Why don’t governments want to offer referendums. After all they were happy enough to accept the views of the public when they were elected, so why aren’t they prepared to listen to those same people when they are in power?
The UK pubic want a vote on the UK’s membership of the EU e.g. www.voteukoutofeu.co.uk, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou wanted to hold a referendum on the latest EU bailout deal/staying in the EU which the EU were opposed to, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected calls for Germany to hold a referendum on European unity policy and bailouts.
An old adage springs to mind “never ask a question you don’t know the answer to” ….. I suspect the answer is really simple in all the above cases. They would all lose the referendum, or should that be their jobs/power?