Direct democracy


Direct democracy

Direct democracy is a form of government in which people collectively make decisions for themselves, rather than having their political affairs decided by representatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy".[1] Depending on the particular system in use, it might entail passing executive motions, making laws, electing or dismissing officials and conducting trials. Representative democracy stands in contrast to the direct form in that the represented can only act indirectly with decisive authority vested in a subset of people.

Many countries that are representative democracies allow for three forms of political action that provide limited direct democracy: referendum (plebiscite), initiative, and recall. Referendums can include the ability to hold a binding referendum on whether a given law should be rejected. This effectively grants the populace which holds suffrage a veto on government legislation (See the example of Switzerland). Initiatives, usually put forward by the populace, force the consideration of laws or amendments (usually by a subsequent referendum), without the consent of the elected officials, or even in opposition to the will of said officials. Recalls give people the right to remove elected officials from office before the end of their term, although this is very rare in modern democracies.[citation needed] However, direct democracy is, mainly, is in contrast with representative or parliamentary democracy, as it presupposes public participation in the decisions making and not just voting for a Referendum. It is opposed to a strong central authority. Some of the most important modern thinkers who have inspired by the concept of direct democracy are: Cornelius Castoriadis, Hannah Arendt, Pierre Clastres and others...

Contents

History

The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC. Although it may be argued that it was not a liberal democracy because women, foreigners and slaves were excluded from it. The main bodies in the Athenian democracy were the assembly, composed by male citizens, the boule, composed by 500 citizens chosen annually by lot, and the law courts composed by a massive number of juries chosen by lot, with no judges. Out of the male population of 30,000, several thousand citizens were politically active every year and many of them quite regularly for years on end. The Athenian democracy was not only direct in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but also in the sense that the people through the assembly, boule and law courts controlled the entire political process and a large proportion of citizens were involved constantly in the public business.[2] Modern democracies do not use institutions that resemble the Athenian system of rule.

Also relevant is the history of Roman republic beginning circa 449 BC.[3] The ancient Roman Republic's "citizen lawmaking" – citizen formulation and passage of law, as well as citizen veto of legislature-made law – began about 449 BC and lasted the approximately 400 years to the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Many historians mark the end of the Republic on the passage of a law named the Lex Titia, 27 November 43 BC.[3]

Modern-era citizen lawmaking began in the towns of Switzerland in the 13th century. In 1847, the Swiss added the "statute referendum" to their national constitution. They soon discovered that merely having the power to veto Parliament's laws was not enough. In 1891, they added the "constitutional amendment initiative". The Swiss political battles since 1891 have given the world a valuable experience base with the national-level constitutional amendment initiative (Kobach, 1993). In the past 120 years, more than 240 initiatives have been put to referendum. The populace has been conservative, approving only about 10% of these initiatives; in addition, they have often opted for a version of the initiative rewritten by government. (See Direct democracy in Switzerland below.) Another example is the United States, where, despite being a federal republic where no direct democracy exists at the federal level, almost half the states (and many localities) provide for citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives (also called "ballot measures" or "ballot questions") and the vast majority of the states have either initiatives and/or referendums. (See Direct democracy in the United States below.)[citation needed]

Some of the issues surrounding the related notion of a direct democracy using the Internet and other communications technologies are dealt with in e-democracy and below under the term electronic direct democracy. More concisely, the concept of open source governance applies principles of the free software movement to the governance of people, allowing the entire populace to participate in government directly, as much or as little as they please. This development strains the traditional concept of democracy, because it does not necessarily give equal representation to each person. Some implementations may even be considered democratically-inspired meritocracies, where contributors to the code of laws are given preference based on their ranking by other contributors.[citation needed]

Comparison with representative democracy

Ideas regarding the desirability of direct democracy are usually in comparison to its widespread alternative, representative democracy.[4] Direct democracy is also comparable to deliberative democracy, which may incorporate elements of both direct and representative forms of democracy.[5]

