The first thing we are going to do before knowing the meaning of the term popular consultation is to do the same with the etymological origin of the two words that give it its shape:
-Consult is derived from Latin, exactly from the verb “consult”, which can be translated as “ ask for advice”.
-Popular also comes from Latin. In his case it emanates from the term “popularis”, which means “relative to the people”. It is the result of the sum of the noun “populus”, which can be translated as “people” and the suffix “-ar”, which is used to indicate “relative to”.
Consultation is called the act and the result of consulting : requesting an opinion or opinion from someone; search or analyze something. Popular, for its part, is that which is linked to the people (the group of people who live in a place).
A referendum is a mechanism that enables public participation in the process of decision-making. Through this type of consultation, people can speak out and, in this way, decide what to do about a certain issue.
Although popular consultations can take place differently, they generally allow citizens to approve or reject something. In this way, the popular consultation supposes the exercise of direct democracy.
It is possible to submit a plebiscite, a bill, a legislative project or the revocation of a mandate to a popular consultation. The rulers or legislative bodies have the obligation to abide by the result of the vote. However, it should be noted that the popular consultation can be decisive or simply advisory.
Suppose that, according to the constitution of a country, the revocation of the president’s mandate can be submitted to a popular consultation when a number of signatures equivalent to 25% of the electoral roll is gathered. The opposition, by gathering the necessary signatures, requests the implementation of the mechanism and thus begins a popular consultation: voters must choose whether the president has to continue his term or if, on the contrary, elections should be called again. As the result of the popular consultation is decisive and the revocation request is imposed with 69% of the votes, it is resolved to call elections again.
Precisely during the year 2018 in Spain a popular consultation was carried out in the city of Madrid as well as in other surrounding towns that has no consequence but that aims to show the wishes of the population. Specifically, the objective of it was to know if the public would prefer the existence of a republic in the country or would choose to maintain the monarchy that exists today.
The result of that popular consultation could not have been more overwhelming. Yes, because 93% of those who participated have voted in favor of the republic as a form of state, specifically, around 21,000 people.
This consultation is the one that has been carried out at street level after another similar one was undertaken at the Autonomous University of Madrid. And they will not be the only ones, since similar ones are scheduled to take place in the rest of Spain.