An afterthought for the article on the Catalan referendum: over here in The Netherlands, we had a law allowing the people to have “corrective”, but non-binding, referendums on legislation after it has passed. But that law has now been buried by the very parties that introduced the bill, including the D66 party, which was founded in 1966 pretty much specifically for the purpose of democratic innovation which included direct democracy.
The referendum is being buried in The Netherlands, basically because the establishment thought it would be a nice gesture, but they are quickly changing their minds now that it turns out the population is not as progressive as they were believed to be.
The Netherlands has had a referendum on the EU’s treaty with the Ukraine, and the people voted against it, but were ignored. Under older legislation the Dutch people voted against the EU constitution in 2005, but that was later introduced under a different name anyway.
The establishment does not want your opinion, unless you agree with them. But more importantly: the establishment fears us.