  • Political parties. The formation of political parties is considered by some to be a "necessary evil" of representative democracy, where combined resources are often needed to get candidates elected. However, such parties mean that individual representatives must compromise their own values and those of the electorate, in order to fall in line with the party platform. At times, only a minor compromise is needed. At other times such a large compromise is demanded that a representative will resign or switch parties. In structural terms, the party system may be seen as a form of oligarchy. (Hans Köchler, 1995) Meanwhile, in direct democracy, political parties have virtually no effect, as people do not need to conform with popular opinions. In addition to party cohesion, representatives may also compromise in order to achieve other objectives, by passing combined legislation, where for example minimum wage measures are combined with tax relief. In order to satisfy one desire of the electorate, the representative may have to abandon a second principle. In direct democracy, each issue would be decided on its own merits, and so "special interests" would not be able to include unpopular measures in this way.[citation needed]
  • Voter apathy. If voters have more influence on decisions, it is argued that they will take more interest in and participate more in deciding those issues.[6]
  • Scale. Direct democracy works on a small scale.[citation needed] Town meetings, a form of local government once common in New England, have worked well,[citation needed] often emphasizing consensus over majority rule. The use of direct democracy on a larger scale has historically been more difficult, however.[7] Nevertheless, developments in technology such as the internet, user-friendly and secure software, and inexpensive, powerful personal computers have all inspired new hope in the practicality of large scale applications of direct democracy. Furthermore ideas such as council democracy is a proposal to enact direct democracy in nation-states and larger groups.[citation needed]
  • Manipulation by timing and framing. If voters are to decide on an issue in a referendum, a day (or other period of time) must be set for the vote and the question must be framed, but since the date on which the question is set and different formulations of the same question evoke different responses, whoever sets the date of the vote and frames the question has the possibility of influencing the result of the vote.[8] Manipulation is also present in pure democracy with a growing population. Original members of the society are able to instigate measures and systems that enable them to manipulate the thoughts of new members to the society. Proponents counter that a portion of time could be dedicated and mandatory as opposed to a per-issue referendum. In other words, each member of civil society could be required to participate in governing their society each week, day, or other period of time.[citation needed]
  • Ochlocracy. In association with organizational biases (e.g., group-think) and logical errors (e.g., argumentum ad populum), systemic bias within a direct democracy could, in theory, lead to sub-optimal outcomes for a population. Decisions dealing primarily with factual analysis (as opposed to value-based or ethics-based decisions) could be manipulated (willfully or inadvertently) by individuals or organizations, influencing public opinion and therefore the outcome of a direct democracy's decisions.[citation needed]

Examples

Ancient Athens

Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 500 BC. Athens was one of the very first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model, none were as powerful, stable, or as well-documented as that of Athens. In that experiment in direct democracy the people did not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no means open, but the in-group of participants was constituted with no reference to economic class and they participated on a big scale. The public opinion of voters was remarkably influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theatres.[9]

Solon (594 BC), Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (462 BC) all contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Historians differ on which of them was responsible for which institution, and which of them most represented a truly democratic movement. It is most usual to date Athenian democracy from Cleisthenes, since Solon's constitution fell and was replaced by the tyranny of Peisistratus, whereas Ephialtes revised Cleisthenes' constitution relatively peacefully. Hipparchus, the brother of the tyrant Hippias, was killed by Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who were subsequently honored by the Athenians for their alleged restoration of Athenian freedom.

The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader was Pericles; after his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolution towards the end of the Peloponnesian War. It was modified somewhat after it was restored under Eucleides; the most detailed accounts are of this fourth-century modification rather than the Periclean system. It was suppressed by the Macedonians in 322 BC. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but the extent to which they were a real democracy is debatable.

Switzerland

In Switzerland, single majorities are sufficient at the town, city, and canton level, but at the national level, double majorities are required on constitutional matters. The intent of the double majorities is simply to ensure any citizen-made law's legitimacy (Kobach, 1993).

