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Bold or batty? Risking it all on a referendum

Who's afraid of a referendum? Italy faces one in December, France's Nicolas Sarkozy has promised two if he wins the presidential election next year, but as the recent shock votes in Britain, Colombia and Hungary show, the risks are high. In London, ex-prime minister David Cameron hoped to use a popular vote on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to rein in a belligerent anti-EU wing of his own Conservative Party -- but it spectacularly backfired.
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