What is a plebiscite?
This word came into Russian from Latin: plebiscitum, from plebs - the common people and scitum - the decision, the decree.
Hence it is easy to conclude what a plebiscite is. This is a decision, and sometimes a law, which is adopted by universal suffrage of the people of countries and is the most important.
Often the word “referendum” is considered to be synonymous with the word plebiscite - also universal voting on especially important issues.
The difference between the meanings of the words "plebiscite" and "referendum"
- Plebiscite is carried out with the purpose of solving international issues, often related to the accession of the territory of another state or solving the issue of citizenship of persons of the annexed territory. This may be an issue related to secession from the state. For example, the accession of Nice and Savoy to France in 1860
- The referendum is a universal vote, held on particularly important domestic issues. So, as a result of the referendum, the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted on December 12, 1993.
Thus, despite the similarity of the referendum and the plebiscite from a legal point of view, these words differ in their meaning.