Double majorities are, first, the approval by a majority of those voting, and, second, a majority of cantons in which a majority of those voting approve the ballot measure. A citizen-proposed law (i.e. initiative) cannot be passed in Switzerland at the national level if a majority of the people approve but a majority of the cantons disapprove (Kobach, 1993). For referendums or propositions in general terms (like the principle of a general revision of the Constitution), the majority of those voting is enough (Swiss constitution, 2005).

In 1890, when the provisions for Swiss national citizen lawmaking were being debated by civil society and government, the Swiss adopted the idea of double majorities from the United States Congress, in which House votes were to represent the people and Senate votes were to represent the states (Kobach, 1993). According to its supporters, this "legitimacy-rich" approach to national citizen lawmaking has been very successful. Kobach claims that Switzerland has had tandem successes both socially and economically which are matched by only a few other nations, and that the United States is not one of them. Kobach states at the end of his book, "Too often, observers deem Switzerland an oddity among political systems. It is more appropriate to regard it as a pioneer." Finally, the Swiss political system, including its direct democratic devices in a multi-level governance context, becomes increasingly interesting for scholars of European Union integration (see Trechsel, 2005)

United States

Direct democracy was very much opposed by the framers of the United States Constitution and some signers of the Declaration of Independence. They saw a danger in majorities forcing their will on minorities. As a result, they advocated a representative democracy[citation needed] in the form of a constitutional republic over a direct democracy. For example, James Madison, in Federalist No. 10 advocates a constitutional republic over direct democracy precisely to protect the individual from the will of the majority. He says, "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."[10] John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, said "Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage." Alexander Hamilton said, "That a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity..."[citation needed]

Despite the framers' intentions in the beginning of the republic, ballot measures and their corresponding referendums have been widely used at the state and sub-state level. There is much state and federal case law, from the early 1900s to the 1990s, that protects the people's right to each of these direct democracy governance components (Magleby, 1984, and Zimmerman, 1999). The first United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of the citizen lawmaking was in Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company v. Oregon, 223 U.S. 118 in 1912 (Zimmerman, December 1999). President Theodore Roosevelt, in his "Charter of Democracy" speech to the 1912 Ohio constitutional convention, stated "I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative."[citation needed]

In various states, referendums through which the people rule include:[citation needed]

  • Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed constitutional amendments" (constitutionally used in 49 states, excepting only Delaware – Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004).
  • Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed statute laws" (constitutionally used in all 50 states – Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004).
  • Constitutional amendment initiative is the most powerful citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance component.[citation needed] It is a constitutionally-defined petition process of "proposed constitutional law", which, if successful, results in its provisions being written directly into the state's constitution. Since constitutional law cannot be altered by state legislatures, this direct democracy component gives the people an automatic superiority and sovereignty, over representative government (Magelby, 1984). It is utilized at the state level in eighteen states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Dakota (Cronin, 1989). Among the eighteen states, there are three main types of the constitutional amendment initiative, with different degrees of involvement of the state legislature distinguishing between the types (Zimmerman, December 1999).
  • Statute law initiative is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of "proposed statute law", which, if successful, results in law being written directly into the state's statutes. The statute initiative is used at the state level in twenty-one states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (Cronin, 1989). Note that, in Utah, there is no constitutional provision for citizen lawmaking. All of Utah's I&R law is in the state statutes (Zimmerman, December 1999). In most states, there is no special protection for citizen-made statutes; the legislature can begin to amend them immediately.
  • Statute law referendum is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of the "proposed veto of all or part of a legislature-made law", which, if successful, repeals the standing law. It is used at the state level in twenty-four states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (Cronin, 1989).
  • The recall is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process, which, if successful, removes an elected official from office by "recalling" the official's election. In most state and sub-state jurisdictions having this governance component, voting for the ballot that determines the recall includes voting for one of a slate of candidates to be the next office holder, if the recall is successful. It is utilized at the state level in eighteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004, Recall Of State Officials).

