Australians are referendum reluctant. Only eight out of forty-four constitutional referendums have succeeded.
In Switzerland the population votes four times year, on about ten different direct democracy initiatives.
New Zealand referenda are not as regular but this week our kiwi cousins are voting on whether or not to keep the Union Jack in the top left hand side of their flag or replace it with graceful curving fern.
As the Australian government ponders a plebiscite on gay marriage and a possible referendum on indigenous recognition, a look at what New Zealand and Switzerland can teach us about direct democracy.