Plebiscite Law and Legal Definition

Plebiscite is any expression or determination of public opinion on some matter. It is a popular vote on a proposed law or on any question submitted to the people. Plebiscite is a direct vote in which the entire electorate is invited to accept or refuse a proposal on some question of usually national importance. It is a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler. Plebiscite is a binding or nonbinding referendum on a proposed law, constitutional amendment, or significant public issue.

In a plebiscite, voters are asked not to choose between alternate regimes or proposals but to confirm or reject the legitimacy of a certain form of government or course of action. Plebiscites are seen as a way for a government to go directly to the people, bypassing intermediaries such as political parties.

The term Plebiscite is originated from Latin word plebiscitum which means decree of the people.