To put it simply as I can, a referendum is a vote that has all the cards on the table before you vote & plebiscites do not . In other words, the referendum tells you what a yes vote will do in the way of new legislation before you vote, where a plebiscite will not.
Of course putting the vote to the people in a plebiscite politicians can wipe their hands of any self responsibility arising from of any dodgy legislation. They will all play the plausible deniability card & say you the people voted for it, even though, & little can people even comprehend it was by uninformed consent from the get go. This is the very reason why there is no room for plebiscites under the Australian Constitution, where any plebiscite put to the people is clearly undermining the Australian Constitution.
They have only managed to pull off three unconstitutional plebiscites in Australian history. First was a beta test on conscription in 1916 which was a non-binding vote to see how stupid people really are & after being successful shortly thereafter the second plebiscite took place in 1917, that was still on the same matter of conscription but was in fact binding. The third was in 1977 on the national anthem.
Advocate / mentor, Co-founder, Co-director – Mathematically Perfected Economy™ (au)
(Published : September o4, 2017, last edit October 04, 2017)