- a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.
Wikipedia says: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendum
So, what does this mean for the Highland referendum I am seeing?
In simple terms, it is a legal process to take a decision by a governing body and petition to get it to a citizen vote in a ballot.
So, if I sign the petition, does that mean I am “voting” now one way or another on this issue? No, not necessarily. You could be a fence sitter and not entirely sure at this point. It is important to note that by signing this petition you are saying you want the citizens of Highland to have a say in this by putting it on a ballot (likely November 2021). This also means you could be unsure, agree or disagree at this point. But that you agree it should be a citizen vote.
At the ballot time (likely Nov 2021), you can vote for or against it. We just believe we all should have a say in it. Once the trails are sold, they are gone forever.
Some may say, well, we elected government officials to represent us, so why do I need to worry about this? I should just trust what they do. This is the entire purpose of the referendum process. When a ruling is done that is not agreeable with a large body of citizens, they can challenge a ruling, and get it to a citizen vote. One of the beauties of America! It can be viewed as a check and balance on your elected officials.
Well, I don’t know enough about this issue at this time to sign a petition? Again, the petition is to bring this to a vote and is NOT the “vote” now. Yes, you may already feel strong one way or the other. And maybe your vote is already determined. But for some, they don’t know enough yet. If you aren’t sure, by signing the referendum petition, it allows you more time to study the issue and become all the more informed when it does reach a ballot, where your vote is your final word from you. Right now, you are just voting to put it on a ballot.