"The difference is that we vote for our representatives to parliament, on the strict basis that they fill that role for a period not exceeding 5 years."
You said difference. Difference between an election and what? Let me spell out the difference for you. It's the difference between a period not exceeding 5 years and keeps. The maximum damage a bad choice in an election is 5 years plus however long it takes to unwind 5 years' of damage. The damage an irreversible referendum can cause can last for generations. We really need more commitment than a couple of percent majority.