involves a consultation to submit certain actions or resolutions of particular importance to the people’s consideration, before their execution. In this sense, while the referendum grants the electoral body the ability to decide on a normative act, the plebiscite is, fundamentally, a mechanism to obtain its opinion on a matter.

Roman plebiscite

In ancient Rome, as plebiscite was called the law that established the plebs at the proposal of his tribune or magistrate in the senate. Plebiscites acquired greater importance as time went by. Initially, this process was carried out separately from the upper classes, and only required commoners. However, later all the people had to abide by it, including the patricians or nobles.

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