There are now a total of 24 U.S. states with constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance components (Zimmerman, December 1999). In the United States, for the most part only one-time majorities are required (simple majority of those voting) to approve any of these components.[citation needed]

In addition, many localities around the U.S. also provide for some or all of these direct democracy governance components, and in specific classes of initiatives (like those for raising taxes), there is a supermajority voting threshold requirement. Even in states where direct democracy components are scant or nonexistent at the state level, there often exists local options for deciding specific issues, such as whether a county should be "wet" or "dry" in terms of whether alcohol sales are allowed.[citation needed]

In the U.S. region of New England, many municipalities (styled towns in contrast to cities) practice a very limited form of home rule, and decide local affairs through the direct democratic process of the town meeting.[1]

Electronic direct democracy

Electronic direct democracy or E-democracy (EDD) is a form of direct democracy which utilizes telecommunications to facilitate public participation. Electronic direct democracy is sometimes referred to by other names, such as open source governance and collaborative governance.[citation needed]

EDD requires electronic voting or some way to register votes on issues electronically. As in any direct democracy, in an EDD, citizens would have the right to vote on legislation, author new legislation, and recall representatives (if any representatives are preserved).[citation needed]

Technology for supporting EDD has been researched and developed at the Florida Institute of Technology,[11] where the technology is used with student organizations. Numerous other software development projects are underway,[12] along with many supporting and related projects.[13] Several of these projects are now collaborating on a cross-platform architecture, under the umbrella of the Metagovernment project.[14]

EDD as a system is not fully implemented in a political government anywhere in the world, although several initiatives are currently forming. Ross Perot was a prominent advocate of EDD when he advocated "electronic town halls" during his 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns in the United States. Switzerland, already partially governed by direct democracy, is making progress towards such a system.[15] Senator Online, an Australian political party running for the Senate in the 2007 federal elections, proposed to institute an EDD system so that Australians can decide which way the senators vote on each and every bill.[16] A similar initiative was formed 2002 in Sweden where the party Aktivdemokrati, running for the Swedish parliament, offers its members the power to decide the actions of the party over all or some areas of decision, or alternatively to use a proxy with immediate recall for one or several areas. Since early 2011 EDD parties are working together on the Participedia wiki E2D

The only mainstream direct democracy party currently registered with any country's electoral commission [checked against each country's register] is the UK's People's Administration Direct Democracy party. The People's Administration have developed and published the complete architecture for a legitimate reform to EDD [including the required Parliamentary reform process]. The People's Administration advocates using the web and telephone to enable the majority electorate to create, propose and vote upon all policy implementation. The People's Administration's blueprint has been published in various forms since 1998 and the People's Administration is currently the only direct democracy party registered in a vote-able format anywhere in the world - making transition possible through evolution via election with legitimate majority support, instead of potentially through revolution via violence.

Relation to other movements

Many political movements within representative democracies seek to restore either some measure of direct democracy or a more deliberative democracy, as well as consensus decision-making (rather than simply majority rule). Such movements advocate more frequent public votes and referendums and less of the so-called "rule by politician". Collectively, these movements are referred to[citation needed] as advocating grassroots democracy or consensus democracy, to differentiate it from a simple direct democracy model. Another related movement is community politics which seeks to engage representatives with communities directly.[citation needed]

Some anarchists (usually social anarchists)[citation needed] have advocated forms of direct democracy as an alternative to the centralized state and capitalism; however, others (such as individualist anarchists) have criticized direct democracy and democracy in general for ignoring the rights of the minority, and instead have advocated a form of consensus decision-making. Libertarian Marxists, however, fully support direct democracy in the form of the proletarian republic and see majority rule and citizen participation as virtues. The Young Communist League, USA in particular refers to representative democracy as "bourgeois democracy", implying that they see direct democracy as "true democracy".[17]

