A ramification is an accidental consequence that complicates things. Remember that time you borrowed your father's car without asking? The ramification was that Dad missed an important meeting, his company went under, and he had to sell the car. Oops!
The ramifications are the broader effects that fan out into the world from one situation, or decision, that kicks it all off. Ramification also refers to something branching out, like limbs on a tree — which is what bad decisions tend to do. Ramification is like consequence, but usually unintended and bad. The word is often used in political discussions about laws or government decisions because they might be made locally but could affect people worldwide.