Taking the Party out of Politics
The idea of a referendum is to ask the people what they want. To give the people an opportunity to say what they really think. But it is really about resolving an argument between two different factions within a political party.
A referendum needs a question which is easy to understand, and simple to answer. Otherwise the resulting vote doesn't give direction. But life isn't simple. Important questions aren't simple. That's why people argue for deliberative democracy.
When all the dust has settled, and the campaigning groups have gone home, who is responsible for any irresponsible campaigning? What if any lies were told? Who is to blame? No one, it seems.