Sociocracy shares the aims of direct democracy, expressing it as the right of citizens to control the conditions of their lives. It uses consensus decision-making ("consent" defined as "no objections") for policy decisions and believes that majority vote is counter-productive because it creates inequality. To create "equivalence", sociocracy delegates policy decisions to those who execute them, not to a separate policy-making body like a Board of Directors or a Senate. Representatives continue to participate in the body that elected them as well as in the body in which they serve as a representative. This overlapping participation maintains consensus between bodies, not just within them. Sociocracy believes it is majority vote and autocratic decision-making that disenfranchise both voters and workers, not representational democracy.[18]

In schools

A democratic school is a school that centers on providing a democratic educational environment featuring "full and equal" participation from students and staff. These learning environments position youth voice as the central actor in the educative process by engaging students in every facet of school operations, including learning, teaching, leadership, justice, and democracy, through experience.[19][20] Adult staff support students by offering facilitation according to students' interests.

Sudbury model of democratic education schools are run by a School Meeting where the students and staff participate exclusively and equally. Everyone who wishes to attend can vote, and there are no proxies. As with direct democracy elsewhere, participants are usually only those who have an interest in the topic.[21]

Another tenet of Sudbury schools is giving students the power to choose what to do with their time: individual freedom, freedom of choice, and learning through experience. There are no required classes, and usually there is no requirement to take classes at all. Students are free to choose an activity that they desire, or feel the need to do. They are free to continue activities for as long or short a time as they see fit. In this way, they learn self-discipline, self-regulated learning and self-initiation. They also learn faster and retain more knowledge, thanks to the engagement in activities that they are passionate about. The students at these schools are responsible for and empowered to direct their own education from a very young age. All this is facilitated, supported and managed by the school's democratic framework.[citation needed]

Summerhill School in England has operated a direct democracy approach to decision making for over 80 years and has often come into conflict with the UK government as a result. The school won an appealed to the high court 1999 after it was threatened with closure after which the joint statement confirmed that: "The minister recognised the school had a right to its own philosophy and that any inspection should take into account its aims as an international 'free' school ... both sides went on record as agreeing that the pupils' voice should be fully represented in any evaluation of the quality of education at Summerhill and that inspections must consider the full breadth of learning at the school – learning was not confined to lessons".[22]

Contemporary movements

Some notable contemporary movements working for direct democracy via direct democratic praxis include:[23]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ A. Democracy in World Book Encyclopedia, World Book Inc., 2006. B. Pure democracy entry in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. C. Pure democracy entry in American Heritage Dictionary"
  2. ^ Raafaub, 2007, p. 5
  3. ^ a b (Cary, 1967)
  4. ^ Hans Köchler, 1995
  5. ^ A. Gutmann, 2004, p.1-63
  6. ^ Ace Project – Focus on Direct Democracy. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  7. ^ Jane J. Mansbridge. Beyond Adversary Democracy (1983)[page needed]
  8. ^ Ace Project – Referendums. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  9. ^ Henderson, J. (1993) Comic Hero versus Political Elite pp.307-19 in Sommerstein, A.H.; S. Halliwell, J. Henderson, B. Zimmerman, ed (1993). Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis. Bari: Levante Editori. 
  10. ^ The Federalist No. 10 – The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued) – Daily Advertiser – November 22, 1787 – James Madison. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
  11. ^ Kattamuri etal. "Supporting Debates Over Citizen Initiatives", Digital Government Conference, pp 279-280, 2005
  12. ^ List of active projects involved in the Metagovernment project
  13. ^ List of related projects from the Metagovernment project
  14. ^ Standardization project of the Metagovernment project.
  15. ^ Electronic Voting in Switzerland (web archive link)
  16. ^ "Senator On-Line". http://senatoronline.com.au/. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  17. ^ Author: membership Cmte. "Young Communist League USA – Frequently Asked Questions". Yclusa.org. http://yclusa.org/article/articleview/1445/1/278/. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  18. ^ Buck, John; Sharon Villines (2007) (in English). We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy. Washington DC: Sociocracy.info. pp. 277. ISBN 978-0-9792827-0-6. http://www.sociocracy.info. 
  19. ^ Greenberg, D. (1992) Education in America – A View from Sudbury Valley, Democracy must be Experienced to be Learned.[page needed]
  20. ^ Greenberg, D. (1987) The Sudbury Valley School Experience, Teaching Justice Through Experience.[page needed]
  21. ^ Greenberg, D. (1987) Free at Last – The Sudbury Valley School, Chapter 22, The School Meeting.[page needed]
  22. ^ "Summerhill closure threat lifted". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk./1/hi/education/688152.stm. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  23. ^ Extensive list of projects, mostly oriented toward direct democracy

