Is the referendum phenomenon a manifestation of direct democracy and hence rooted in ancient democracy or the result of political conflict within the democracy of today? Are referendums in democracies the first step down the slippery slope to a plebiscitary hell or are they the humus that can foster a wide-ranging diversification of experience while staying within the bounds of modern-day, representative democracies? The author takes the stance that the referendum phenomenon stems from modern-day, representative democracies and does not necessarily jeopardise their stability or legitimacy. As a perfect example of popular sovereignty in action, are referendums to be perceived as more favourable towards society's democratic component rather than its liberal one? The author holds that referendum voting enables both liberal and democratic issues to be faced and discusses Sartori's analysis according to which the referendum is a manifestation of ancient democracy incompatible with the requirements of modern-day democracy, especially concerning matters of a liberal nature. In the area of referendum experiences, the author offers a critique of Sartori's analysis and argues in favour of the compatibility between liberal democracies and referendums.