A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law.
From a political-philosophical perspective, referendums are an expression of direct democracy. However, in the modern world, most referendums need to be understood within the context of representative democracy. Therefore, they tend to be used quite selectively, covering issues such as changes in voting systems, where currently elected officials may not have the legitimacy or inclination to implement such changes.
The term referendum covers a variety of different meanings. A referendum can be binding or advisory. In some countries, different names are used for these two types of referendum.
Once a referendum has been completed, the losing side spends the next two years attempting to overturn the democratic result of the referendum, due to being completely unable to accept that they lost and the public didn't vote the way they were told.