Bibliography

  • A. Gutmann, D. F. Thompson, "Why Deliberative Democracy?", Princeton University Press, 2004, Google Books
  • Raaflaub K. A., Ober J., Wallace R. W., Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece, University of California Press, 2007

Further reading

  • Arnon, Harel (January 2008). "A Theory of Direct Legislation" (LFB Scholarly)
  • Cary, M. (1967) A History Of Rome: Down To The Reign Of Constantine. St. Martin's Press, 2nd edition.
  • Cronin, Thomas E. (1989). Direct Democracy: The Politics Of Initiative, Referendum, And Recall. Harvard University Press.
  • Finley, M.I. (1973). Democracy Ancient And Modern. Rutgers University Press.
  • Fotopoulos, Takis, Towards an Inclusive Democracy: The Crisis of the Growth Economy and the Need for a New Liberatory Project (London & NY: Cassell, 1997).
  • Fotopoulos, Takis, The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy. (Athens: Gordios, 2005). (English translation of the book with the same title published in Greek).
  • Fotopoulos, Takis, "Liberal and Socialist 'Democracies' versus Inclusive Democracy", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol.2, no.2, (January 2006).
  • Gerber, Elisabeth R. (1999). The Populist Paradox: Interest Group Influence And The Promise Of Direct Legislation. Princeton University Press.
  • Hansen, Mogens Herman (1999). The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes: Structure, Principles and Ideology. University of Oklahoma, Norman (orig. 1991).
  • Kobach, Kris W. (1993). The Referendum: Direct Democracy In Switzerland. Dartmouth Publishing Company.
  • Köchler, Hans (1995). A Theoretical Examination of the Dichotomy between Democratic Constitutions and Political Reality. University Center Luxemburg.
  • Magleby, David B. (1984). Direct Legislation: Voting on Ballot Propositions in The United States. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Matsusaka John G. For the Many or the Few The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy, Chicago Press
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, (2004). Recall of State Officials
  • Orr Akiva e-books, Free download : Politics without politicians – Big Business, Big Government or Direct Democracy.
  • Pimbert, Michel (2010). Reclaiming citizenship: empowering civil society in policy-making. In: Towards Food Sovereignty. http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G02612.pdf? e-book. Free download.
  • Polybius (c.150 BC). The Histories. Oxford University, The Great Histories Series, Ed., Hugh R. Trevor-Roper and E. Badian. Translated by Mortimer Chanbers. Washington Square Press, Inc (1966).
  • Reich, Johannes (2008). An Interactional Model of Direct Democracy – Lessons from the Swiss Experience. SSRN Working Paper.
  • Verhulst Jos en Nijeboer Arjen Direct Democracy e-book in 8 languages. Free download.
  • Zimmerman, Joseph F. (March 1999). The New England Town Meeting: Democracy In Action. Praeger Publishers.
  • Zimmerman, Joseph F. (December 1999). The Initiative: Citizen Law-Making. Praeger Publishers.

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